How to Optimize Your Website for Search Engine Use
1. Dedicate some time to writing really great content. The saying goes that you should write for people first and search engines second. This basically means you should be creating really quality pieces that are useful and engaging for humans because the search engines will recognise your efforts. Your readers will share your work generating additional backlinks, not to mention extra traffic, and search engines will recognise your quality piece because it will flow naturally with not too many keywords (something which is penalized in the post Penguin Update world).
- Write content people want to share on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social networks. The search engine will read those social signals as a signal of the quality of your domain. You can accelerate the spread of your content on these sites by having an account on these social networks with lots of followers.
- Consider submitting your content to sites like Reddit, Delicious, Digg and other content aggregators that might gain you a few readers.
- Go back and SEO rewrite some old content. Chances are you know stuff about search engine optimization that you didn’t know last year (not to mention changes in SEO best practices since last year). Re-visit some old content and re-write it with your search engine optimisation hat on, updating image attributes, changing keyword density, adding links to your home page and other relevant content on your site. Even consider republishing as a fresh article for extra brownie points with the search engines!
2 Get links to your pages from other trusted websites.
- Even if you are new to the web, you have natural links you could try to get. All businesses have suppliers whether they be accountants, solicitors or raw material providers. All these suppliers are bound to have a website, contact them to ask for a link back, but do not offer a link in exchange. Link exchanges don’t violate Google’s TOS, but they will now work against you. When building links, always give other site owners a reason to want to link back to you. Perhaps write an article based on a particular client – everyone likes bragging rights and this can gain you additional links without even having to ask. All Google wants to see is links that have an editorial right to be there.
- Look to make use of co-citations (also known as co-occurrence). This is a way to show Google a link or relationship a website might have, based upon the site being mentioned from multiple sources. Generally co-citations do not have a direct hyperlink to a website.
3 Complete all image attributes. Pictures dress up your pages but search engines don’t really know how to deal with them unless you complete all the nitty-gritty details like title, caption, alternate text, description. Be ethical though, don’t use it as an opportunity to cram an extra few keywords onto the page as this will likely have a negative impact on your search engine ranking. Some people search for what they are looking for via Google image search, if your image is highly visible then your potential customers will likely visit your page.
4 Diversify internal anchor text links. There needs to be variations in the text when one creates those blue-highlighted anchor text links. The links on a page are what the search engine spiders follow in determining where they are being led. The text used in the links are used in helping the search engines figure out what the page it leads to is all about.
Incorporate branded keyword terms. Incorporating your branded keywords into your SEO campaign is also important when it comes to link building and anchor text. If you continually use the same non-branded keywords as anchor text links throughout content it appears to the search engines that you are trying to manipulate search results for that term. Instead, you want to keep your anchor text linking natural. A good way to do so is to link to the brand a significant amount of the time, since that’s probably how someone with no SEO knowledge would link back to your website.
6 Take note of word count. Although it’s been a classic rule that “readers online do not read”, it simply doesn’t mean that one has to deprive the online users of good, meaty content. Stick to at least 250 words a page. SEOs know that writing down for an appropriate length of text means being more able to include more related terms for the target keywords. In order to help with the page-browsing experience, consider using large fonts to draw the eye to key headline points. This will make for a page that is broken up well into sections that answer the question the reader is looking for.
7 Avoid duplicate content. The content on your website should be unique from other pages on your site, and from external sites as well. Consider using a tool such as Siteliner to look for duplicate content.