Search Engine Optimization basics: 10 SEO Points to remember

It is quite necessary for every webmaster to know few basics about SEO if they want to get good page ranking. It might be quite expensive to hire a SEO expert. If you can optimize your site yourself and follow other internet marketing rules, it might prove really beneficial for your site at less cost.

1. Domain Name:
You do not have to get a domain name with keywords on it. The best way to choose a domain name is to keep it simple and short which could be easily remembered.

2. Title Tag <title></title>:
The title tag is one of the crucial part of site optimization. The title tag is usually placed at the top of your html page and tells search engines what the page is all about. It is important that this tag includes your main keywords and should be 63 characters or less to appear full on Google. It is highly recommended that you have a title that incorporates your website name and your main keywords.

3. Meta Description Tag:
Meta description tag contains the description of your website. A meta description tag helps you boost your page rankings on some search engines. Some search engines even display this on their result page giving the readers to get a brief idea before visiting the site. Here is an example of meta description tag:
<html>
<head>
<meta name=”description” content=”Site summary here.”>
</head>
</html>

4. Natural Keyword Integration:
Search engines simply hate keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing means over usage of keywords in your content. If your content uses too much of your keywords than normal, your site may be banned from many search engines. Keyword density is the thing of a past. Keyword stuffing not only drives search engines away but if the visitors do not understand what you are trying to sell they might never want to visit your site again. So make your content sound natural with proper usage of keywords.

5. Checking Google Cache:
You can type into Google Search: cache: yourURL to check the Google cache. You will also discover when it was last retrieved. You can check it at: http://www.yourcache.com/

6. Finding Backlinks:
One of the keys to get better ranking on search engines is to get quality backlinks. Search engines like Google give much preference to sites who have backlinks from higher PR sites. If you could get backlink from famous directories like www.dmoz.org or www.aboutus.com you have better chance of getting indexed sooner. You can check the number of back links to your site by typing into the Google Search: link: yourURL

7. Site Map:
Site Maps make it easy for search engines to find and index every page of your website. According to Wikipedia, “A site map is a representation of the architecture of a website. It can be either a document in any form used as a planning tool for web design, or a web page that lists the pages on a website, typically organized in hierarchical fashion.” Site maps are important if you use Flash or JavaScript menus instead of HTML.

8. Limit Flash Usage:
It is quite difficult to optimize websites that use Macromedia Flash. While it is not impossible to optimize such site, it is highly recommended to minimize the usage of Flash on your website.

9. Duplicate Content:
It is for your best to avoid duplicate content. Unique content is much preferred by Search Engines. If you are afraid your content might be copied too, you can use this free tool: http://www.copyscape.com/

10. Proper Foundation:
It is always wise to check if your site is working properly. It is necessary that you check:
– that all your pages load properly.
– meta tags have been defined.
– your site have no browser compatibility issues.
– robots.txt validates and sitemap.xml works.

 

APRIL 03, 2008 ISSUE #4