It all starts with effective “Keyword Research“
- Target the best keywords based on relevance (I use the Google Adwords Keyword Research tool)
On-Site Optimization Checklist
- Domain name: Get the most important keyword in the domain name. Don’t make it look spammy: if the visitor feels it spammy, Google thinks so too!
- Title Tag: Use variations of keywords. Don’t repeat the same word more than 2 times. 6-8 words maximum.
- Internal navigation: Each web page HAS to be reachable within two clicks. If not with navigation structure (like a side navigation bar or links at the top) then with a sitemap.
- Internal linking: If some pages are much more important than others, isolate them by getting more links pointed there. For example if the homepage is very important make a link to it from each page – both for the visitors and for the Search Engines.
- Meta description: Use keywords in the beginning and action for the visitor in the end. (ie. Find clogging shoes for men, women, and children. Ask about dance team discounts.)
- Pages should contain quality text: Each page should have between 150 – 250 words.
- Use of images: have at least one image on every page of your site. Not only is this helpful for visitor interaction, but images can be optimized too.
- Use the Title attributes in the anchor tags. (ask me if you have questions on this)
- Use keywords in the ALT description tags for images. (Search engines only see pictures if we do this – otherwise there is nothing there to a search engine.)
- Use the strong tag (bold) if possible to emphasize keywords.
- Keyword repetition is good. However, spread out the keywords within the body of the text. Keyword density is important but if it feels spammy, it probably is. Remember, you write for the visitor, not just the search engines. I usually recommend using keyword repetition on specific pages at most 1-2% within the content. (ie. 250 words on the page = repeat the targeted keyword phrase 2 1/2 to 3 times)
- If you have any tables, use the summary attribute.
- Avoid frames and flash.
- Keep your files under 100K. (Spiders may disregard bigger files. You can see how big your page is by looking at your site in google.)
- Have your content changed/updated on a regular basis so the spiders will come more often. (Check cached option in google to see how often spiders are coming right now.)
- Never link to any site that could be seen as a bad site.