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On Site Search Engine Optimization
Free SEO Tips

Writing SEO 101 - The Basics of Onsite Optimization

1. Keywords - If you are going to optimize your site, you have to know the keywords that people are using to find products, services or information similar to yours. Since it's your business, you may feel you know what those are, but you will want to check with a keyword research tool to find out which terms are most often used and to find variations.

Look at the title and keyword meta tags of competitors sites to see what words other businesses believe to be relevant. Check those in a keyword tool, too.

There are some free keyword tools, such as Wordtracker &
Keyword Discovery, but I think it’s worth it to buy the subscription and WordTracker does offer a free trial.

Here's another article with more on Keyword Selection.

2. Content – Make sure it is unique, relevant and useful to your customer or target audience. Use your keyword research to suggest what your content should be. Yes, you should also consider what human visitors want, but you must write your content to match the search terms humans are typing into search engines to reach a site like yours. Your home page should be tailored to the keyword phrase you decide to target as your primary phrase. Create additional pages for each additional phrase.

3. Navigation – Set Up Search Engine Friendly navigation. You can make simple text links or set up CSS menus to achieve the same results, but you want to use your keyword phrases in text links to your interior pages.

4. File Names for Internal Pages – Name interior pages according to their content. If your site is about widgets and you find there are searches for red widgets, blue widgets and discount widgets, then you would want to have content pages named: red-widgets.html, blue-widgets.html and discount-widgets.html and so on. Use hyphens rather than underscores to separate the keywords in the file name.

5. Graphics Names – Name logically, but with keywords where appropriate. So, rather than logo.jpg consider using widget-company-logo.jpg.

6. Title Tag – Use your primary keyword phrase as the first 3 words in your title tag. This tag may be up to 80 characters.

7. Meta Description Tag – This is not really a tag that is factored in for your ranking, but you want to write an “optimized” tag using your keyword phrase because people tend to click on listings that use the same phrase that they typed into the search bar. This tag should be 200-250 characters.

8. Meta Keyword Tag – this tag is believed to be ignored by Google and most of the ther major search engines, but for some crawler based indexes it may be helpful.

9. Unique Tags - Make unique title and meta description tags for every page on your site.

10. H1, H2, H3 Tags - Use your keyword phrase in an h1 tag at the top of the page. Use the h1 tag once. For additional headings, use the h2 and h3 tags. Think headings as you would an outline for an article. Use the longer related phrases in your sub headings.

11. First Paragraph - Use your target keyword phrase the first paragraph of the page content.

12. Use your target keyword phrase in bold somewhere on the page

13. Use your target keyword phrase in a link:

  • from the home page to an internal page
  • from your home page to an authority site
  • from internal pages back to the home page (this should be an absolute link- that is, a link to http://www.yourdomain.com and not to index.html.

14. If it’s appropriate use the target phrase elsewhere:

  • In alt tags of graphics
  • In italics
  • Capitalized (first character only)
  • In a bulleted list

15. Don’ts: Avoid Flash, frames and javascript. If you must use Flash, then provide an HTML alternative for every page. If you must use javascript, call it from the server, rather than loading the page with script. And if you must use frames, just don’t. No frames. Period. 

Want to learn more about search engine optimization? Here's more about choosing keywords and the art of SEO copywriting, using keywords in your copy.

To talk with an SEO Consultant, call 347-NOW-4SEO (669-4736) or for an appointment.

Cyber Key is proud to have collaborated with BlackDog Advertising® on various SEO projects. BlackDog Advertising® was founded by John W. Penney in 1989. The Miami advertising agency began as a small design shop in the back of a computer store and grew into a thriving agency with a diverse client base. Operating out of their 8000 square foot studio in South Miami, BlackDog offers marketing and advertising services that range from website design and interactive media to the more traditional outdoor and print collateral. Throughout more than twenty years in business, they remain committed to one goal -- creating compelling work that achieves remarkable results.

 


 

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