Staying up-to-date on the latest online developments is extremely important if you want your business to do well. The fundamentals of search engine optimization don’t change often (although the panda update requires more relevant content). These tried and true rules can help you be extremely successful online.
If you address each of the following eight elements when new content is added to your site, your search positioning will consistently improve along with the quality of visitors coming to your site. You don’t just want traffic, you want relevant traffic that is looking to buy.
1. Page Title
Your page title is one of the first things the search engine spiders view (the page title for this page is 8 Key Elements to Get to the Top of Google). This title tells the search engines what your page is about. You should not simply repeat the keywords over and over in this title. You should limit this title to eight to ten words and it should make sense to the visitor. Don’t just write anything for the spiders – this will lead to a bad user experience and a non-return visitor.
The URL that displays in the address bar of your browser should contain the keyword focus of the page. The best way to include keywords is to separate them with hyphens (-). If this doesn’t happen, search engine spiders will view all the words as one big word.
3. Meta Data – Keywords & Description
The meta keywords and meta description are not given as much importance by the search engines as they used to, but you should still take the time to include your keywords for each individual page. Make sure the description makes sense and contains at least one use of the keyword phrase you are focusing on. Also include your keyword phrase in the meta keywords but don’t repeat over and over; limit your meta keywords to 8-10 keywords, no more than 847 characters total. Description should be limited to no more than 150 characters.
4. Headings & Sub Headings
Headings and sub headings are very similar to chapters of a book. They describe what the reader should expect in the coming pages. With your website you should use H1 tags with your keyword of focus on the page. If there are multiple related keywords of focus for that page, you can use additional H2, H3, and H4 tags as sub headings. Remember, your visitors will be reading these headings so they need to make sense while still including your keywords.
5. Text Based Navigation
Avoid calling a link or photo articles. Why? What kind of articles are they going to be? How about Web marketing articles? Do you have any question as to what the page is going to be about? You know it’s going to be about Web marketing articles, and even better, so will the search engines!
6. Alt Text For Images
Search engines cannot read images, but they can read the alternative text in your images. If you add this, the spiders will know what your image is about. If you include the keywords you are focusing on as alternative text for your images, you’ll let the spiders know what relevance the image has. It will be one more instance of proper keyword usage and be that much easier for search engines to find your content. Many companies skip this, so pay attention and you’ll be further ahead of your competition.
7. Body Copy
When writing the copy for your page it’s important to include keywords in the body. Each page of your website should contain between 250 and 600 words. You should include your keyword phrase at least four to five times. Your objective should be to create an excellent user experience and provide value to your visitor, so you don’t have to insert it that often unless it truly makes sense.
8. Build Links
The phrase from the movie Field of Dreams, “Build it and they will come,” unfortunately doesn’t apply to the Web. Once your site is built and you have all the elements above, generate awareness and gain inbound links. Search engines look at these inbound links as “votes of confidence” for your site. If those links are coming from sites which have high page rank, they will be viewed as highly credible “votes” by the search engine algorithms and you should see an increase in your position.
If you use these eight steps as a template when creating each page on your website, you should rapidly move up through the ranks of search results and quality of traffic will soar. This will lead to higher conversion rates and increases in your online revenue.