Search engines are key tools to drive traffic to your site. There is no point having a great web site that nobody knows about! Read on to find out how you can maximize traffic to your site through search engines. Search engines help people find their way around the Internet, period! A search engine like Google can rank web pages based on factors such as keyword density and the quality and numbers of back links to other sites. Search Engine Optimization is nothing but a set of techniques using which you help rank your site higher on a search engine. You have many tools using which you can improve your page rankings.
If you are trying to fine tune your site for SEO, it is crucial for you to be aware of key words that would do the trick. do keep in mind that obvious key words that are searched hundreds of thousands of times in a day would naturally have the big companies gunning for them. As a freelancer you may find it next to impossible to compete using these common key words. On the other hand, key words which are searched maybe a few hundred times in a month are not of any use to you either.
So why not select about twenty key words that get say five hundred hits a month EACH? After you think of a key word, Google it! Verify what other companies are targeting that key word and build your work plan accordingly. Like most applications created by Google, the Methodology interface is extremely simple and easy to learn. It has tons of embedded key words and you can easily find an exhaustive how-to guide on Google.
Google Insights is a pretty advanced tool to help you analyze the current search trends on the Internet. It is a tool which helps you understand what key words are working well in a particular segment. If you take a close look at how Yahoo, Microsoft and Google function, and learn to use the Google Insights tool to help you find the right key words, you are well on your way to increasing your site traffic.
Now that we have the necessary data to start optimizing your web pages for search engines, here come the more interesting stages. SEO is a pretty vast subject, but you may divide it broadly into two sub divisions of On Page Optimization and Off Site Optimization. On Page SEO – This deals with the pages of your site, and it speaks of tagging, articles and other content. In other words you need to make changes to the site as a whole, to optimize it for search engines.
1. Top to Down, Left to Right!
Crawlers, or spider programs tend to view a web site from top to bottom and then from left end to right end. So this is a great point to keep in mind when optimizing the site. You need to place the header and the title on the top left corner of the page and make sure it includes the primary key words. Following the header and title, start with a bit of content for the spiders to get their teeth into! Next, you need to place navigational data on the right side rather than the top or left so as to leave this area free for SEO ‘baits’. have a look at the sources of the pages and this is the order which the spider programs would also follow. Once you have this information, you will have a good idea if the spiders can get a look at your target key words before they bump into anything else.
2. Use Keywords Within A Domain Name
Well, this is basically how any web site is recognized on the web! Keeping that in mind, it is also given the maximum value by the search engines that ‘look’ for web sites on the Internet. since we know this, why not use the most important key words as a part of the site name in itself? Finally, you web hosting service needs to be efficient to ensure that the site is never down, missing out on page views from time to time.
Why not make a conscious effort to get your priorities right on the inner pages of the site? Optimize them in that order for the search engines. For instance, this could be an example of your priority list – 1. Home Page, 2. Page Title Tags, 3. Tags on Images, The First 200 words on each posting, and finally 4. The rest of the content. So now we know that if you use a primary key word on a high priority slot, it has far more chances of being picked up by a crawler. By saying this, we do not mean to imply that you DONT optimize the low priority areas. However, you need to prioritize the high priority areas BEFORE and MORE EFFICIENTLY than the low priority regions. Next you need to make sure you try and improve the key word densities but not to such an extent where the text starts to look obviously tailored. Here is where a good writer can help with SEO.
4. Get A Good Idea of Competing Sites
There is none better to learn from than the competition! Look at the bigger players who have sites in your genre. Try and understand the kind of traffic that they get, their use of kew words, maybe even google the identified key words to see how the site comes up in a search. Is there anything you find which you could use to help rank your own site better? Also try and make a list of sites that are providing back links to your competition. Maybe you could strike a deal with them!
5. Use Key Words Not Just on HTML Tags but ALSO with Images
You would have various HTML tags that work for a site. These could include meta tags, title tags, content tags and such. Now, you will need to ensure that you use all relevant key words as a part of these tags, because the tags are what search engines finally get a close look at when your site turns up on the search engine. Also, do keep in mind that search engines cannot evaluate images, they can only read through text. Practically speaking, this implies that you tag all images with thoughtfully selected key words.
6. The Home Page Links
You need to make sure your home page links to every other page on the web site. The reason is, a user could end up on one of the inner pages of your site, and more often than not, will want to get a look at your home page right away. Don’t make the user navigate from page to page to get a look at the home! It is also good to have a little bit of description on every page of the site, so as not to allow a user to feel lost if he or she enters the site on one of the inner pages.
7. Make a Site Map
This article cannot go into the depths of explaining how Google ranks web pages, that is too vast a topic. However, we could shed a little light by saying this – a crawler program is nothing but a visitor to your site. The easier it is for a user to navigate through the site, the easier it is for the crawler to do the same! And when the spider can navigate through the site effectively, this in turn means the site has a better chance of showing up in a search engine. Use the popularity of the high priority pages on your site, and distribute it to other pages using a site map with links. It is pretty easy to create a site map, you could even Google the term to get some great ideas!
8. Integrate a Robot Text File
This is a file which can guide any spider that visits your web site. It needs to be uploaded to the root folder on the server which hosts the web site. The initial line of the file needs to tell the spider that it can go to any of the sub folders. If you feel that some of the sub folders are not apt for SEO, simply exclude these from the spider’s eye by using the DISALLOW command.
9. Do Away with Irrelevant Content
This one’s easy, or rather it is non technical. At the end of the day your site needs to have meaningful content for your target audience, because it is not key words that they are ultimately looking for, but it is content, content, content! Give the audience useful information, and when you write meaningful text you will find that you automatically end up using relevant key words!