Having problems getting Search Engines to recognize your site? Do you know what SEO is? It’s “Search Engine Optimization“, and it’s the cheapest, fastest, and most effective way to improve your website traffic and performance through search engines.
And if you’re like me – you don’t have the luxury of having an SEO expert in-house, thanks to these lovely economic times, and this task is all on you. To make it easy on ourselves I’ve narrowed the task down to 4 of the easiest (and most effective) things that can easily be incorporated into your current workflow – minus the technical, overwhelming jargon and time.
First off: you’re going to need an online tool to help you. Use Google Webmaster – it’s free, the bees knees, and plays a large role in all of the quick tips. All you have to do is pop some code onto your website and the Webmaster goes to work.
Focus On Your Keywords: These are the words that Search Engines, and your Visitors, use when finding your site.
For example: If you have a site that curates free lectures, I’m sure that two of your top keywords will include: free, and lectures. See where I’m going here?
So, how do you find the keywords that are most commonly used for finding your site? Google Webmaster will give you a list of the most commonly used words and terms in search for finding your site.
So now that you have this information, what do you do with it? Well, you’re going to take these words and you’re going to put them on your web pages… everywhere… evenly…. and in abundance.
To make things easy, take baby steps and start by narrowing down keywords to a list of the 10 most commonly used for the entire site. After distributing those, you can then take the next step and choose 10 popular keywords for each individual page.
Share The Love: How awesome is it when someone links to your site? Pretty awesome, right? Well, how awesome would it be if you returned the favor? Swell! And guess what…. Search Engines think so too.
*External linking also includes sites that are linking to you – so share the love and give them a reason to link to your site. Chances are, they need to improve their own SEO as well.
Hell, you can have an SEO sleep over party with your favorite organizations, and strategize how you can each link to each other.
Metadata 101: Oh my gosh, this is sooo fun! I jest – not only is this process labor intensive, but it totally tests your marketing skills. You have to take the challenge though – your site Visitors and Search Engines will respect you for it.
I know what you’re thinking: How hard can it be? It’s just data about data. Kind of. More like: It’s strategic data about data.
To give you and example of how you have to hack and re-write your material for SEO, here are some classic stories and book titles, rewritten for SEO optimization. Can you guess what they are?
- How to Multitask in Six Easy Days
- The Teen Sex and Suicide Epidemic: What You Need to Know to Protect Yourself and Your Family
- The Pursuit of Happiness: How to get control of your continent and have fun doing it!
- Mad Science: How Stem Cell Research is Endangering Your Village
Email me, and I’ll tell you what they are. Or you can check out their original source: Kottke.org.
Point is: you have to sell your content within your metadata. Using sentence formatting that is alluring, loaded with keywords, and is relevant to what you’re site is about, is what you need to do within about a 100 character limit.
Hopefully you’ve been practicing – Twitter has been preparing us for SEO writing for years.
Page Load Time Is Your True Friend: Yeah, so it turns out that Search Engines don’t like it when your page takes years to load – and this is a challenge for video sites, I know. Never fear – there are ways around this.
If you are a video heavy site, take your videos off of the home page, and replace the images with .pngs and .gifs – they are much lighter on bandwidth and page load time.
Another tip: Clean up your code. Google Webmaster has a great maid, ready to help.
I also recommend that you begin a relationship with SEOMoz.org. Sign up for free, use the free tools (that are pretty awesome – one tool let’s you compare your sites performance with your competitors), and meet others that are working out SEO issues as well. Consider it therapy for SEO, minus the hefty bills that your health care providers never cover.
Good luck, smart one. And I’ll see you at the top of organic searches.