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November 4, 2010

Getting Your Site’s SEO Right

SEO2

You simply must get the SEO part right. Mainly because proper SEO (Search Engine Optimization) will increase your chances of obtaining those all important top rankings in the search engines. Besides, a well optimized site or page, will go a long way in weathering any abrupt changes on the web.

Google Instant is a perfect example of how things can change overnight. While it didn’t change SEO per se, it did change how people use Google and how the results are shown. Searchers don’t get the same chance to type in their long-tail keyword phrases because they are constantly and instantly being bombarded by suggested links… so much so that getting those top positions for shorter root keywords has gotten more important and this has increased everyone’s competition because those popular shorter keywords have always been the most competitive.

Probably every webmaster or online marketer knows that in order to get top rankings in the search engines you have to have quality one-way backlinks from other high ranked keyword-related sites. This will more than likely be the main determining ranking factor for most search engines, especially the all important Google. You simply need good quality one-way links and plenty of them to rank high.

However, there are many more SEO factors which come into play, especially if you’re in a very competitive niche and targeting highly cherished lucrative keyword phrases which bring in the big bucks. Then in these competitive situations, you must get all your SEO ducks lined up proper, if you want to be a player.

Some of these SEO factors may be minor but in very tight keyword races, it could possibly mean you get ranked above your competitor. Believe me, for some very lucrative keywords, just moving up a few notches can make a significant difference in your traffic and sales. The number one spot is what you’re aiming for, but even landing or moving up to the top five positions can make a big difference.

But you probably already know the significance of getting top rankings for your site and marketing. It can simply make or break your online endeavors. So here are some SEO on-page or on-site factors which you should have in place if you truly want to compete in the ranking wars.

1. Place your main keyword phrase in your Domain Name and over time you will see higher rankings for that phrase and keywords related to it. With Google going to Instant Search, I believe you will see these keyworded domains playing a much greater role in what is listed first. You still have to get those quality back-links, but having a good keyworded domain will be half your battle.

2. Place your keyword phrase in the URL for your webpage. Place it in the title, description and in the H1 tags on your page. Also place this keyword phrase and variations of it throughout your page, including at the very bottom. As for keyword density, try to keep it under 6%, this is the limit that Ezinearticles puts on their contributed content, go above this percentage and they won’t take it. I usually aim for around 2% to 4% but don’t get too hung-up on this issue, just write helpful easy-to-read
content for your visitors.

3. Place related keyworded interior links on your page. That is, keep all your content and links keyword-related to one another. This makes it easy for the search engines to index your pages and content. I like building keyword-related traffic hubs or sections on my sites, for example I could have a whole sub-directory just on all the “affiliate marketing” info pages on my site. These would be all linked together and back to the homepage.

4. Make sure you have an XML Sitemap which the search engines can use to quickly index your new pages. I also like adding an HTML sitemap which goes into more detail and lists all the pages and their content. This is not only for the search engines but to help your visitors more easily navigate your site; never leave a visitor stranded.

5. Make sure all your pages load quickly. Reduce any large images that you have and break content/articles up into different pages to reduce load times.

6. Make sure your site handles 404 mistakes and your visitors are directed to your sitemap or another page on your site. If you don’t know how to correct this problem, just do a Google search for “how to set up a custom 404 file not found page” or contact your web host support to fix this issue.

7. Don’t have duplicate content on your site. Do a proper 301 redirect for the www and non-www versions of your site, since this may fool some of the search engines into believing you have two versions of your site, one with www and one without the www in the URL. For Apache servers I simply place this bit of code in the .htaccess file on my server.

Code example from non-www to www:

RewriteEngine On

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\.example\.com$ [NC] RewriteRule.? http://www.example.com%{REQUEST_URI} [R=301,L]

8. Link out to other high quality keyword related sites. I don’t believe webmasters use this very much, but linking out to high quality sites have helped my rankings. Search engines, especially Google, want to see you’re connected to quality content and besides, pleasing your visitor is what it’s really all about.

9. Keep all your interior site navigation as simple as possible. Make it extremely easy for your visitors to find their way around your site. I usually don’t have any pages more than three clicks away from my homepage. All main categories or sub-categories of my site are not only listed on my home/index page but also on every page of my site. Again, never leave your visitors or the search engines stranded.

10. Don’t know if this is a ranking factor or not, but I like placing my YouTube videos on my content pages. Sure you will lose some visitors to YouTube, but it also connects your content with this very popular site which is owned by Google. We all know Google says it doesn’t promote its own interests, but what publicly traded company doesn’t? In that same light, I like using many Google products such as Google Analytics, Google URL Shortener, Google Profiles… and the list goes on. Completely inter-connecting all your pages and content with the countless Google programs will ensure your content won’t be missed.

There are probably many more on-page factors but these are the major ones which you should have on your site and done properly. If you want to check the SEO quality of your site or page, here is a handy site which will check some common SEO factors: www.pearanalytics.com and for checking out your keyword density try this one: www.webuildpages.com/seo-tools/keyword-density/


The author is a full time online affiliate marketer who operates numerous niche sites, as well as two sites on Internet Marketing: internet marketing tools or try here free marketing courses Titus Hoskins Copyright 2010. This article may be freely distributed if this resource box stays attached.

3 Responses to “Getting Your Site’s SEO Right

    avatar Terry Dunn says:

    I think Titus is right; you cannot ignore SEO. There is, however, a lot of conflicting information. This is why I like this article. It’s 10 simple and straightforward tips.

    Terry

    Great Info! But I’m having some trouble trying to load your blog. :)

    […] Getting Your Site’s SEO Right Cancel reply […]

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