SEO Tips - improve Google ranking of your website

Search Engine Optimization activities can be divided into two sets of ongoing processes: on-site optimization (ways of building and improving your website) and off-site optimization (outside factors, such as links from other websites). These techniques may be further divided into “good” SEO, that is accepted by the search engines, also known as “White Hat SEO Practices”, and the bad, techniques, such as spam, link farming, etc., that can get your website penalized or even banned from search engines like Google or Yahoo.

Here are some of my tips for working your site’s SEO:

On-Site Optimization

  • Choosing the right domain name

One of the first choices that you have to make when starting your website is the choice of your domain name. This is important because Google and other search engines look at your domain name when determining the relevancy of the search engine results page (SERP). It is therefore beneficial to have the keywords that you are targeting present in your domain name.

  • Title

tag) should be descriptive and relevant to the content of your website. It is beneficial to include some of the targeted keywords and/or keyphrases in the title of your site. Also, be sure to have unique titles for every each one of your sub-pages, as it is more descriptive and increases the amount of keywords that you can use.Title of your web page (specified with the use of the

  • Keyword density

When writing content for your website, try to include all your keywords within the body of your pages. That way, when a search engine bot (crawler) indexes your website, it sees the keyphrases included in your copy, and thus can determine the relevancy of your website for a given search querry.

  • Header tags

Divide the content of your site into certain parts and begin each with a relevant (keyword-rich) description bound by the header tags (h1, h2, h3, etc.).

  • Links

Make sure that your site does not have any broken links, for it is frowned upon by the search engines. The anchor text (name that your link is displayed as) should be relevant, and keyword rich. If certain keywords are more important to you, you may increased their value in the eyes of search engines by using one of the bold and strong tags or putting them as a header.

  • File names

Make sure that the file names of your web pages contain the targeted keywords. For example instead of calling your gallery page gallery.html, call it fast-cars-photogallery.html (for a gallery of sports cars). Remember not to go overboard with sticking too many keywords into one file name, because it may appear too spamy to search engines.

  • Image alternative text.

Remember to include the alternative text for all your images (ex: ”Picture). Alt text is important for a variety of reasons: it helps visually disabled people to read your website, helps when somebody is using text only web browser, it is standards compliant, and of course it is yet another place to put some more keywords.

  • Meta Data: description, keywords

In your html code, be sure to put adequate, not too long, not too short description of your website and the list of your keywords.

  • Url rewriting

Remember that you can manipulate your urls and make them more search engine friendly with such tools as .htaccess on an Apache server or the IIS on a Microsoft platform.

  • W3C compliant syntax

Make sure that the html you are coding is compliant with the standards set by the World Wide Web Consortium. You can check your site at validator.w3.org. Some people believe that having valid html helps with your SERP, some think otherwise. In my opinion it is a good prudent and proactive step to take; it won’t hurt, but it may help. I myself, try to always use valid strict xhtml (specified in the doctype statement in the top part of your code).

Off-Site Optimization

  • Link building - you can submit your link for free to many websites such as:
  • Yahoo & Google Locals

At these sites you can submit your business listing, and not only get a valuable link from an important, high PR site, but also increase your brand awareness and potentially land some business deals.

  • Directories (DMOZ, Yahoo Directories (paid listing), etc.)

There is an abundance of online directories floating on the internet. Some of them are free such as DMOZ (very hard to get listed, but extremely beneficial to your SEO and eMarketing efforts), some offer paid inclusion (Yahoo directories, I think annual fee of $290), and some offer you a listing in exchange for a link back to their site. Be careful with linking to those directories because some might be treated as link-farms and will get you penalized by the search engines. If linking to a directory, find out if it is a legitimate website first. Also, try linking only to those sites that are related to yours in some way.

  • Video sharing (Youtube.com, Google Videos, etc.)

If you have some skills at shooting interesting videos or making video tutorials (such as a SEO tutorial or a witty Photoshop technique tutorial) you can post them on a variety of video-sharing networks, and put a link to your website in the description of your input.

  • Social Networking (MySpace.com, Facebook.com, etc.)

Social networking sites are a great way to show of your business along with your website to the world. A profile on MySpace or Facebook can gain you new clients, help to stay in touch with existing ones, develop business relations with other companies, and be a source of links and traffic to your website.

  • Blogs (blogger.com, wordpress.com, etc.)

Blogs, similarly to social networking sites, are a good way of sharing information about your business/website with the world. By writing relevant content, you can gain links and exposure

  • Message boards, forums
  • Digg.com
  • Wikipedia.org
  • Google Pages
  • Link Exchange
  • Email Marketing/Newsletter

A company online newsletter can keep your visitors updated and in touch with your website. Marketing emails can also attract possible clients for your business. If you decide to engage in an email marketing campaign, keep one thing in mind: “Don’t SPAM!”

I will be posting new techniques and tips for search engine optimization, as well as discussing the ones contained in this article in more detail, so stay tuned!

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