Tuesday, January 21, 2014

15 Ways To Win The SEO Battle

SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” Search Engines use processes to identify content to match a user’s search query. Website owners use SEO in order to be identified by these Search Engines, and so increasing the traffic to their website and potentially escalating sales and profits.
All major search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing have such results, where web pages and other content such as videos or local listings are shown and ranked based on what the search engine considers most relevant to users.

Google

Google is the most popular Search Engine at present, Google logs 2 billion searches a day. However, it has never released full details of its SEO Algorithm (the actual process by which Google searches through websites). Below is a useful You Tube clip of Google’s Webmaster explaining how Google search works:
So, from experience and vast research over the last few years I have compiled a checklist which I use regularly (almost daily at this stage).

SEO Checklist

This SEO checklist includes the most essential checks that one should make before publishing a website online and should be updated regularly. SEO is a constant battle and requires constant monitoring and updating and so this check list will help to focus on the most important aspects.

 Keywords

  • Complete an extensive keyword analysis to find words relevant to the industry/product/niche.
  • Create high quality content which will be searched by search engines.  However, remember that this content must benefit your website’s users in some way. Pointless content dilutes your brand’s message. Ensure that content is added regularly – a blog/latest news section on website would aid this.
  • Add unique titles and descriptions to each page of the website.
  • Add important keywords to page titles, meta-descriptions and the HTML headings (H1-H6) Again remember that these will be seen by users to it is important to write these to entice the users further into your site.
  • Ensure all images on site have a descriptive ALT text included

URLs, Links and SiteMap

  • Include important keywords in URLS
  • Ensure links are SEO friendly. Use dashes as opposed to underscores in URLS
  • Create links from homepage to each page and vice versa.
  • Check that all links work, and bring the user to the correct page. Remove all broken links.
  • Registered domain name should contain relevant keywords if possible
  • Create XML and/or HTML sitemaps. Submit these to search engines and ensure these are updated regularly.

Analytics

  • Ensure Google Analytics account (or other web analytics package) set up and integrated with site by adding the tracking code on all pages of the website. To get full details of how to obtain the tracking code are, click here.
  • Develop a strong Link building Strategy for inbound and outbound links.
  • Monitor competitor websites
  • If using Social Media, make sure these are included on website.
SEO is a cost-effective method to acquire customers. There is no payment to the search engines for being indexed. SEO is useful for generating visitors to your website and so, boosts brand visibility and awareness.
Engaging in SEO forces website owners to have better websites because search engine crawlers recognise errors in code and so correct, valid code is a must, making a better website for search engine crawlers and users alike.
The constant battle of trying to get your website ranking highly in Search Engine results is eased if the basics of SEO are implemented. If your website isn’t search engine optimised, you are missing out!
“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door” ― Milton Berle.

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