Sep 21, 2009

Good on-site optimization

What is on-site optimization?
On-site optimization is the SEO process of improving the quality of a website for better position in SE. If you want more traffic you need to work on your site optimization.

Basics of the on-site optimization:

  • Title tags
    Optimizing the title tags is the most important part of the on-site optimization. Make sure your title tags are context-related, short and meaningful. Use unique title text for each page. Include one or two related keywords with high search volume near the beginning. (Don’t confuse keywords with high search volume with high paying ones)

  • Page content
    Focus to have high quality articles designed for human readers. Keyword stuffing isn’t good idea. If you want returning visitors make useful content. Optimize the articles with bold text, H1, H2, H3 titles, lists and so on. It must be easy for the reader to find, what he is searching for. Don’t use Frame and iFrame tags for your text and articles.

  • Site architecture
    Use SEO oriented website architecture. Each article must have its own page with optimized and relevant title and URL. Use tag clouds and categories. Use shallow link trees – every page must be maximum three clicks away from your primary one.

  • SEO friendly URLs
    The URLs must be as optimized as possible. The category and article link must be meaningful. It is better to use http://website/seo than http://website/category3 . The same is valid for the articles’ URLs.

  • JavaScript, Flash
    JavaScript and Flash are bad choice for menus and navigation. Web robots are not good enough in working with them. Some Search Engines can crawl Flash content in a certain extent but don’t rely on that. Optimization for a Flash website is very hard work.

  • Links and Menus
    Use meaningful text with keywords for your menus and links to inner pages. Use full URLs to your inner pages rather than short ones. For example it is better to use href=http://website/books/fantasy.html than href=”books/fantasy.html”. Many web designers use the second because it is easier for their work. Insist on having the full URL in all your inner links.

  • Images
    You need to optimize your images to get traffic from image search engines. Keywords in image URL and alt text are the basics.

  • robots.txt
    Robots exclusion standard or in other words robots.txt file tells the crawlers which pages to include and which to omit. It’s important to have correct robots.txt with the desired information in it. Consider that some bots ignore it.

  • sitemap.xml
    Create a sitemap.xml file and submit it to the biggest search engines. You can submit your sitemap to Google here and to Bing here.

  • Custom 404 page
    Create custom 404 (not found) page with link to your main page.

  • Google Tools
    Use Google Webmaster Tools, Google Analytics and Google Keywords Tool to optimize and validate your site and to track its stats and traffic.

  • Fresh Content
    Don't forget to upload new content daily.

Search Engine Optimization is a constant process. You need to update, optimize and analyze your site constantly. SEO successes are result of many efforts.

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