Web Search Optimization 2010
July 3, 2010 3 Comments
Want to be Number 1 on Google, Bing, Yahoo? Then you will need to know something about Search Engine Optimization (or Optimisation), otherwise known as SEO. In this day and age there are all sorts of ways to be found by potential customers. Probably the most important as we keep moving on is your online presence. Search engine optimization (or Optimisation) is the process of making your website easily readable and more importantly rank-able by web search sites. Previously all you needed to do was to make the site relevant and have good content and you would be fairly well ranked, now there is the issue of browser type, device and increased restrictions that will slow your progress.There are realistically two types of search optimization; organic and in-organic. Organic optimization refers to a site that is created for the user, has relevant content, is well-developed with no page errors and is easily read and ranked by page crawlers. In-organic optimization is the utilization of a variety of methods that increase your rank for a particular word or phrase. The problem with in-organic optimization is that if you get caught you get de-listed and also the search sites are becoming very good at filtering out these processes so you don’t get found. The other problem is that sites that use these in-organic methods generally are not very user-friendly, or have a lot of repetitive content. The best thing for both; your customers, and your ranking, is to create a good, well-developed website, with good content and go through a series of steps to make sure the site is found.
So, how do I do this? Well it is no secret. I am even going to tell you how. Now, as mentioned previously, Search optimization was relatively simple. Now, mainly due to the introduction of mobile, handheld and iphone, this optimization becomes a little more complex. Below is the processes involved to create a website that will be search friendly but also mobile search engine optimized. Why do this and not just stop at computers. Because searches on mobile devices are becoming the most popular method for finding businesses and information. Therefore, moving forward it is imperative that business have mobile as well as web presence.
Original to Optimized Website – The Steps:
1. Clean up code to W3C standard. This is the first and last step. Why? Because if there are any errors on the page it may not show up well on all browsers. Remember, at the end of the day it is no good being ranked number 1 if your customers can’t read the content on your site. Your website is a representation of your business.
2. Convert as much as possible to CSS. This makes it a lot easier to simply edit the content without having to worry about constantly updating the look of the page. Also, this allows the site to be easily adjusted for mobile, handheld, and iphone content.
3. Determine search words. Search optimization is very specific. You will need to pick a few relevant words to your business (These are usually the business type and location, but you may want to be more specific). The best way to think about this is to say to yourself “What would I type into a search engine looking for a similar business?” Come up with an extensive list and narrow it down.
4. Edit title, keywords & descriptions. Make these as to your search words and your content as possible.
5. Edit headings. Utilise the actual words in your headings to match your search words as much as possible, but still making sure that it is relevant to your customers.
6. Optimize text with search words. Now I don’t mean add hundreds of your search word all through the page. What I mean is if there is a few different words for whatever service you provide and you have chosen to optimize for one, use that one. Remember search optimization is specific.
7. Utilize strong & bold. This highlights words when users are reading the site, so good for highlighting your services, but it also highlights the words to web crawlers too.
8. Re-name files, folders & images. Make sure images etc, have relevant names. Calling an image “image1.jpg” is not really going to help you. Now, don’t go calling each image your search words. This is going to be no good as crawlers will probably filter this out then. Just simply call the images relevant names.
9. Edit image alt & title attributes. Imagine there is an issue with your site and none of the images show up. This is pretty much what a website looks like to a web crawler. The “alt” and “title” tags is what we see. Again make these relevant and useful so that if someone does have a browser issue, they know what they are missing out on!
10. Create handheld and iphone CSS. Remember where we said convert as much as possible to .css, This is why. Without changing the content or creating a whole new website, you can now just make new .css pages for different devices. So now hen a search site crawls for mobile content, it finds all the same information optimized for mobiles.
11. Validate all HTML & CSS to W3C. Now your site is ready you need to make sure there are no errors in any of the code.
12. Test on different browsers and devices. Not all browsers, screens, devices are the same. Have everyone you know look at it and ask for feedback, is anything not right
14. Create sitemaps & robots files. This guides the search engines to which files to search and also their importance.
15. Submit to search engines. Submitting your site to search engines validates that the site is a legitimate site. It also provides you with useful tools from the site about your site’s usage statistics.
16. Create links. This is one of the most important! Now you need to create as many links to you and your site as possible. What you are trying to do by doing this is increase the catchment area for your website (They don’t call it the “web” for nothing). What you need is as many sites linking to your site as possible. That way, they crawl a page there is a link to your site. They crawl another page and there is a link to your site. They crawl another page and there is a link to your site, and so on. The more links the more you will be crawled and the higher the ranking, but again this will be only for relevant content and search words. There are hundreds of different ways to increase the links such as online business listings, social media links, news, blogs, and the list goes on and on.