Having been in this industry for many years now I have learned that the internet marketing industry is always changing and it is virtually impossible to know everything about search engine optimization (SEO). Technology is always advancing, search engines are always updating their algorithms and an SEO specialist has to constantly being studying to stay on top of the changes.
One thing that seems to stay constant in this ever changing industry is the basics of site optimization. By basics I am talking about the same things that were part of SEO over four years ago and still are today. These things can be separated into two categories; On-Site Optimization and Off-Site Optimization.
On-site optimization is exactly that, it is the process of optimizing site layout and site content to target specific search terms for improved search engine rankings. This process involves placing targeted search terms in specific places on the pages of the website in order for search engine spiders to crawl and rank the page for those targeted search terms. These places include…
- The page title or title tag
- In the Meta Description tag
- In the Page heading and sub headings using H1, H2, H3 tag
- In the body content of the page
- In Alt attributes of images
- In the Anchor Text of any links that point to that page
From my own experience I have found that when targeted search terms are located in these areas the web page will generally see improved rankings in the searches for the targeted search terms.
On-site optimization also involves making sure the site structure and navigation is search engine friendly. This means that every page on the site is going to be able to be crawled by a search engine spider and be able to be indexed by the search engines. To do this the site needs to keep all pages less than 3 pages deep. So if I was navigating the site I should not have to click more than 2 links to find any page inside the website. Every page should also be able to be reached through an html text link. This is so that spiders can reach every page of the site since spiders cannot always crawl fancy buttons and flash links. On larger websites the use of a sitemap can be very helpful in making sure that all pages can be crawled and indexed by search engine spiders.
Off-site optimization is the process of building up the link popularity of a site by getting other sites to link to it. Inbound links have a big role in how well a site is indexed and how well it ranks in the search engines. Inbound links allow for search engine bots to find the site, index its pages and rank it. Bots use the anchor text of inbound links to help determine what search terms the site should be ranking for. Below, I have listed a few ways to get inbound links…
- Web Directories – Submit to both paid and free directories.
- Reciprocal Links – Exchange links with sites that offer relevant content.
- Articles – Write articles about products or services offered on the website and submit the articles to various article publishing sites on the web. Be sure to include a link to the product or service on your site.
- Press Releases (PR) – Similar to writing articles. Press releases can be submitted to places like PRweb and PRleap. They then can be picked up by other news sites including Google news and Yahoo.
Remember that inbound links should be from sites that contain relevant content. Always look at the quality of the site before exchanging links.