17 Jan 10 Tips to Make Your Site Search Engine Friendly
When you roll out a new website, one of the first goals for it is that it is indexed by the major search engines. By doing this, people can find you by using common search terms related to your niche. The quickest way to get this done is to make your site search engine friendly. Having a site that is friendly in this way is not only good for search engines but for your users too and ultimately results in greater conversion rates from visitor to buyer. So what are some of the ways you can make your site fit well with search engines? Here are some tips.
Choose keywords that users will likely search on. Also position your keywords towards the top of the page. The first thing to remember about selecting the right keywords to target is to try and determine what users are typically searching for. This process usually starts by brainstorming the various search terms you think users will enter for a search. Just like in writing, you want to list all phrases that come to mind. You can even think of misspellings. Avoid using key phrases that are too competitive. For example, SEO Seattle is less competitive than just SEO.
Put your main keywords in the title tag of your web pages. The title tag is important because it is at the top of the page and is one of the first things the search engine crawler sees. For example, if you are selling paintings in Houston then you want to make sure that the words paintings and Houston are in the title. Some, in order to get the maximum utilization of the title, don’t even mention their company name as this will not be something that users will commonly search on.
Make sure your content and blog are relevant to your website’s target market. Your blog is not only important to search engines but it is one of the reasons visitors will come back if it is interesting.
Make it easy for a search engine crawler to navigate your site. The first rule here is to keep your web pages simple. Avoid cramming too many keywords on one page. You should only target a page for one or two keywords and put them towards the top. Minimize the use of images and don’t use Flash graphics unless you must. Always remember that search engine crawlers only read text.
Use relevant images with an ALT text that describes them. The ALT text area is also a logical place to put in keywords but major search engines do not place much weight on it. The reason is because it has a history of being used for spam. However, what you should do is use a descriptive ALT text for the benefit of your visually impaired visitors. If you are going to use a keyword in it, make sure it is appropriate for the context and appears natural.
Run your HTML code through a validation service. This would be a service like the one offered by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C.org). By running your code through their validation software, you will be alerted to any problem areas that could interfere with either site usability or search engine indexing.
Avoid duplicate content on your site or across sites. Obviously, you don’t want to post exact copies of the same content on multiple domains but another scenario is when a company mirrors their own website. Recommendations are to have the mirror sites do a domain level redirect to the main site to avoid getting tagged as having duplicate content.
Never use text that is hidden. This is an unethical SEO method and involves inserting keyword phrases that have the same text color as the background. The hope is that the user won’t see them but the search engine crawler will. This can get you penalized by Google.
Keep track of your sites with regard to indexing and ranking. SEO is an abstract process in some ways and if one approach doesn’t work with a particular search engine then you have to try another. This is why it is important to keep track where you submitted your pages and how they are ranking.
Get as many backlinks to your site as possible. Each link that points back to your website is like a stamp of approval from the other site owners. However, you don’t just want to get any link. Strive to get backlinks from reputable websites.