Basic search engine optimization tips

If you want your website to have a decent position in search engine results, here are some basic things that you might want to know, ordered by importance:

What is good ....

Have much text content on site, text that can be easy read by Google, accurate text that refer to a certain thing, do not have a page with many different topics on it.

Text needs to be original when compared to other sites and while the content is new you will get more hits from Google than for old content.

Having many links pointing to your site is important, but it seems to me that its not that important as few years ago; the anchor text on the link that points to you is the keyword that will show you higher in search results, if you sell black jackets you will appear much higher in search results if many other sites link to your site and text of the link is "black jackets". Note that you can still get many hits from search engines even with no links pointing to your site.

Have only few external links on your site (none if possible) if you do need to post links to other websites then write rel="nofollow" inside the <a> tag.

Have clean URLs rather than dynamic pages; site.com/laptops/toshiba or site.com/laptops/toshiba.html will perform much better than site.com/view_page.php?cat=10

The .html pages seem to be referred by search engines, I'm not sure why but probably because search engines knows that most .html pages are static pages with very stable content that doesn't change according to variables and other things like .php pages do.

You can also write some keywords in the file name and URL, for example a page could appear high in results when searching for "sony vaio laptop" if it's URL is like this: www.site.com/sony-vaio-laptop.html also most seo masters agree that using dashes (-) to separate keywords in file names is better than underscore (_); For example laptop-computer.html is better than laptop_computer.html.

Meta keywords, description and title is important; Some say that meta tags like description and keywords are not very important, I think different, you can hurt the site if you do not use them properly though.

My advice in this case is to only have few keywords in meta keywords tag, up to 5-6 keywords, 2 if possible, and chose them wisely, make sure each keyword from meta appears in the page body, if your meta keywords do not appear in body or if you gave Google a list of 20-30 keywords then it will look like spam and Google won't like you. The same with meta description, make sure it is sort (up to 6-7 words) and accurate (having most keywords from body). The title of the page seems to be more important than keywords and description, the page title can be 2-3 words that are most important for you, and words that appear in page body.

Have more text and less links on pages, even if the links are external links or links that point inside of your site, its always best to have much more text than links.

Use the alt parameters inside the <img> tags, this will give you some hits from image searching like Google Images. I seen some sites where 80% of the traffic was sent from images (alt tags). In addition to that, a page with images without an "alt" tag do not comply with html validation standards.

Try to use div and paragraphs instead of the unprofessional tables when it comes to visually organising your content.

Organize your content correctly into paragraphs, H1, H2, UL, LI, etc. Google and other search engines like it.

Have a dedicated IP for each site where possible. This will make your site look more important.

Its best to have a clean HTML code without errors. When your page complies with html validation standard then you can be sure that Google and other search engines can easy read your site and you will not have problems. Check your code here http://validator.w3.org.

Specify the background colors on the divs and content so that it doesn't look to search engines that the text is invisible.

What is bad ....

Having many external links on your site is very bad, make sure you write rel="nofollow" inside the <a> tag of external links. When you link to other sites is worse to link to low page rank sites.

Automatic Pop-ups are bad, pop-ups that open automatically when a site is visited will drag you down, a page with pop-ups will be considered less important when it comes to search results.

Avoid dynamic URLs like site.com/view_cat.php?cat=10

Avoid using very small text, hidden text and content and other things trying to trick Google that your site is about something that is not there. If your site is about something then Google knows it.

Having a html code with errors and incorrectly nested tags is bad, make sure your page complies with html validation standards, a valid page will not put you higher but a page with errors will drag you down. Check your code here http://validator.w3.org.


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