Search Engine Optimization Tips

As you might recall, back in July, I started writing a series of search engine optimization tips. I started with search engine optimization tip number one, the title tag. Now, after 24 search engine optimization tips, I thought I would do a quick wrap-up of all of the SEO tips so you can reference what I’ve written about so far.

SEO Checklist As I’ve said before, each one of these SEO tips should not take a long time to fix (or to check to see if you are following the search engine optimization best practices), and will be rather “short and sweet” and directly to the point. Take a look through the list and see if there’s anything that you might have missed.

Check for 404 Errors – You could be missing out on traffic, visitors, and links to your website that you do not know about. View your 404 errors and see which URLs on your website  you need to redirect.

Use the Canonical Tag – If you have a website that is dynamic in nature, you might want to read up on the canonical tag and how it can possibly help you deal with issues like duplicate content on your website.

Links Across Multiple Domain Names – It is important to make sure that you don’t have a lot of links from the same domain name. I recommend trying to get one or two links from one domain name, and spreading out your links across multiple domain names. One link from one web site should be sufficient.

Issue a Press Release – Consider issuing a press release and distributing it not only via press release distribution sites but send it directly to those who you think will be interested in it, including the reporters who have written about you in the past; and don’t forget the bloggers out there.

Link Building Using Coupons – Everyone nowadays is always looking for a deal. Why not issue a few coupons and let people know about those coupons; other websites will link to it.

Redirecting Traffic to Your Site – Pay attention to how your are redirecting traffic to your web site.

Whois on Domain Name – Check the whois listing on the domain names you own; if they’re not correct then make sure they are correct. Sometimes we overlook things like this.

Move JavaScript to External File – Moving code off of your web page and into an external file can help with “code bloat” on your web pages. Focus on putting the content that matters on your web pages.

Linking within Sentences – The search engines are looking for links that make sense, those links that are in the middle of a sentence. It’s better to have a link in a sentence rather than have a link buried in a footer or somewhere where someone won’t see it.

Review Links and Reputation – Review the links to your web site and what others are saying about you and your web site. You might miss a good linking opportunity if you don’t look at what others are saying.

Add a Breadcrumb Trail – Adding a breadcrumb trail on your site is not only a good idea to help your visitors see where they are. It is good for the search engines, and you may be able to include link text that will help rankings.

Adding Content to your Web Site – Add content to your site on a regular basis. Don’t just have a static web site that sits there and doesn’t have new, fresh content.

Fix Duplicate Content – Duplicate content can be a real big issue for some web sites. Google does not like lots of duplicate content. Every page on your web site should be unique.

Remove Unused Meta Tags – There are a lot of meta tags that you just do not need on your web site. I only really recommend that you have a meta description tag on your site and a few others. Remove the meta tags that are not necessary.

Text Surrounding Links – Carefully watch the text that surround the links on your site and the links to your web site. That text is imporant, as it can help the search engines figure out what your site is about and whether or not they will “count” your link or not. Read this tip to learn more.

Keywords in Heading Tags – Heading level tags like the H1, H2, and H3 tags are important to use on your web pages, and it’s important to put your keywords in your heading tags. Just don’t overdo it.

Checking External Links – From time to time it’s important to take a look at who you are linking to. You might have a link on your web site that used to be pointing to a great resource: but it since might have gone away and some domainer bought the domain name and pointed it to a site where you don’t want to link. Check your outgoing links.

Linking Out to other Web Sites – Not only is it important to link to your own internal web pages, it’s important to be a good internet citizen and link out to other trusted web sites. I always try to link out to a trusted source like Wikipedia or another trusted source: directly to a resource on the topic you’re talking about. So, if your page is about search engine optimization, link out to the Wikipedia page about search engine optimization like I just did in this sentence.

Keywords in Alt Tags – Not only will this help your web site be more ADA compliant by helping blind people read your web site, you will help the search engines learn more about the images on your web pages.

Anchor Text of Internal Links – Pay attention to how you are linking to your other web pages on your web site internally. Describe each web page using the appropriate anchor text. The anchor text of the link should match the main keyword(s) in the title tag of the page you’re linking to.

Keywords in your URL – Name your web pages appropriately. If your web page is about search engine optimization, I would expect it to be called “search-engine-optimization.html” or something similar to that. I wouldn’t expect that web page to be named 12363.html.

Linking to your Home Page – Link to the real home page of your web site, this is http://www.yourdomainname.com/ and not http://www.yourdomainname.com/index.html. That’s pretty simple and make sense: I’m amazed at how many web sites do NOT do that.

Meta Keywords Tag – If you use this meta tag on your web page, and you should, then make sure that the keywords you use in that meta tag are used on the web page where that meta tag appears.

Keywords on Your Web Page – Use the keywords on your web page in your copy. If your web page is about SEO, then mention SEO several times on your web page. Don’t just mention it once, mention it more than that. But don’t overdo it.

Meta Description Tag – Always use a unique meta description tag on your web pages. Don’t use the same one, use one that is unique to the web page where it appears. Make sure it is custom-written for that web page. The meta description tag is often used in the search results, especially if they keyword someone searched for appears there.

Title Tag – Probably one of the most important search engine optimization ranking factor, the title tag must contain the keyword that you’re targeting on the web page where it appears. All web pages need a unique title tag.

So, there you have it, an overview/wrapup of all of my search engine optimization tips that I have added to the blog so far. Take a quick look and perhaps bookmark this post as a reference. I certainly have, as I refer back to it quite often when optimizing a web site. I am certainly not done with these tips, so as I add more in the future I will continue to update this web page with the tips. So, stay tuned…

  • Brian

    I found your article very informative. I am now doing a lot of the things you mention to help my site get better rankings. I did some on page seo for 'find a person free' and it did not seem to improve my rankings. It has now been 2 weeks. If you do the things you speak of in your article the proper way how long does it take to get positive results?

  • http://www.diamondonnet.com/ Diamonds

    A pretty good checklist of things to do, I have done a lot of them but still I missed a couple that you mentioned. thanks

  • http://mjcpk.co.uk/blog.html mjcpk

    The thing I like about a list like this is there's always a load of stuff that I know and use and then BAM! one or two little gems pop up that take me off in a whole new direction!

    Thanks,

    mj

  • http://www.bitsnpcs.biz Phil

    Thanks Bill for your great list of seo tips. I have searched all over the web for free seo tips and articles. It's great to find so many and so easily applied optimisations all in one place.

  • http://www.shuiqinframedart.com Orlando Oliveras

    I couldn’t find clear information on what is a bookmark and steps from adding to my site to execute. Please either refer me to the tip, or include.
    Thanks