Some will say Search Engine Optimization is too hard. While it is true that Search Engines use really complex mathematical systems to Rank and Index web sites, the goal is to present a quality site with engaging text that meets your visitors query, see people dropping in, buying and coming back.
The Purpose of a Search Engine is to be useful in finding the information a web surfer is looking for. It is all a bit more simple then it sound. The Search Engines are not trying to be complicated. They are trying to help and use some complicated stuff to do it.
A web site that has focus, purpose and goals will naturally have what it takes to rank pretty well when a spider crawls through. If John’s Crab Shack is going online; all the pages will probably have good keywords and text that will return positive search results. The goal is to use some common sense to assist the search process, not attempt to beat the system with high site rank that offers little content.
It is all common sense with a little added education that brings in the visitors you want and sells the products or services you offer.
First, check to see what web users call stuff. Go back and re-read Search Engine Optimization 101/102. Then use those Search Terms. If your site is really about a particular topic, you’ll probably have the Keywords showing in your Title, Keywords list, Description, Text, Page Headings, Section Headings on your pages, URL Hyperlink Text, URL Page names, Primary Site URL, BOLD Text on pages… We can now add the common sense factor to get the most out of our refined Keyword list and well crafted Meta Tags.
The Search Engines see what you think your site is about, what you sell your site as, and then what your site actually says.
“A Little Further Education”
Search Engine Optimization 201
It’s time for a few quick tips since you now have a working Keyword list and Meta Tags in place.
“Welcome to…” at the top of a page is wasting some very important space. Just tell them what you wanted to tell them; you can thank them later.
This goes for your Title and Description Tags also. The term or terms you want to improve your rank on, should be first in both tags.
See Search Engine 101 for more on this.
Search Engines take what you “show” as important and add more significance to that information. The text at the top of you page is more likely to say what the whole page is about. Put your more important text with your main Keywords toward the top of every page. Don’t waste this space with Welcome you-who, Pictures and other unreadable stuff. Thanking your visitors at the bottom of a page makes a lot more sense, Pictures after some quality text, with Page Name and Heading Tags (Keyword Rich) right at the top.
Heading Tags – The Words you put in a Section Heading (H1-7) tells what the next section is about on your page. It tells SE’s that is more important – That’s what you think the next section on your page is about and SE’s take note. Have Keyword Rich Section Headings.
BOLD text is more important also because you emphasized it showing it is the most important word in that sentence. My sax site might have a page optimized for Smooth Jazz. Every time you see that word it is BOLD, in Heading Tags, the first words in all my Meta Tags and probably found in the Hyperlink Text to and from other pages on my site. Italic text and Underlined Text work the same. Note: I don’t use Underline very much since it can look like a link and make visitors unhappy.
Hyperlink Text – The word/phrase you click on to go to another page or site. These words tell SE’s you think the page this text is pointing to. Don’t waste a Hyperlink Text on “CLICK HERE”. Let the text you click be what that page is going to be about. Example: For John’s Crab Shack Menu CLICK HERE. That is a waste of important link words. Just list the link with the TOPIC. JOHN’s CRAB SHACK MENU. A lot of times this involves simply moving the TAG around the page name and removing the ever mindless “CLICK HERE”. Any sentence you have a page title or description with the Link Text missing keywords is a lost opportunity for better rank.
Get a URL that has your most important Keyword in it. www.John’s Crab Shack would be good but so would hbcrab, CAbestcrab, crabcakes, you get the idea. A really long URL is not going to help advertise your business. My main URL is really long with extensions and page names. I also have many doorway pages with specific URL’s for each section. They are not really Search Engine friendly because they have the same content as my main site but serve as advertising tools when I can print pens or calendars with christmassax.com for a URL that is pointing to gregvail.com/sys-tmpl/christmasthehymns1/.
Don’t start a page with an image since Search Engines can’t read Images; just there ALT TAGs.
Every Image should have ALT TAGS that are also Keyword Rich, while telling what the picture is about. ALT TAGS are placed in your Image URL tag, at the end, and look like this: alt=”John’s Crab Shack is located in Huntington Beach at the pier and serves award winning crab cakes and fresh crab legs.” The ALT TAG is what you see when the Image fails to load or when you hover over that Image; it’s the hover text. Search Engines do index these tags.
Using Flash or fancy animations can add to the page load time and loose visitors before you even showed up on there monitor. Many sites using these techniques now have doorway pages that give you the option to view the website with or without Flash. This is a good idea if you like all the flashy stuff and don’t want to punish Dial Up Users all over the World.
Another idea is working your description tag onto your web page. I have keyword rich statements right at the top of every page and sometimes at the bottom also. Some of these are my Description Meta Tag for the Search Engines that don’t rely on tags as much as your page text or content.