SEO Best Practices Top 10

SEO Best Practices Top 10

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1. Keyword Research

In the nineties, when the internet was young, webmasters would do what was called “Keyword stuffing.” The primitive search engines (or indexes) would give points to sites that had the most redundantly listed keywords.  This would be done via the ancient <meta keywords=”way too many keywords”>, tag which was the only key to scoring high in the search listing. People, then, more clever then the nascent technology at hand would embed important words and phrases within the meta tag or even venture to place keywords on the bottom of the document and make the text color the same as the background, rendering the diatribe of nonsensical data invisible to the human eye.

Fortunately/unfortunately, depending on how one views  it, these techniques are as ancient as the 486 processors used to run the code. Nowadays search engines penalize us for these naughty CEO tricks.

Nevertheless, one need their documents to be rich in keywords in a more genuine way. It is pointless, though, to have keywords littering documents if no one is searching for them in the first place. Therefore, a good keyword research tool; such as, Google ad-words is a must. One can look find suggestions based on a broad search term and see what people look for that is relevant to your site.

2. CEO Link Building

links from other websites are known as back links. In 1998 a man named Larry Page created a little company called Back Rub. It was all about finding sites that linked to other websites, hence the term back link.  The theory behind this is that, like in academic journals, the number of citations a publication gets determines its importance. Back Rub may have been a company that is little remembered today. Then again, maybe you know it by its new name – Google.

Of course, people won’t magically link to your website just because of your charm. This is the most difficult part of SEO as one has to convince others that a given website has some value. The other catch is not to link back to those sites that link to you, because link swapping is something google frowns upon. So, try to get others to link to you. Maybe hide the fact that you can’t reciprocate, but if you do, don’t link back to the same page. Use deep linking.

3. Deep Linking SEO

This is the same as back-linking but, instead of connecting to the root of your site (www.mysite.com) one would want links to individual pages on the site (www.mysite./SomePage. This shows the search engines that there is actual content on your site that is worth while for someone to look at

 4. Sitemaps for SEO

A sitemap is a very important tool for SEO. It outlines all the links of your site so, when a bot visits your site, it can easily navigate and index your site appropriately. In the old  days HTML was used but now the standard is XML. This is actually one of the quickest and easiest steps as there are many websites that will create a sitemap for you. Then you simply place it in the root folder of your site and let the search engines do the rest.

5. Relevant SEO Content

Of course, when we play the role of the searcher, it is very important to us that we get relevant information. It is no fun to go to a link for bicycles and end up with information about insurance. Therefore, do not give the searchers something that does not pertain to what you advertise.  Sprinkle your articles with keywords but in a relevant manner. Don’t forget to use best practices such as alt tags on images. Don’t forget to name the pages appropriately and don’t forget the title tags on your pages. Look at shema.org. They use micro-data and one should insert these tags on their websites.

6. Optimize Meta Tags for CEO

I think Meta Tags, unfortunately are what most people think of when the hear SEO. In the mid-nineties the “keywords” attribute was used to stuff as many words and phrases into the header of the document. Keyword meta tags are dead and no respectable spider will even consider them. The attributes that are important are the “description.” Some debate that keywords meta still works but I haven’t seen any good come out of that tag since 1999.

7. Use Alt Tags for Images

We have not yet reached the day when search engines can read the content of an image. Even if text is part of the image, search engines will have no idea what the purpose of the image is. Lucky, there is an attribute called the “alt” (alterate text) tag where one can place a description of the image. Alt tags are not only for SEO but for screen readers for the blind and for those with slow connections that have images turned off. This is a considered a best practice but It is surprising how few people actually take the time to insert alt tags.

8. Social media

Personally, I do not like sites like Facebook and Twitter. They are there solely to collect data from people and I fail to understand why someone would put their entire life into a database for corporations to collect. This is technically SEO but, from a webmaster’s point of view social media can not be ignored. Try to get people talking about your website on social media platforms and you can really benefit from this necessary evil.

9. Ensure Domain Name Contains keywords

Some companies have multipal domain names that re-rout to the main website. Why go through the trouble? The domain name is the pinnacle of what a search engine looks for. Try it out. if you are looking for TV’s then TVs.com, org, net, etc.  would probably be the first match in your search. Providing, of course, that the domain exists. Remember though. Avoid having long domain names and try to avoid special characters when registering a domain.

10. Use Headings

To be good with a SEO the first thing is to think like a searcher. What is the main thing a searcher wants? Relevant, and quick information. People tend to not read entire articles. People want lists and the search engine programmers know this. Therefore, for every paragraph use a header. For the main header use an <h1> tag and for all others use an <h2> – <h6> tag. Remember, only one <h1> per page. It is the main headline.

There you have it. This is SEO 101 but this is the most important list you can know, so don’t overlook it.

2 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed this article and even though I was doing SEO for years, it is good to be reminded of best practices. Do you ever intend to come up with a advanced article on SEO? I would really love to read what you have to say on this amazing subject

    1. Hi Josh,
      Thank you for the reply. I am really happy that you liked my article. I would very much like to write one on advanced SEO but the problem is that I hoping. In other words, I don’t know how much of a reader base I will give it a shot though.

      Best Regards,
      Tom

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