You can’t ignore search engine optimization on your site. After all it’s what drives the natural traffic to your web site.
The problem is that for many people, SEO is pretty confusing. The rules change all the time (or so it seems) and everyone has a different opinion of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to getting your site, spidered, indexed and RANKED.
It’s even more confusing when it comes to product pages on your check out page if you aren’t using an SEO friendly shopping cart.
But I am going to make it easy for you because SEO isn’t rocket science (well ok, it really is…) but it doesn’t have to be difficult.
There are really only TWO types of SEO for organic listings (those that show up in the search engines) and they are:
On Page Optimization and Off page Optimization.
1. On Page optimization are the tweaks you make to your site and pages to make them more attractive to the search engines.
2. Off page optimization is really nothing more then getting other sites to link to your site.
Both types do require a specialized skill set, but neither is really that difficult.
Today let’s concentrate on ON page optimization and focus on making your site more attractive to both search engines and to other sites you’ll be trying to get links from.
Follow these SIMPLE rules on your site and you’ll be ahead of the game and most of your competitors.
1. Stay consistent by always using lowercase for all URLs. This includes all file names and folder names
2. Do NOT use “special characters” in your URLs. Dashes (-) and underlines are ok
3. Using a HTML based sitemap links to the important pages on your site.
4. Add your sitemap.xml file to your Google Webmaster Tools to be sure that all of your pages are indexed. (Don’t have a Google Webmasters Tools account? Get one today!)
5. Add a robots.txt and take the time to format it properly. Be sure that it is allowing the GoogleBot to index your content
6. Always use both unique Titles and Descriptions on every page of your site.
7. If your site is a blog, be sure that you tag your pages/posts with descriptive tags that accurately reflect content of that page
8. Always use a valid DTD or XML statement. This tool can help you check yours.
9. Use the proper character set meta tag
10. The cheaper web host may not be the best deal when it comes to SEO. Choose a host that has shown speed and reliability. Online reviews of web hosts are great for finding the gems out there.
11. In general search engines like shorter URLs when it comes to spidering your site. Keep this in mind when registering your domain names.
Till next time,