The following is a list of 10 basic tips to help you improve your website’s searching engine ranking in Google, Yahoo, MSN.
Updated: 05-03-13: New Bonus SEO Tips
1. Find the best keywords. Keywords are the words that describe your service or product. More importantly, keywords are the words your clients or customers will enter into search tools such as Google or Yahoo to find your services or products. Build a list of 30-60 keywords for your website.
- One way to find good keywords is to try to think like your customers. What words would they use to find your service or product?
- Another way is to look at your competitor’s sites and see what keywords they use.
- There are also a couple of useful tools to help you find keywords. One is wordtracker.com. Wordtracker is a paid service that can help you easily find the most popular keywords and also to see how competitive those keywords are.
2. Add Relevant Keywords to the Keyword Meta Tag on Each Page Meta tags provide information about a web page and they help search engines to correctly categorize your pages. Meta tags are inserted into the html code on your web pages and are not invisible to the user. Use 10 to 12 keywords.
3. Add keywords to your web page title tags. Each web page on your site should have a keyword rich title tag of about 40 to 60 characters, including spaces. Search engines use the title tag to rank your page and they often include the title tag text in the search results. For example, if you are a painter in the Denver Boulder Colorado area, you might use the following title: Boulder Denver Colorado Interior Exterior House Painter.
4. Add Keywords to your web pages Add relevant keywords to the text of every page on your site. It’s especially helpful to have keywords in headers, lists, the first paragraph, and in bold or italic font.
5. Add New Content to Your Website Search Engines read text content, and the more good text content you have on your site, the better. Plan on adding new content to your website each week. Make sure the content is relevant to your site and helpful to your users. For example, if you are a house painter in Boulder or Denver Colorado, you can write an article about how to power wash your house. Or give tips on painting. Users love 10-Ten lists. And remember to include your relevant keywords in the content.
6. Get Relevant Websites to Link to Your Site. In addition to text content, search engines use links to determine a site’s relevance to a user’s search. Lots of relevant links from other popular web sites tell the search engine that your site is important and relevant to the search. Ask your suppliers, vendors, and clients to link to your site. Try to find relevant blogs or information sites and get them to link to your site. Don’t forget your friends and work colleagues. And make sure the incoming links are keyword rich. For example, instead of Click Here for a good house painter, use Denver Boulder House Painter, Interior, Exterior, Repair. Search Engines see links as important indicators of a site’s relevance to a search, but Click Here doesn’t give the search engine any indication of what the link means. And don’t forget to link OUT to websites that contain useful information that is relevant to your site.
7. Add Keyword Rich Links to your web pages If your site contains a lot of useful information, try to link to it from other pages in your site and use keyword rich links. For example, the Denver Boulder Colorado painter might have a list of services they offer. First, create a page with details about each service and then create a descriptive, keyword rich link to each page.
8. Create a Site Map. Create a site map that list all the pages on your site. The site map makes it easier for search engines and your users to find the information on your site. Include a link to your site map in your main navigation so it’s easy for users to find it from any page.
10. Submit Your Website to Google, Yahoo, MSN, and dmoz Open Directory Project. Although there are hundreds of search engines, submitting your site to the big four is mandatory. Many of the smaller search engines get their data from one of the big four.
Bonus SEO Tips
1. Publish Blog Posts Once a Week. Search engines like Google index text articles, and the more articles you have on your site, the more hits you will get.
Try to publish a new blog article once a week. The article should be content related to your business, field, specialty, or industry. In addition to drawing more hits, publishing new content on your web site every week also notifies search engines like Google that they need to visit your site more often to index new content. The more often you publish new content, the more often search engines will visit your site. And, as a result, the faster your new content can be found on the web.
2. Create and Distribute a Weekly Newsletter. A newsletter is a great way to gain subscribers to your content. Furthermore, it’s a great way to establish yourself as an authority in your field.
There are many email and newsletter services, but I like Mailchimp. Mailchimp is free if you have fewer than 2,000 subscribers and you send less than 12,000 emails per month.
In addition, there are plugins for WordPress and Joomla that can automatically create and send newsletters from your new content. For example, you can configure Mailchimp to send out a newsletter once a week if there is new content on your Joomla or WordPress site.
3. Use Social Media to Increase Website Traffic. There is no doubt that social media like FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIN, and Google Plus can increase your website traffic. Millions of people use social media to share content and information. Create accounts in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google Plus and whenever you publish new content on your site, share a link to that content in all your social media accounts.
4. Add a Share This Plugin to WordPress or Joomla. As I said in Bonus tip 3, social media is important for sharing content…your content. Make it easy for your users to share your content by adding share buttons to each page. When you have share buttons on each page, it takes just one click for your users to share that page or post on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, or LinkedIn. What’s more, the Share This buttons make it easy to YOU to share your new content on social media!