21 Feb SEO: 12 Things To Do
Content is the key. Search engines love fresh, quality content, because that’s what the users want – new content every day and every hour. When your site content changes often – search engine crawlers come back more often as well. By generating fresh, new content you raise the chances of your website pages being found.
Once your content is generated, the following steps can help find your site more often by new visitors:
- Google Sitemaps can help you to see how Google sees your site, when it was last updated, whether you have any problems on your site, etc. Providing a sitemap for your visitors is also important because if they don’t find what they are looking for using the search box, they can scan down the site map as an alternate search tool.
- Blogging: Getting involved in communities relevant to the content of your site. By Visiting their forums and mailing lists, and helping other people by answering their questions, you can post links to your site if they contain information relevant to your replies. Usually you are allowed to have a signature, where you can link to your site. Be aware though that more and more sites are implementing a new link attribute rel=”nofollow”, which tells Google (MSN, Yahoo and other sites) to not count those links to your site’s ranking credit. This is to avoid comment spam.
- Meta entries for keywords and description should be included in the document head. Though it’s been said that the keywords meta entry has little or no weight with Google, it is still useful with other search engines. You should also make sure that the title of the document includes the most important keywords and phrases, as Google gives a heavy weight to those. These keywords need to be included in the H1 and H2 header entries, and also once in bold, once in italic and if possible in the URL.
- Spell check: Google doesn’t like when misspelled words are used, as it tries to auto-correct search words. Some sites use misspelled words to get more traffic to their site. e.g., “hign paying keywords” instead of “high paying keywords”
- Publish articles on other sites relevant to your expertise. Making sure that those articles link back to your site. However you should be somewhat weary about submitting your articles to other sites, since then there is a duplication problem and a chance that a search engine would penalise duplicated content sites. Hopefully these search engines somehow know where the content has appeared first, however, rather than take chances, submitting unique articles would be a safe strategy.
- Keywords: More often than not other sites will be using the same keywords to optimise their site. Rather than optimising your site for the same keywords, try to find less competitive keywords and optimise some of your pages for those keywords
- Learn from your competitors: Do a Google search for the competing keywords, and select the first few sites with high page rank and analyse those sites heavily. Compare the sites to your site and what they have done differently. Granted the site might be just very popular and linked from many other sites, but more often than not their content can give you an idea on how to better your own content. You can find out which sites link to that site by searching Google for link:yoursite.com and you may want to try to get your site listed on those sites.
- Individual Page Rank: Since it’s not enough to have a high ranking for your front page (Google gives different page ranks to different pages), once your site is established you should try to get other sites to link to other sections of your site as well. For example if you have a big site and you can identify segments which are different from each, try to raise a page rank for the sub-directories corresponding to those sections.
- Crosslinking: Have each page linking to several other pages on your site. This should be especially helpful for balancing the page ranking across different pages of your site, and help navigate your visitors other pages and content on your site.
- Outbound Links: Try to include a few outbound links to high quality/ traffic sites within your site. This indicates a quality connection between your content and others sites that Google already considers to be a quality site. When linking to those sites, try to include the important keywords in those links.
- Log Files: Analyse your Google log files and see who refers to you the most. Try to find more similar sites. The referral information also reveals the keywords used to find your site. Pay particular attention to these as more often than not you will find new keywords that you haven’t thought of when targeting your site. By using the newly discovered keywords you can create more content that targets the unexpected traffic even better.