Do It Yourself Search Engine Optimization Tips
Search engine optimization (SEO) is extremely important to any website or blog. The higher the search engines rank your website the more website traffic gets directed to your web site, which you will hopefully be able to convert into loyal users.
Although SEO can get quite complex, there are simple things you can do yourself to ensure that your business website ranks higher in search engines for specific keywords. The first thing you need to do is to define the keywords and phrases you want to optimize for.
1. Define Keywords
Use a keyword research tool such as Overture to find the best key words and phrases for your website. Think of the keywords that your customers would use when searching for your information.
2. Optimize Each Page for those Keywords
The second step of the search engine optimization process is to optimize each one of your web pages for specific keywords that you want that page to rank well for.
There are two types of Search Engine Optimization: On-page optimization & Off-page optimization. Here are some do it yourself tips for on-page and off-page optimization.
- Page Title – include ONLY the main keywords in the title
- Use an <h1> header tag somewhere at the top of your page with some of your keywords. Google ranking algorithm considers the text in between the <H1> tag as more important than the content on the rest of the page.
- Use an <h2> header tags for all of the sub-headers on your page with some of your keywords. The text between the <h2> header tags are also given more weight than the content on the rest of the page.
- Sprinkle your main keywords throughout your content copy. Mention keywords in a natural way as you are writing.
- Bold, Italicize, and Underline SOME of the keywords to make them stand out. The algorithm and also gives these tags more ranking weight.
- Include <alt> image tags to provide an alternative text description of your image.
Off-page optimization consists of all of the ranking factors search engines consider that are NOT done on your webpage. These include the amount of incoming links from related sites with a high PR (PageRank) and with your keywords in the anchor text.
- Search engines “rate” your credibility based on the number of incoming links that you have. To check who links to your website, go to google.com and type the following into the search box:
- To build your inbound links you have to write great content so users link to your information/articles/posts. Also exchange links with relevant websites.
- Search engines also take into consideration PR (Page Rank) of the website that links to you. The higher the website’s page rank that links to you, the more credible your website is considered, the more your website benefits from that inbound link. To check what a website’s page ranking is, I recommend installing a google toolbar, which will automatically show the ranking of the website you are on near the browser menu.
- Search engines put a significant amount of weight on the anchor text of your incoming links. This means people need to use your keywords when linking to you.
Implementing these simple SEO strategies can help your website rank higher on search engines and to maintain that ranking.
Also check out the Online SEO Tools Guide published by Search Engine Journal. It discusses a lot of the free web-based SEO tools that are available to help you optimize your website.