Top 10 SEO Tips
1. Title Tag
Title tag is the most important header tag and need be carefully planned.
A page title is the first thing a search engine will look at when decide just what the particular page is about. It is also the first thing website visitors will see when looking at your search engine listing.
It's important to include a keyword or two in the title tag - but don't overdo - you don't want to do keyword stuffing which does nothing but make your web site look like spam. Most people will include either the business name, or title of the specific page here, as well.
2. Change Dynamic Pages Into Descriptive URLs
A dynamic page has the format www.yoursite.com?page=5. It is better to have descriptive URLs instead, such as www.yoursite.com/portfolio.php. Dynamic URLs are less of a problem today than they once were (see site maps). Unfortunately, they can still create issues for some engines.
3. Correct Use of Heading Tags
This is a very important element to look into when writing out your site copy. Descriptive use of heading tags helps users, web browsers and search engines know where the major key points of your text are.
Your main page title should use the <h1> tag - this shows what your page is about. Use of additional tags, such as <h2> and <h3> are equally important by helping to break down your text. For one, you'll see a visual break in the text. But as far as the search engines are concerned, it will automatically know what your topics are on a page. The various heading tags give a priority to the content and help index your site correctly.
4. Images Alt Attributes
Image attributes actually serve two purposes. In terms of SEO, putting a descriptive alt attribute along with your image, places additional relevant text to your source code that the search engines can see when indexing your site. The more relevant text on your page the better chance you have of achieving higher search engine rankings.
In addition, including image alt attributes help the visually impaired who access web sites using a screen reader. They can't see the image, but with a descriptive alt attribute, they will be able to know what your image is.
5. Title Attributes on Links
Including title attributes on links is another important step that any good web site will have. That's the little "tool tip" that pops up when you place your mouse over a link. These are especially important for image links, but equally useful for text links.
As a note, you should use descriptive text for your links. "Click here" doesn't really tell a person - or more importantly, the search engines - what the link is. At the very least put a title tag that will explain that "Click Here" really means "Web Design Portfolio" for example. Better yet - make the main link text something like "View my web design portfolio" - this will give some value to the link showing that the resulting page is relevant to searches for portfolio's.
6. XML Sitemap
My last post referenced the sitemaps used by web visitors to help them navigate through your site themselves. However, there's another version - XML sitemaps - that are used by the search engines in order to index through your site, as well.
This list of ALL pages / posts / etc. of your site also includes information such as the date the page was last modified, as well as a priority number of what you feel the most important pages of your sites are. All elements that help the search engines properly find and link to all content of your site.
7. Relevant Content
Having content relevant to your main page or site topic is perhaps the most important SEO aspect of a page. You can put all the keywords you want in the meta tags and alt image tags, etc - but if the actual readable text on the page is not relevant to the target keywords, it ends up basically being a futile attempt.
While it is important to include as many keywords in your page copy as possible, it is equally as important for it to read well and make sense. I'm sure we've all seen keyword stuffed pages written by SEO companies that honestly don't make much sense from the reader's point of view.
When creating your site copy, just write naturally, explaining whatever information you're discussing. The key is to make it relevant, and to have it make sense to the reader. Even if you trick the search engines into thinking your page is great - when a potential customer arrives at the site and can't make heads or tails of your information and it just feels spammy to them - you can bet they'll be clicking on the next web site within a matter of seconds.
8. Link Building
The days of getting higher rankings by generating as many backlinks to your site as possible are over. Google has made it clear that the quality of backlinks is what matters. Don't waste time on link farms. Get backlinks from sites that are complemetary to your own.
9. Social Media
Social Media (media designed to be disseminated through social interaction) is a growing factor in getting your web site noticed. Set up accounts on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Also use social bookmarking sites such as Delicious, Digg, StumbleUpon and many more. Use a social bookmarking widget (like www.sharepost.com) to allow visitors to easily share your content.
10. Watch Your Keyword Density
A site should have the proper amount of keywords, not too many or it hurts your ranking. Use a keyword density utility (like www.searchterms.com/keyword-density.aspx) to make sure you have enough, but not too many keywords in various elements of your pages.