Thought I'd put together an article to help people looking to optimize their websites to get maximum benefit/exposure out of there site, and promotional efforts.
Search Engine Optimization Cheat Sheet
Ok, here is exactly what you need to know in order to be successful optimizing your sites for the search engines. Yes, many people have talked about it, and it’s probably been rehashed many times, but this article is a nice, neat, little package. Nowadays, getting listed in the search engine is more than just making optimized webpages (you actually need to do promotion as well) – but if you follow these guidelines, it will help to ensure that you get the maximum benefit and search engine exposure out of your promotional efforts.
When designing a specific webpage, you need to do the following:
1. The first thing is to decide what your particular webpage is about, and then pick keywords/keyword phrases associated with that content. Nowadays, something called ‘long-tail keywords’ is also important (which simply means 4-5 word keyword phrases). Although the traffic you can get from this keywords is very small, it is highly targeted traffic, and if you have an offer in line with what someone is looking for, you are likely to be successful. So for example, for AffiliateInAbox.com, “affiliate” is a keyword, “how to make money through affiliate products” would be a ‘long tail’ keyword. You want to sprinkle both types of keywords through your article. For reference in the rest of this article, I will simply be using “how to make money through affiliate products” as an example of a keyword phrase.
2. Make sure you have these keywords in your webpage title (the title appears in the top left hand corner of your webbrowser). Generally it is found in something called a ‘title’ tag. If you are using Wordpress, you can generally find some good plugins such as the SEO all-in-one pack that will take care of this for you. So, using my example, you might have “AffiliateInAbox.com – How to make money through affiliate products”
3. Make your URL/directory contain keywords. Again, if you have a wordpress site, there is a plugin that will take care of this automatically for you (SEO All-In-One pack). So instead of “/mystuff/”, you might have it called “/How-to-make-money-through-affiliate-products/’.
4. Make sure your HTML page filename contains keywords. Again, “how-to-make-money-through-affiliate-products.htm” is much better than “stuff.htm”.
5. Include keywords within anchor text. This simply means that if you have a link to something, describe what it is using keywords. So for example, instead of “Click here!” as a link title, you might call it “Click here to leanr how to make money through affiliate products!”
6. Include keywords within your image tags. Again, this is just the “alt” tag you find in HTML source code. So instead of something like “alt=image.gif”, you might have it something like “alt= How to make money through affiliate products!’”.
7. Interlink your websites. If you have more than one website domain, it is wise to contain links or references to it on other sites. If you can get other people to do a ‘link swap’ (i.e., you put your link on my site, I’ll put my link on your site), that works even better. Reasoning is, is that eventually as your site builds authority, when it is on a bunch of different sites, search engines like Google will figure it is more important.
8. Localization. Although this is more of a programming thing, if you can localize your content (whether by translated versions of your site, or have content specific to particular cities or towns), you are more likely to rank higher for particular terms. This is one thing that is becoming especially popular in Google, as you’ll find if you search for something, “local” results are more likely to rank higher than some generic run of the mill website.
9. Name your images/documents with keywords in them. Google does archive various other document formats (i.e., .swf, .pdf, .gif, .jpg, etc, etc), and if you name your documents accordingly (i.e., instead of “ebook.pdf”, call it “How_to_make_money_through_affiliate_products.pdf” ), you are more likely to rank higher for those particular terms as well.
10. Include a google sitemap. This simply makes it easy for google to find webpages on your website and make sure that it doesn’t ‘miss’ anything. If you are using Wordpress, look at something like “Google XML Sitemaps”.
11. Include keywords in your domain. Obviously since my domain is about affiliate products, affiliate marketing, etc, etc, it is called http://www.affiliateinabox.com/. So if you are creating a niche specific website, make sure you include related keywords.
12. Keep your content fresh. If you post a new blog posting, say, once a week, search engines like Google are more likely to figure that you have a ‘quality’ site (because you, or at least an automated program), has taken the time to make sure new content is updated, as opposed to having nothing say for a year or so. Kind of like google thinks if you don’t care about your site, why should they? So make sure you have something new every now and then.
Anyways, these are a couple quick things you should have in your search engine optimization checklist. Of course I know there are more, but this should help give you a good start for any new site you create, and making sure your maximize the benefit of any of your promotional efforts.