Originally posted by Ei Sabai Nyo at Web Development Blog
SEO is the buzz word – many people have mentioned it and many have heard of it too, but very few people know how to implement it properly. SEO, stands for Search Engine Optimisation and it is the process of optimising and making your website visible to search engines in order to attract more traffic to your website.
SEO is a long term process and the process of search engine optimisation should be carried out and reviewed throughout the lifetime of a website. A few decades ago, submitting your website to search engines would be the only thing you would do to obtain traffic via search engines. However, time has changed and so have search engine algorithms, which means you would need to do more than just submit a site to achieve a good search engine ranking nowadays. Hopefully the following tips will guide you on your way to optimising your website for search engines.
1. Write a killer title tag
The title tag is one of the most prominent pieces of information that anyone sees in a search result page. It also carries significant weight in how search engine spiders rank a site. A title tag that contains relevant keywords and describes the content of the page effectively is more likely to receive a higher search engine ranking. Therefore, the title tag should be optimised to contain main keywords, be relevant to the content of the page, and encourage searchers to click on it when they see it on a search result page.
Example of a good title tag:
<title>Seven tips to increasing your website's traffic using SEO</title>
2. Optimise meta tags
Meta tags on a web page are the pieces of information that describe the page such as the keywords and description of the page and other browser related information. It is important to have unique meta tags for every page of your website that accurately describe the pages to the search engine spiders. The most commonly used meta tags in search engine optimisation are keywords, descriptions and robots.
Example of good meta tags:
<meta name="description" content="SEO is the buzz word – many people have mentioned it and many have heard of it too, but very few people know how to implement it properly. SEO, stands for Search Engine Optimisation and is the process of optimising and making your website visible to search engines in order to attract more traffic to your website. " />
<meta name="keywords" content="SEO, tips, website traffic, search engine optimisation, google, ranking " />
3. Use Search Engine Friendly URLs
There are basically two type of URLs for the World Wide Web; dynamic urls and static urls. Dynamic urls are those urls that contain query strings in the urls, for example, http://www.example.com/my_page.php?id=5&task=view. The disadvantages with this kind of URLs are they are hard to remember, difficult to type, and some search engine are not able to index pages with dynamic urls. Static urls are also referred to as search engine friendly urls because they help increase search engine rankings by allowing keywords in the URL itself. For example: http://www.example.com/seo+tips/. They are easy to remember, promote usability, allow search engine spiders to crawl the pages more effectively and increase the page ranking by having the title of the page in the url.
Example of a good url:
4. Obtain relevant inbound links
Search engine algorithms are built in a way in which a website which has more relevant inbound links (ie: links from other websites) are ranked higher than a site with no links. The important rule here, however, is to ensure your website is linked from a website of a similar interest. For example: a web development blog is linked from a web development portal website.
5. Write a semantic code
Having a semantic code means HTML elements on a website are used for their given purposes and separate content from presentation. For example, HTML headings are used for titles and headings of a website, paragraphs of text are enclosed in an html paragraph tag, list items are properly coded using list item HTML tags, etc. This will improve the ranking of your website for appropriate keywords because while search engine spiders are not able to view a website visually, they are able to understand the HTML code of a website.
Example of a semantic code:
<h1>Seven tips to increasing your website’s traffic using SEO</h1>
<p>SEO is the buzz word – many people have mentioned it and many have heard of it too, but very few people know how to implement it properly. SEO, stands for Search Engine Optimisation and is the process of optimising and making your website visible to search engines in order to attract more traffic to your website.</p>
6. Display keywords and links to important pages on homepage
We all know that it is important to have some text on your homepage, but it is also as important to have keywords and link those keywords to appropriate internal pages of your website. This is because search engine spiders do not scan a website visually but for keyword phrases, contents and links. Therefore, a website with appropriate keywords and links is more likely to have a higher ranking than a website with just a Flash object on the homepage. Examples of important pages that you would probably link to from the homepage are promotion pages and category pages.
Example of a good homepage:
<h1>Web Development Blog</h1>
<h2>Web Development, Web Design, Web Applications, Web 2.0, AJAX, WordPress Themes, Search Engine Optimisation, Latest Technologies and more.</h2>
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7. Build a sitemap
Building a sitemap to help search engines index your content is a quick win because it is relatively easy to produce a sitemap either manually by hand or automatically using a tool. Sitemaps will help search engines to find all the pages on the website that you want them to find. Without a sitemap, it could take search engines a while to find and then index every single page on your website. Sitemaps.org provides useful information on building sitemaps that are supported by Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft.