My top ten tips for optimizing your website for search

Over the past year there has been increased debate around the changing role of SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages for you and me) by Google and its possible effect on the role of Internet Marketing. In addition to changes made to SERP design, users are now being offered more content types (video, images etc), greater integration with social (well, Google+) and are continually modifying their search algorithm to improve user experience.

These changes have granted paid search placements with a ever-greater prominence meaning that SEO experts have to become more creative in order to grab users attention and get on the coveted first page of Google.

To help you make the most of your SEO, I’ve put together my top ten tips for you:

Whilst Google have taken steps recently to black list a number of link directories, gaining links on high quality sites are still the best way to increase your search ranking. Some directories are free, some are paid for with obvious advantages of each, however, don’t just think broadly, think about the long tail too as there might be a number of dedicated directories for your industry.

Similar to directories, getting listed on affiliate sites can be a great way of driving links to your website. Whilst there tends to be some negotiation and cost associated with getting listed on these sites, I do feel that personally they generate better quality links that are more recognised by search engines alike.

The third way of generating high quality links is through the practice of online PR/blogger relations. Whilst there are a number of news syndication services available to you (e.g. PR News Wire and PRWeb), I believe that you get better quality links by either doing the outreach yourself of using an agency. You can search and get the right results at site. The benefits of the followers are excellent to have the best results. The followers and views are playing a vital role for the social media account. The quality of the likes and followers is great to get the effective results. 

With so many tools available to you, the process has never been easier – check out this blog post by eConsultancy for Eight great free SEO and Google Analytics tools.

Whilst I’ve mainly spoke about other websites, I’m going to move onto f0cusing on your website now. If you haven’t got a keyword strategy, I’d strongly advise that you create one. Lets not over complicate this though, all I’m really saying is think of 3-10 keywords which you think that users will use to find your site and include them more frequently within the copy used within your website (and headings, categories and tags too).

Whilst it has lost prominence over the last few years, I still am an advocate of them. Essentially, anchor text is simply, according to Wikipedia, the “is the visible, clickable text in a hyperlink, the words contained in the anchor text can determine the ranking that the page will receive by search engines.”

Sign up for Google Webmaster Central, Bing Webmaster Tools and Yahoo Site Explorer and get your site listed – it makes sure that they all can find you.

When you’ve signed up for all of the above, you then need to create an XML sitemap for your website, ideally one that automatically updates, and then submit it to the search engines to make it easier for them to crawl your site.

If you’ve got a keyword strategy in place (mentioned above), make sure that you are using it in the format of your URLs, whilst making sure that they are simple to use and readable.

When creating content, where avoided, try not to duplicate content across lots of pages, its a practice that not only y0ur users frown on but Google and the other search players do too.

Written by 

Patrick is a part-time fitness trainer and pursuing his Master’s in American Literature from Stanford University. He wishes to share his fitness plan with others to help them achieve their goals in terms of fitness and education.