With a minimal effort a webmaster can get a site crawled and indexed by major search engines, such as Ask.com, Google, Bing, Yahoo and the newest phenomenon, Blekko. But crawling and indexing web pages are just smaller parts of the big picture. Top ranking on search results pages is actually what makes a world of difference. In this article I will give you some important tips on how to optimize your website, in order to outrank your competitors’ sites.
- Well-designed web pages: Make sure your site’s web pages do not have any coding issue. Use the W3C HTML validating tool (http://validator.w3.org/) to validate each web page. A coding issue can pose a challenge to search engine crawlers. Use Meta tags, such as the Title tag, Meta Description and Meta Keywords appropriately. Title tag is the first thing search bots look for when they visit a web page. So, ensure it contains the most important keywords the page targets. Meta Description tag is served on SERPs as the description of a link. The text content you enter there will enhance the chances of your link being clicked on, if it’s enticing. The Heading tags like h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6, etc are used to emphasize degrees of importance of keywords to search spiders. Never use the h1 tag more than once on a web page. Always use the h2 tag to prioritize targeted keywords on web pages. It is very important that you see to it that no single web content can be reachable through more than one URL, to avoid canonicalization issue.
- Update your content: The way to always attract search bots to a site is to update its content regularly. These spiders often visit frequently-updated websites, in order to be well-informed of the ever-changing content. Having a blog related to your niche within your site will help you to have fresh content always, if you post articles on it on regular basis.
- Avoid duplicate content: Ensure that every web page on your site contains 100% unique text content.
- Relevant and quality backlinks: All inbound links are not equal – some are far greater than others. Try to get a good number of incoming links from quality web pages that have content relevant to your site’s web pages. Irrelevant backlinks do not help much in boosting a website’s ranking on search results. Encourage those linking you to use your main keywords as anchor texts.
- Hire an SEO specialist: The best way to dominate search engine result pages is to employ the services of a known SEO expert. Hiring someone specialized in search engine optimization will very much help to propel your site to the first page of Google in less than three months.
You have seen that search engine optimization is a combination of dedicated on-page and off-page exercise. Typically it’s better to delegate the job to a reputable SEO specialist, so that you can devote your time on handling the managerial aspect of your business.