Search engines take hundreds of factors into consideration when ranking your website, but there are some key issues you need to tackle before you can hope to be successful. Here are my top 5 seo tips.
1. Write a list of your most important keywords before you do anything.
Your keywords and phrases are the most important thing when it comes to SEO. You need to have a strong list from the get go. The best way to do this is to write an initial list and then research and brainstorm from variations you might not have thought of. Once you have an extensive list you then need to narrow it back down to about 5 main keywords or phrases. Do a bit of research using Google Adwords Keyword Tool to find out how popular a keyword or phrase is.
Also, don’t target generic keywords. Generic keywords like “baby” or “recycling” will be very hard to optimise for. Instead use 2 or 3 word phrases that define your business more clearly.
Now you have a list of your main keywords, make sure you include them in your web page names if you can. This especially applies to blog posts. So instead of calling a page “Services”, name it “Seo Options” or whatever works for you.
3. Check your page speed
Page speed is becoming a more important factor since major search engines like Google are putting more emphasis on user experience. If your page takes an age to load because of outdated flash slideshows and large images, then your rankings will be effected. Make sure you optimise your images using Photoshop or similar software.
Check out Google Chrome’s page speed app under Tools > Developers Tools. This will give you a score and full breakdown on the status of your site. You can also check out GTmetrix for a further analysis.
Ask your web developer to compress your site to save space and loading time. You can check if your site is already compressed using the GIDZipTest.
Are your pages using static or dynamic links? This is mainly an issue in cms sites like WordPress or Joomla. Dynamic links look like this http://pixieweb-design.com/?p=123 whereas static links look like this http://pixieweb-design.com/name-of-page/
If you are using WordPress you can set your preference under Settings > Permalinks and chose the Post Name option. Search engines will love you for it. If you find you are dynamic links and don’t know what to do, ask your web developer to d a Mod_Rewrite. They’ll know what you mean 😉
5. Give all your images an Alt tag
Last but not least on my top 5 tips is alt tags. Search engines can’t read images and have no idea what message they are trying to convey. You need to give the image a text based alternative tag, or alt tag, to tell the search engine what the image is about. Alt tags are wonderful for seo as you can get all your lovely keyword in there. Just make sure they are relevant to the image because you don’t want to be penalised for spamming. The “title” tag is an additional tag you can give an image. It is the main title of the image and can be a bit more descriptive than the alt tag.