It’s been a while since I posted a blog entry. So, I figured it should be a good one! There’s no doubt about it, without search engine optimization (SEO), your website will quickly be left in the wake of others as they fly through the SERP’s (Search Engine Results Pages).
Put simply, you NEED SEO to be found on search engines.
This blog entry will focus on what you can do immediately to your website for on-page optimization. Obviously, a killer social media game is also critical.
First, take a look at this chart taken from SEOMoz.org
The first thing that pops out is that over 23% of your Google Ranking is given to the trust or authority of any linking domain. In other words, the “trust” of the sites linking to YOU are the most important for determining your Google rank. You can go to alexa.com and see the top 500 sites. Get a link from 1 or more of those sites, and you’re on your way to high page rank!
Moving on, you can see that 15% goes to on-page optimization…
Your website “title” tags are crucial to get indexed. However, if the website content doesn’t match on that specific page, you’re gonna get dinged. Remember, there is no exact science here (and if anybody tells you otherwise, fire them). But, you really need to use some common sense. If your website title has “Chicago Web Design” in the title, there needs to be a reference to it in the body of your website.
Let’s talk about meta tags a little. There was a time where the “keyword” tag was being abused and a phrase was coined: keyword stuffing. Believe it or not, people were putting any popular keyphrase even if it wasn’t relevant to the website. At one time Google used this meta tag to rank your website. These days, it’s more of a cross reference to your content again. Noticing a pattern yet? Content is king.
A couple meta tags that are still highly relevant are the “description” and “robots” tags.
<meta name="description" content="A description of the page" /><meta name="robots" content="index,follow" />
Google will use the description tag only in some situations where they fit. No one knows what those situation are. Just make sure you add them to each page if you’re in doubt. The robots meta tag is used to let the web crawlers know whether or not to index your web page. See this blog post for more info. Btw, all these meta tags go in between the “head” tags of your website.
The next thing is URL structure. We all should know what a URL (uniform resource locator) is by now. If not, http://zadroweb.com is an example of one. But, the structure comes into play after the .com in any URL or website address. Take a look at the URL of this blog post. See how it relates to the article? Again, it needs to relate to the website content. If the URL was http://www.domain.com/blog?id=12345, that wouldn’t be good. Also, if you have domains like http://www.domain.com/index1.html, those will not get crawled properly.
Internal linking is increasingly becoming more important. These links are commonly referred to as “anchor text”. The internal anchor text of your site helps the search engines determine if the..wait for it…CONTENT is relevant. Basically, throughout the body of your website content, make some of those links to other pages in your site. The anchor text should be any keyphrase that you would like search engines to pick up on.
I hope this helps with some basic on-page tips. The rules change slightly for each search engine, but this should cover the basics. Again, a great social media game is a must. If you would like a FREE evaluation of your site, click the contact button and reach out.