Anybody who has their own website or is involved in business online should understand the importance of SEO or search engine optimization. Higher rankings equal more traffic. More traffic equals more potential sales. Simple, eh? Or is it?
The problem here is that most people think search engine optimization is like magic and that only search engine “gurus” have all the answers.
Forunately, for you, this is far from true. In fact search engine optimization is relatively easy. What stops most people from ranking well in the search engines is misinformation and the promise of quick fixes. Every week there’s a new tool or ebook that promises to solve all your search engine woes. There are no quick fixes folks. Accept that as a truth and move forward.
What follows in the next two articles is a 10 step program for improving your online presence and search engine rankings. Enjoy!
Keywords should be the first step in your search engine optimization campaign. People put keywords or phrases into search engines looking for information. The search engines then check their index for pages that contain these keywords. Unless your pages contain keywords relevant to your business or service then do not expect search engines to rank you well. It’s that simple.
For example if you have a website about dating then you’ll find it very difficult to rank well for the keyword “dating” because so many other sites are competing for it. However if you were to target a specific area like “Christian” or “Over 50” dating then you’re dealing with a smaller, more targetted market. You could even regionalize it by targetting “Over 50 dating in Toronto”. See where we’re going with this?
So what keywords tools are available to you? Describing each of them goes beyond the scope of this article so please refer to our site for more information on this topic.
Make this your motto – Provide Useful Content. DO NOT provide keyword stuffed, spammy, automatically generated pages. Write something useful for your visitors based on keywords which are relevant to your business or service.
Ask yourself one question – do you want your website to last? Yes? Great then provide content that’s actually useful to your visitors. Not only should you provide the initial content but keep adding content to your site. A page a week, a page a month it doesn’t matter. Give your visitors a reason to come back to your website.
You can’t write? Yes you can! Most people just think they can’t write. Most of us send emails every day to friends, colleagues and loved ones. If you can compose an email like that then you’re perfectly capable of writing 200 – 300 words of text for a page of content. The mere thought of writing a page of website content can fill people with terror but if you need help on this please refer to our website for a list of resources.
This is how often your keyword is used on the the page. For example if you have 100 words of text on a single page and you mention your keyword 5 times then your keyword density is 5%.
So what’s the ideal keyword density? Do yourself a favour and don’t focus on keyword density at all. The forums are full of “experts” with theories on the perfect keyword density percentage. Here’s a wake up call – there is no perfect keyword density.
Mention your keyword towards the top of your page within the body text, in the page title and in the Meta Description tag. Apart from that only ever use the keyword or keywords within the page itself as is contextually appropriate. Forcing a keyword into a page over and over again is going to produce a webpage that’s difficult to read and sounds silly.
You have two choices when choosing a domain name. You can use a branded name that doesn’t relate to your business e.g. Amazon.com have built a hugely successful brand name as an online retailer using the name of a South American river for their company. It just works for some reason.
Your other choice is to use a keyword rich domain name. What this means is that if your website is about baby clothes you’d use a domain name like www.baby-clothes-guide.com. Should you really use hyphens to separate the keywords in the domain? The simple answer is yes because a search engine can read each individual keyword in the domain.
If you were to use www.babyclothesguide.com the major search engines can only read the first word from it which is “baby”. Therefore it has no idea that the domain is specifically about baby clothes (targetted) and not just about baby (untargetted).
We will continue with more tips in Part Two
By Niall Roche