Article by George Grenaldonousy
SEO has never been and will never be rocket science if you really want to learn about it because there are no rules written in stone, if you have a desire to learn SEO simply read all you can from good and reliable sources that you can find, why not start with Matt Cutts.
Matt Cutts works for the biggest Search Quality group, Google, specializing in search engine optimization issues and if anyone knows what Google is looking for, it should be Matt. But for this exercise you just want to familiarise your self with the do’s and don’ts and Matt’s suggestions will help you, there are other big names out there that can also guide you through.
Lets say for a moment you’ve already pass the beginners stage and you’re a little more advance in SEO, there are little things you can learn everyday by simply studying the sites you want to compete against and that involve looking at their source code structure. (Right Click Your Mouse on the Page intended – Then View Source Code)
Although this is elementary now, I first notice (strong) instead of (b) by looking at someone’s web page source code and I had no clue what the difference was, do you? Well they both make the font heavier in the same format but (strong) suggest an emphasis as opposed to making the font bold and is mostly used for SEO purposes.
Now its also a good idea to look at those sites that rank high for very competitive key phrases, take a look at how many titles they use (h1, h2, h3, h4) take a look at alt tags, are they using sentences or just keywords, how about descriptions, are they following the recommended amount of characters, are they even using the keyword meta tags anymore.
I remember a while back I read an article that spoke about clean HTML and that having errors could damage your efforts of achieving better search results, well how funny that was because I started looking at all my competitor sites to see if they validated.
Low and behold the site that had the highest ranking in my niche had the most errors and warnings, that does not mean that you should not aim to have a clean site but it shows that there are just so many things you can do to get your site to the top.
Before I start laying out a plan of action so that you can follow if you want to, let me just touch on this little subject here, maybe you’re not aware but every ranking depends on the niche you’re trying to rank in. So what do I mean by this.
Many so called SEO experts will tell you that you need to research keywords and find the ones that are not as competitive as others so that you can rank high for that keyword, I don’t disagree but let me tell you this, I am currently working in a niche that has phrases with less than a million sites competing for most or the phrases and yet it’s the most difficult niche I have ever worked in.
I mentioned this that in your quest for high rankings you should take everything into consideration, there should be no short cuts whatsoever and it is true that you should research your keywords to find the ones that are less used and offer really good potential to bring lots traffic to your site.
OK, let’s start with my list of things to do, if you’re new or a little advance in SEO its for you:
1) Get a domain name with your keyword in it if possible
2) Use a minimum of 5 keywords on your site but focus on the three most important
3) Place as many keywords in title without it looking like spam
a. It must make sense
4) Place all keywords in description
a. All 5 keywords that reads as a sentence, most not look like spam
5) Place keywords in alt tags
a. Even sentences are good but not too many must not look like spam
6) Use (h1, h2, h3) on your page, use h1 once
7) Use original content at all cost
8) Link to every page from every page
a. You can place up to 100 links per page if more use sitemap on each page
9) Make sure your site has no broken links
10) Check page loading time to improve rankings
a. Too many images will slow down your page
11) Use Google webmaster tools to check the progress, also use Google analytics for detail info
12) Build site using CSS
13) Do not change content too often and too quickly on a new site
a. Set it and wait especially if you’re in the sandbox
14) Make sure you stick to the theme of the site
a. If it’s about travel keep pages travel related until the site becomes established
15) Minimise errors and warnings on pages where possible
This is it, my list of 15 things you can do with your site and there are lots of other things including 301, 401 and .htaccess codes that are very important, but you would have to understand how these work to implement them, once you do they are easy to implement.
Here is one more area I think you should be aware of and that is the support you give to your site’s most prominent keyword, lets assume you’ve targeted 5 keywords as suggested and you notice that one of them is doing a lot better than the others, this is where you should start your backlink drive, on that particular keyword. (Support Your Site, Help It Grow)
Also, when you write your content, place a keyword or two within the first 150-155 of the first sentence in each paragraph and end it with a comma all full stop, you will notice that if done properly that sentence will become the description used by Google when a search is queried for the keywords within that first 150-155 characters.
Graphics vs Content, I recently wrote an article about it where I made the comparison that a well designed page with eye catching images converts better than a page which is heavy laden with content, especially with fonts that don’t make for good reading but the jury is still out on this.
Personally, I love sites that let me admire the effort while I read along and that’s just my preference, a picture can say a thousand words and while I am focusing on the content, a well designed page just makes it easier to read through.
I hope I have given you a few ideas to implement in your SEO effort and while I’m not an expert, I have been practising for a few years now with really good success. Thanks