Who doesn’t want to reach Google front page? For those who have skipped the basics, search engine optimization or SEO is a part of a bigger picture, called organic search engine optimization. In a nutshell, organic SEO works just like ordinary SEO – it optimizes the design of a particular website so that search results using relevant keywords in the different search engines will rank that website higher in the non-paid listings. Here are top 10 SEO Tips for better search engine visibility and higher ranking on SERP:
SEO Tip #1 Write Great Page Titles and Headings
Make sure that you use keywords that people are searching for in your page’s header tags (i.e. h1 tags, h2 tags, h3 tags etc). Also, be sure the H1 tag on every page is accurate and describes the page’s content without ambiguity. Good headlines are good for your users, and good for the search engines. Here goes Top 5 tips for writing better blog headlines.
SEO Tip #2 Make the Most out of Title Tags
Make it a practice to make your article title tag contain keywords that are important to your SEO efforts. Make sure those keywords show up near the front of your title as Google only picks up the first sixty to seventy characters. Don’t just list a bunch of keywords; take a targeted approach that makes sense to your user. A word of caution though – do NOT overdo it!
SEO Tip #3 Use Natural Language in Your Content
Don’t try too hard to stuff keywords in your page just to make it more “keyword dense.” Believe me — that would be your easiest way to get banned from SERP. These days, search engines are smarter and better at identifying natural language against keyword-stuffed babbles.
If a human reader can spot a keyword stuffed garbage filled article, then the search engine bots can as well. So do yourself (and your readers) a big favor and don’t use the same keyword phrase over and over and over and over and over and over and over and — you get the idea. If you must, try including semantically related words (synonymic phrases) in your writing. Here is a great article by Rusty Ferguson on How to Find Good Keywords for Your Site.
SEO Tip #4 Create a Smart Internal Linking Structure
It is a common knowledge that search engines love easy navigation among hyper-linked pages. Use keywords and user friendly descriptions in your navigation links to help your users (and the search engine spiders) navigate from page to page on your site. It will not only help more of your pages get indexed quickly but also create a much better user experience for your readers. As an added advantage, your bounce rate will reduce and the page views and the average time spent on your site will improve dramatically.
SEO Tip #5 Include a Sitemap File for The Search Engines
The best location for your sitemap.xml is in the root of your site. This is where the SE spiders will typically look. This is the standard way to do it, and we’ve been pretty happy doing this. You may choose something else, but keep it simple. Also consider creating an HTML version of your sitemap for your users. You might put it at yourdomain.ext/site_map/ and include the same content you have in the XML version. But once done, make sure to go submit your sitemap to Google using the webmaster tools.
SEO Tips #6 Use ‘alt’ tags for Site Images
When everyone seems to be interested in getting on Google SERP for their keywords, many of them seem to forget another great way to get visitors from Google – from Google image search. By optimally using alt tags on your images you can achieve great SEO success.
An image alt tag is simply a keyword or a description for that image telling the viewer (and the spiders) what it is. While it’s not vital to have a full blown description, there should be something there. It’s also not important that every single picture on your site have an alt tag, but your main ones should such as your logo for example.
SEO Tips #7 Use Statically Typed (Pretty) URLs
Let’s say your site is about apple products, and your site is packed full of useful content, good keywords, and links but your web page URL addresses are non-descriptive and nothing that references anything about what your site is about. What would that tell the search spiders? To avoid this, make sure your URLs match the content of your web pages. For example if you are writing an article about “Top 10 Best Tablet Alternatives to the Apple iPad” then a URL that looks like “<your domain>/top-10-best-tablet-alternatives-to-the-apple-ipad” would make much more sense than one like “<your domain>/?page=126”!
SEO Tips #8 User Social Networking for SEO Benefits
Social Media Optimization or SMO is one useful tool for improving a website’s search engine optimization or SEO. If you use the benefits of the social networking sites and transform that into useful tricks, you will be able to increase your web traffic and heighten your shot at getting more visitors online. As a bonus, most of the popular social media sites (like Digg, Mixx etc) offer you a permanent high pagerank backlink if you reach their front page. That is bound to help your own SEO ranking.
SEO Tips #9 Use “Spider Friendly” Content
Use text instead of graphics for your navigation, page titles and other page elements. Google has a bad reputation at processing the content of some rich media files or dynamic pages. Most search engines still have a hard time with Flash. As a matter of fact, Flash-only sites are usually difficult to maintain and hard for some search engines (including Google) to index.
SEO Tips #10 Don’t Try to Fool Google and its Spiders
This is perhaps the most important thing NOT to do in order to reach and stay on Google’s front page. Google warns against shadow domains, doorway pages, spyware and scumware. Do NOT use them as a means of reaching Google front page! Even if they seem to work for a while, you will get caught eventually. Blackhat SEO methods do not work and will get you banned from the search engines (at least from the ones that matter).