How to Develop Good On-Site SEO
You may think you already have it sorted – you have a perfectly good website and you’ve done a bit of SEO, so you’re thinking of skipping this section. However, there is always room for improvement, so I want you to go through this section and consider whether you can do more to make your SEO even more effective.
I want to give you some of the essentials of SEO to make sure your website is getting found successfully. Hopefully, you have made some improvements to it along the lines I suggested last month. Now we have to work on the SEO because once you put these measures in place it takes a while for the search engines to trawl through your site and get it indexed etc. Results are not immediate, it can take weeks or months, so get this done now and allow some time for your SEO to work. Next time we will work on making a few more improvements but for now let’s look at the fundamental things you need to do to get your site optimized.
SEO is about optimizing your website so that people can find it using a search term or keyword. If you sell weight lifting equipment, for example, someone might be able to find one of your products by searching for ‘free weights’. If you don’t have ‘free weights’ in your SEO as one of your key words, then that person is unlikely to find you among the millions of websites on the Internet. You can see that SEO is a vital exercise to carry out but it needn’t be complicated or expensive. You can do much of the basics yourself.
The best thing about getting your SEO right is that your site will move up the search engine rankings in response to certain keywords and phrases commonly used to find the products and information you are offering on your site. When you are on the first page of the search results, you will start getting more and more free traffic to your site because people will be actually looking for what you have to offer.
Also, people trust the natural search results far more readily than they do the paid advertising, so you will be building credibility for your business. That in itself will bring you more visitors.
OK, so hopefully you have a good site which is clear and easy to navigate, an appropriate design and full of high quality, relevant content. You should have some images and interactive media that help to promote your marketing message and of course, a prominently placed opt in form on every page. Great – let’s now get to work on your keywords…
The first thing to do is to compile a long list of keywords and phrases which you think prospective customers would use to search for your products and services. Later, you can start bidding for keywords but the main thing is that you have appropriate keywords that will help get your site found. You can use the free tools on Google to help with this but use your own experience of your business and ask your customers and subscribers about the keywords they used to find you.
Once you have a list of good keywords, you have to sprinkle them throughout your web content so that the search engines will find them. However, there is an optimal keyword density of around one keyword per 100 words. Don’t go bonkers putting in keywords for the sake of it because this will create gobbledygook and work against you. Your text has to make sense to your visitors and be in the proper context otherwise it is counter-productive. This should be done on every page of your site – a laborious but necessary process…
As well as incorporating keywords into your content, you have to add them in as meta tags. If you are unsure how to do this, consult the help section of your website builder or ask your website provider.
Search engines will look at the content of your URL to determine how relevant your web pages are. Your URL should describe your business as accurately as possible and it is also a good way to get your website found easily by the search engines – if you have your main keyword in your URL, so much the better. For example if you sell swimming pools, a URL something like swimmingpoolsforsale.com would help you SEO enormously. If you don’t have a good URL currently, you can always buy new domains that point to your website. Go Daddy: www.godaddy.com is a good place to get domains.
Search engines and visitors will look at your page titles first, so it is a good idea to have your best keywords here. Page titles provide a first impression of your business, so they should describe what it is all about.
Headings and sub-headings
If you have a lot of content on your site, you should break it up into sections with headings and sub-headings. People are put off by long passages of text. Another important reason to pay attention to headings is that they are picked up by the search engines in relation to what your content is about. You should include your main keywords in your headings both for search engines and visitors, so they can pick out the important elements they are searching for on your site. The priority should be to your visitors.
Most websites have pretty poor content – badly written, full of grammatical errors and poor quality information. Make your content amazing and you will stand out from the crowd. Not only will you get your visitors to stay and come back regularly, but good content is also important for SEO. You should improve and add to your content on a regular basis and don’t forget to add in new keywords.
Your internal links are important, not just to make navigation easier for your visitors but because the search engines use them to index your site appropriately. You should have plenty of text links between pages within your site and links to all pages along the bottom of each page. Update these as you update your site. You can also have text links to other pages of your site within your content. Don’t forget that if you have links to external sites, you should make sure they open in a new window or you risk losing your visitors!
You can make a huge difference to the ranking of your site if you have good quality inbound links from high ranking sites. The days of link farming are over as search engines are on to this and you will be penalized. You should focus your energy on getting links from relevant and highly ranked sites as this not only helps with SEO but will act as a form of recommendation. It could increase your targeted traffic considerably. The best way to get these links is to ask the site owners directly for reciprocal links but you can also write articles for high ranking sites, write guest blogs, write your own WordPress blog (WordPress ranks highly) and post on the social media sites. Press releases in online magazines, journals and newspapers can also provide good quality inbound links.
There are plenty more ways to improve your SEO and we will cover some of them in the coming modules but for now, these are the essential things you should be doing to get your site ranked higher. Don’t forget to submit your site (I assume you have already done this) and get yourself listed on some of the better quality directories – most are not worth the effort but there are some good relevant ones out there that will be effective for your business. DMOZ, The Open Directory Project, is especially good since it is highly valued and highly ranked. It uses real humans to check each site listed and can take a long time to bring results but if you can get listed on here, it’s worth it. Go to www.dmoz.org
Even if you have all this already in place, there is still room for improvement. Update and improve your content regularly, attend to your keywords and work on getting more good quality inbound links and you should start seeing more traffic.