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10 Essential Search Engine Optimization Tips

Author: Donna Venzi

Search engine optimization or SEO is a natural way of feeding potential customers to your website. SEO is about making your site search engine friendly so when customers search for key words relating to your industry, your site pops us first. It helps to streamline your sales process by bringing customers who are already searching for your specific goods and services directly to your digital doorstop. Unlike the yellow pages where companies are listed by name, search engine optimization lists sites through their clearly defined title and meta tags, keywords and popularity. Propel yourself to the top of the list by taking advantage of some SEO strategies.

1: Don’t pad your keywords. Too many sites took advantage of stuffing their sites with popular words that were ultimately irrelevant to their content. Search engines contrast your keywords to the actual content on your page and will not list keywords that appear irrelevant to the copy. Keep your keywords clean, neat and focused but also keep in mind that search engines give very little credence to keyword tags.

2: Have a site map. A site map is a simple page showing the internal link structure of your website and containing a link to every page on your website. Customers like it because it helps them get to the page they need immediately. Search engines like it because it makes it easy to chronicle everything on your site. Submit an XML sitemap to search engines to help them easily list your page.

3: Keep your title tag short, sweet and to the point. It should be under 60 characters and it should funnel out: start with the most specific note about the particular page and then add some more general characteristics. Refine it and make sure it accurately reflects the content of the page exactly.

4: Keep your content to coding ratio high. It’s hard for search engines to sift through pages and pages of hackneyed HTML or CSS code in order to find the content of your website. Make sure your coding is as streamlined as possible and that your written content about your company shines through. If you’ve had your page for a few years you may want to hire a professional to analyze and refine it. There may be coding errors or excess coding that are invisible to your eye but glaringly obvious to a trained web designer and to search engines. Ensure that your coding is kept up to date and all extraneous coding is deleted.

5: KISS—Keep it simple, stupid. Whether you’re fixing drains or selling cupcake mix, your customers are looking for that particular product. Don’t flood your page with flowery language or metaphors. Keep your copy simple, clean and to the point. It makes it easier for search engines to match you up with buying customers. It also makes life easier for your customers. Clear language tells them exactly what they’re looking for and gives them all the tools they need to decide whether or not they want your product.

6: Tailor your meta tags to each page within your website. Yes, your website may have one overarching goal (to sell a product or service) but you need to reflect what each page on your website is for and why it is important. This makes it easier for search engines to properly chronicle and optimize all of your content, not just the content on your main page.

7: Build up, not out. Submitting your website to every directory and search engine will not give you the results you desire if your page isn’t optimized for their indexing software. Blanketing the search engines and directories just puts your link out there; it doesn’t put it at the top of the list. Don’t submit your site until you optimize your internal content.

8: Optimize your off page presence. Search engines crawl the web looking for links to your site. They interpret a link as a “vote” for your page’s popularity. After optimization, submit your site to search engines and to DMOZ The Open Directory Project at http://www.dmoz.org. Many search engines use DMOZ to crawl for links and there is a strong belief among SEO experts that DMOZ listings can significantly impact your Google listings. You can also put your networking skills to work in your community. Look for other small businesses in your neighbourhood or city with webpages and complimentary products and services. Start a business link partnership where you link to them in exchange for a link back. Use your real life charm and popularity to help build your website’s popularity.

9: Keep your content HTML and CSS based. Flash is, well, flashy and can make a powerful visual statement but it’s impossible for search engines to index. PDFs can be easy to upload and link on a website and while PDF content is becoming more search engine friendly it’s still no rival to HTML and CSS content. Keep your content written. It gives search engines more information about what you do and how you do it. It provides more keywords and also provides proof to search engines that you do provide the service you claim to in your keywords and meta tags.

10: Hire a professional. This is a tricky area. You want to hire an SEO company that shows you exactly what they intend to do for you and who employ a variety of methods to help you refine your site. Never use an SEO company who does not analyze your site and instead relies entirely on off page content. If an SEO company doesn’t want to or know how to optimize your site internally, they are likely just going to blanket your site on all of the search engines and directories which will not significantly improve your web traffic. You want a SEO company that provides a trio of services: On page optimization, on page content optimization and off page optimization. They will go into your site and refine and add tags to your site, optimize your written content and then take your optimized site off page to boost your link value and search engine value. Optimal SEO packages should include all of these elements.

SEO is not an exact science. Instead, it helps you refine and situate your website’s online presence. It makes your site easy for some of the top search engines to find and links you to keywords that help direct buying customers directly to your site. A well organized and search engine optimized page gives you a competitive edge over your contemporaries on the web. Start thinking about your SEO strategies and corner your target market today.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/marketing-tips-articles/

About the Author

Donna Venzi is Business Development Manager at PrestonWhite Companies, a marketing firm dedicated to fostering small business and emerging artists in their local communities. Her background is in customer relations and finance. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Canadian Studies in the Faculty of Communications and Culture from the University of Calgary. She is interested in the future of corporate responsibility and green technology.


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