SEO...Best Practices

Date posted: Thu, Oct 25, 2007 | Author: Alynn Gillespie | Categories: Best Practices, Tips

Don't be intimidated by Search Engine Optimization (SEO); there are a lot of tools to guide you through the process.

Search engines organize and prioritize over 5.5 billion web pages that compete for the internet users’ attention. The focus is certainly on providing a much richer end searcher experience. The site with unique content, that's easy to use, with good navigational elements will get high quality links. If users can complete the desired task; add to cart, enroll in class, subscribe to newsletter, etc., they will be satisfied and come back.

Companies need a website that is rich in keywords and phrases. These keywords and phrases get people to your site, by means of search engines that find your keywords. SEO leverages Search Engines’ desire to display most relevant pages that match users’ target keywords. Research also shows 26% of searchers use two word searches, followed by 23% using one word and 21% three word search. The following sites can help you determine your industries keywords and phrases, with up to date research.

The desired goal is to be found on the first page of any organic search, preferably close to the top. Incoming links determine if you rise higher in the ranking of relevancy/popularity. Search trends show that 39% of end searchers scan the first page of search results, followed by 19% who scan the first two pages. iProspect, 2006. The more incoming links you have, the higher your relevancy, the higher you rank towards the top of the search.

Search Engines can only see text. They need to find you before you can be found on a search engine. Their spiders, crawlers, or robots find you by your choice of key words, phrases, meta tags, title tags. A useful tool is It has a spider simulator, you just enter your URL. It has key word density tool and tells how many pages Google has indexed.

Crawlers come in and begin at the top of your page. It is smart to place keywords and rich text at the top of the page. If they are at the bottom the crawler may never make it to the bottom to see them. Tags tell crawlers or bots what is on the page. A tag is information about the information. You want spiders and crawlers to go to your site.

Best Practices

  • Begin with a study of your industry’s keyword and phrases. You need to change keywords often. Repeating keywords too often is not going to build keyword density. Each page of your site needs to contain keywords and phrases.
  • Proper meta tags allow crawlers or bots access. Each link needs to contain keyword rich text. Why say click here, when your link text can contain a keyword? Example: Download instructions on document handling.
  • Content must be relevant with keyword rich text. Utilize your industries key words/phrases in your email campaigns, newsletters, blogs, websites, and press releases. Bold keywords and phrases.
  • Images are becoming more relevant. Balance content with images. You’ll need to optimize photos. Be sure to use keywords and phrases in the "alt" attribute of the image.
  • Link development:
    • Inbound links give you higher ranking. You want to drive inbound links to your site. How do you get inbound links? By increasing the number and quality of objective, third-party links pointing to your Web page. Try getting your links on sites like the Chamber of Commerce, Universities, TV Stations where there is a lot of traffic. Blogs and online Press Releases are good too. checks inbound links.
    • Outbound links reduces ranking; the less the better. Search engines watch for the balance between inbound and outbound links. For each outbound link you loose an inbound link. This is where analytics come into play. The tool tells you where your ranking is. Most people don’t take the time to get the stats. Go to google webmasters tools. They also offer free analytics.
  • Crawlers follow links. Be sure links go back to a relevant page. Don’t always send searchers to your home page. Send searchers to where the information is that they are interested in.

Search Engine Optimization takes time. It may take six months after you apply this technology to see results. So tackle the basics when building your website, provide relevant content and you will see more clicks.