In the first article of this series I outlined five important steps in the optimization of any web page or website. Here are five more tips for those who want to make sure that their web pages are both user and search engine friendly.
6. Write copy that includes your keyword and search phrases at the beginning, middle and end.
If you want to write website copy that is search engine optimized, then you just have to follow good writing and presentation procedure. State clearly what you want to say in the opening paragraph, elaborate on your basic ideas in the middle section of your text and at the end summarize what you have said, reminding your readers with text that is similar to the opening paragraph. Be natural; don’t try to stuff your page with the keywords. If you read the page out loud and it sounds funny, then you have overdone the repetition of your search phrases and keywords. A density of 2% is considered to be OK. Thus in a 400 word page of text your keyword might be repeated eight times.
7. Place your keywords and phrases in the link text of your web pages
So far we have placed the keywords in the strategic places of the web page: the title, the description, the headlines and the body text. Now we have to see that the keywords are included in clickable link text on the page. Whenever you are linking to sub pages or other pages of your site, make sure that your keywords are included in the clickable portions of the links. Thus, instead of making a link that says “click here” for more information about bicycle accessories, it would be better to write: click here for more information about “bicycle accessories,” with the keywords “bicycle accessories” being the anchor (clickable) text.
8. Install a navigation system that can be easily followed by search engines
One of the most important steps in getting more traffic to your site is to ensure that all of the site’s web pages are included in the search engine indices. Normally a search engine robot will visit the main page of a site and follow links to the other pages. If your navigation system is based on java script, or on images, there is a possibility that some search engine robots will not be able to follow the links and thus they will not pick up the interior pages of your site. One simple remedy for this problem is to build an additional text-link navigation bar and place it at the bottom of the page. This additional navigation bar will serve multiple purposes:
a. Helping the search engines to reach the interior pages
b. Putting your keywords in link “anchor text”
c. Reminding the user to go deeper into the site by repeating the navigation options again
9. Build a site map page or use the Google sitemap option
Getting all of your pages indexed is so important, that it is also prudent to take another step that will ensure that all of your pages are visited by search engine robots. A site map is a page that has text links to all of the pages of your site. As with a text link navigation bar, a site map serves multiple purposes:
1. It helps users to find what they are looking for on the site by providing an outline summary of all of your pages
2. It helps search engine robots to land on the interior pages
After your build your site map page, be sure to make a link to it from your home page and the other important pages of your website.
In addition to a normal site map page, you can also make an XML site map, upload it to the server and then register it with the Google site map tool. You can use a free online utility to create your XML site map at: http://www.xml-sitemaps.com/ and visit http://www.google.com/webmasters/sitemaps for more information. This process is easy to accomplish, and it will supply you with important statistical information from Google as well as help get all of your pages indexed.
10. Once your website is up and running concentrate on off-site optimization
So far all the steps that I have outlined are concerned with on-page factors, the parts of your website that are under your control. But your ranking in Google and other search engines will also be heavily dependent on off-page factors such as how many high quality sites link to your site. Unless you obtain a good amount of high quality links to your site you will not be able to compete in highly competitive search categories.
By far the best way to get links to your site is to first build a site that has valuable content. You should endeavor to build a site that is so “cool” or so unique, that other people will link to you without even asking you. Of course this is easier said than done, but it should be what you are striving for.
The next best way to get high quality back links to a website is to write informative articles and get them published on other websites with a link back to your site. This process is known as article marketing and it not only helps to build incoming links, but it also builds your online reputation as an expert in your field.
Other common methods of increasing incoming links include submissions to important directories, participation in forums and careful trading of links with high quality websites.
If you follow the ten “do-it-yourself” search engine optimization tips that I have described in the two articles of this series then you will have taken a big step towards guaranteeing the success of your online enterprise.
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