SEO comes in both on page and off page search engine optimization. We’ll discuss 10 things you can do on your web pages to make your site more user and search engine friendly.
1. Domain Name – The domain name must be chosen very carefully because it is the way your customers will find you. If possible, put your primary keyword phrase in the name. Avoid using hyphens and underscores. Use a top level domain that ends in .com, .net or .org. When you give out your URL, people usually think of .com for commercial and .org for non-profit organizations.
2. Page Title – The page title should be appropriate for each page of your website. It should be no more that 60 characters in length including spaces. It should use the title format. Special characters and punctuation should not be used it the title.
3. Keywords – Each page should be focused on one keyword phrase. This needs to be as targeted as you can make it and keep it related to your content. Example: if the page is about an all natural home remedy for acne then use ‘all natural home remedy for acne’ as the keyword phrase rather than just acne remedy or just the word acne. The more targeted your keyword phrase the more likely you are to bring a visitor looking to buy rather than someone that’ll quickly click away.
Put your keywords in META tags. Many of the major search engines don’t pay much attention to these tags BUT about half the traffic is delivered by what is called a META crawler engine. These often crawl the major search engines and pull their results from the results that actually have META tags.
4. Descriptions – Some search engines use all or part of your description when they index your site but the META crawlers DO use these descriptions.
5. Image Tags – Do not over use images on your website. Just use them if they actually enhance the content in some way. People that are visually impaired and search engine spiders cannot see the images so a descriptive image tag that is keyword rich will help them.
Example: < img src="http://www.yourdomain.com/images/logo.gif" Alt="Your
Keyword Image" Width="728" Height="123" > (In this example, I’ve added spaces next to the <> so the site didn’t interpret that as HTML code to use.)
6. Title Tags – Search engine spiders and the visually impaired like tags on text based links. These links should be descriptive keyword phrases. https://www.itsaboutcash.com is the domain name of this site but it isn’t descriptive to readers. If I were to put the phrase ‘Marketing Training Articles’ as the anchor text for the hyperlink, the reader and search engine spiders would understand something about the destination before they visit the site.
7. Content – Write your content for the reader but keep in mind that the first 150 characters and the last 150 characters on the page are the most important to the spider and in reinforcing your message in the reader’s mind. Do not stuff these sections with keyword phrases because it makes no sense to the reader and it will hurt you with the spiders.
8. Sub Headings – Divide your content into sections that make sense. Use sub-heading and designate these using the tags < H1 >, < H2 >, < H3 >, etc. (In this example, I’ve added spaces next to the <> so the site didn’t interpret that as HTML code to use.) The H1 tag give you the most bang in the search engines when used with the title. A larger font doesn’t do as well as the H1 tag. The H2 tag is usually used for the sub-heading just under the title. As the tag numbers increase, the font size decreases as does the importance of the section title in the eyes of the search engine. Use header tags when working with sections and headers instead of points and you'll reap the rewards. Put appropriate keywords in the section titles if it makes sense to do so.
9. Font – Search engines give points for different fonts and font sizes. Verdana 12 point is the best for ranking but Tahoma, Arial and other fonts do well too. Using a font that’s too small, hard to read or one that isn’t normally installed on the majority of the computers likely to view your site will hurt you.
10. Color – Do not use colors that are hard on the eyes. A blue background that’s very bright may pull the reader’s attention away from the content. Blue is a very popular background but choose a lighter or darker blue that does have the neon affect. Avoid text that’s the same color as the background because search engines see this as hidden text and that may get your site banned from the search engine. Search engine spiders cannot see the background you place between your text and the background so make sure they are different colors.
These 10 areas you can control when you start thinking of site design. Basic search engine optimization isn’t voodoo or rocket science. Think about your readers, your content, presentation of your message and you’ll be creating an environment both your users and search engines will appreciate.
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