Search Engine Optimization Tips

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)Search Engine Optimization (SEO), or more specifically on-page SEO can be a daunting task – especially if SEO is completely foreign to you.  Here are some SEO tips to help guide you in the right direction.  incidentally, these are the same tips that I am using in My SEO Case Study, where I will be building a niche site from scratch and attempting to drive organic website traffic to it using nothing but keyword research, on-page SEO and solid content.  I’ll reveal the site once the experiment is over so as to avoid influencing the traffic.

On-Page SEO Tips:

  1. URL
    • Keep it as short as possible so it’s memorable.
    • Don’t use hyphens in your domain name, it makes it look like a sales-type page. Plus, people will inevitably type it without the hyphens and end up at your competitor’s site.
    • Include your niche keyword in your domain name, if possible.
    • Use permalinks instead of URL parameters.
  2. Page Title (the title in the <title> tags within the html head section)
    • Include your niche keyword; preferably at the beginning.
    • Keep it under 70 characters; this is Google’s limit in the search results page.
  3. Content Headings
    • Place your post’s title in <h1> tags.
    • Include your post’s main keyword in this heading.
    • Place supporting section headings (sub-sections) in <h2> and <h3>tags.
    • Include supporting keywords (long-tail) in those sub-headings.
  4. Content
    • Try to answer questions or shed light on the keywords you’re targeting in your h1,h2 and h3 tags.
    • Try to place your most important keywords near the top of the article, preferably within the first 100 words.
    • Don’t overdo it with keywords in your content. There’s a fine balance; a good rule of thumb is 1-2% for every 500 words.
    • Use <strong> tags within the body text to highlight important keywords.
    • Keep it clear and concise, but still try to reach 500 words per post.
    • Structure your content with <h2> and <h3> tags.
    • Mix long tail keywords into your content as naturally as possible.
    • Add links to valid, healthy external sites when applicable, and use keywords in the title tags.
    • Add internal links to supporting content or pages within your site, and use keywords in the title tag.
    • Post! Post! Post! Try to get in 4-5 posts per week, especially in the beginning; Google likes updated content.
  5. Images In Your Content
    • Place alt tags in your images using supporting keywords when possible – this also adds content for the search engines.
    • Same goes for the image file name.
    • If the image is important add small, bolded caption under the image. Use keywords of course.
    • Keep the file size small. Basically, don’t use large images and then simply adjust the dimensions with CSS.
  6. Meta Description Tags
    • Start with your keyword and elaborate on it.
    • Include other keywords used in the content.
    • Limit the length to 140 characters – Google’s limit in the search results page.
    • This should be like a pitch phrase since it’s used in Google’s search results page.
  7. Meta Keyword Tags – you never know who uses them
    • Place your main keyword first then add other keywords.
    • Follow the less-is-more rule here.
  8. Ping the search engines when your blog or site is updated.
  9. Google Webmaster Tools – they’ll point out any issues with your site right away.
  10. Create a Facebook Business Page.
  11. Create a Twitter Account For Your Site.
  12. Create a single Squidoo article describing any special tools or resources on your site.

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