It takes more than wishful thinking in order to land one of your pages in the top 10 of Google, but once you understand the criteria of what is involved, you can increase the likelihood for each of your pages if you start with the goal in mind.
These are just a few examples of clearly defined on page SEO principles that produce top 10 results.The first component to ranking in the top 10 results in major search engines is:
Meta Tag Optimization
Don’t stuff your keywords in the meta tags, keep your title on topic and short and sweet always works better than trying to cover everything under the sun in one long / truncated title. There is nothing more unattractive than words getting cut off in mid sentence or even worse yet the dreaded pipes | keyword stuffing | stuffing even more | even more ridiculous keyword stuffing. No name calling here, but if you are using still using this technique for SEO, it’s time to cut the mullet and move into 2007 where things have changed a bit.
Your description should be concise and try to use actual search terms in your description (something most Seo companies won’t divulge). Any SEO company worth their salt knows that if you want to rank for a specific term, having the exact form of that key phrase in your title and description increases your ranking potential for that term. Keep the keywords with a higher priority closer to the front of the sentence and try not to go over 250 characters. This keeps your pages focused as well as makes each of the words more potent for ranking. The more words you use, the less potent they become. So once again, the short and sweet version works wonders for a two-fold purpose (1) the visitor, because it indicates to them what they can expect once they arrive and (2) the web bots and search engine spiders, who place a great deal of emphasis on the in title or in description data.
Optimizing your Hyper links
First of all a hyper link for those who are unfamiliar with the term is a fancy way to say link that includes the URL (universal resource locater) otherwise known as website or web address inside. Links can be used for internal purposes (within your site otherwise known as navigation i.e. link architecture) or for external purposes such as linking to another website you enjoy or endorse. If the links are leaving you website and going to another site they are considered forward links or if your website receives a link from another site they are called backlinks. In either capacity the way that the strength of a link is assessed is from the anchor text or text comprising the link states. So, instead of using click here for a forward link an optimized version of that would contain a keyword which carries tremendous weight in search engines when referencing what the topic of the page the link leads to, as well as add addition ranking potential to the page that the link is located on.
Hyperlink optimization plays a major role in SEO and after reading the entire series, you will know how to put these elements together to improve the rankings on each of your respective pages.
Optimization of Alt Tags | Alternative Text Tags
Since web bots and spiders can’t parse the data in an image or flash to determine what the image is, Alt tags allow webmasters to create a clear description of what the contents of the image are. If you have an image showcasing your company headquarters an ideal way to utilize the alt tag from this image would be “company name headquarters, city, state”. This way you could obtain the maximum value for this image as a contributing factor to your overall rankings with regional references as well as using the company name to reinforce your brand.
In the past, this was one of the most abused forms or search engine optimization and fell more along the lines of search engine manipulation. Companies would stuff every keyword possible in the alt tags in over inflate relevance for their keywords instead of simply creating content with value. Filters have been added to search engines to eliminate websites utilizing such tactics, but you would be surprised to note how many webmasters still use this technique. Fortunate for us and unfortunately for them, it nearly results in penalties in rankings every time pushing them lower on the totem pole for achieving top 10 rankings if even top 100 results.
Optimization of your Website Content
Optimization of your website copy otherwise known as content or words is the most important factor for ranking. Without going into too much detail, it is safe to say that the higher quality of content your pages have, the better they rank in search engines.
The reason is simple, think of the web spider as your friendly neighborhood reporter who is always looking to be the Johny on the spot to report the latest and greatest headlines to the web at large. These programs are more than just reporters, they have been designed to emulate human behavior and crawl through your pages much like a real human would. They follow links, take notes and even more so, if they like your content they come around more often to see if you have refreshed your data.
Knowing this it is important to write your pages for humans, since they actually pay the bills, but also to understand that you can create compelling text for the search engines to index as well. This is accomplished through word density, which is another fancy pants way of saying how many times a word appears on a page, and how close it is to other keywords that you have outlined as important within the document (using your links, titles and descriptions).
To add even more emphasis to a group of words for on page optimization, you can employ the header tags h1, h2, h3, and so on to reference the priority for those phrases or keywords on your pages. We explore specific uses of header tags at a later time, but the purpose for now is just to provide an overview of the basic elements involved in SEO Web Design.
Content truly is king, so the best way to grab the attention of the Google bot is to write world class content and sprinkle in optimization tactics for optimal effectiveness.
Site maps – What they are and how to use them.
A site map is essentially an index of the pages comprising your website. There are two different types of sitemaps;
(1) An HTML site map that is used for human visitors to find relevant pages and (2) an XML sitemap that is designed for spiders to connect the dots and find your entire website when it is performing it’s indexing to create a snapshot of the contents.
An HTML site map is nothing more than the link to your page with a brief description following it. This alone can affect where and how your page is ranked in the grand scheme of things. An xml site map on the other hand is something which is placed at the server level that spiders and web bots access (much like your robots.txt file) when looking for data to report back to the web.
Each and every one of the elements outlined above are inherent in our SEO packages and is part and parcel to the optimization process. I think that about wraps it up for this overview of the basics behind the fundamentals of SEO Web Design.