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Simple SEO tips to get to to the top of Google

by ElectricStudio, April 30th 2009
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How do you get to the top of Google and stay there? The key is to think long term, not next week, and to make sure your website is ready for both visitors and Google.

Title tags

Look at the top of the left hand corner of your browser, see that? It’s your page title. It’s one of the most important things on your website. Keep it to the point, don’t spam it with keywords and don’t use more than 64 characters as Google clip the rest. Also make sure it’s readable for humans.

For your homepage:
Keywords describing your business | Company name

For a page one level down:
Page name | Keywords describing this part | Company name

For a page two level down:
Page name | Parent page name | Company name

It’s very important to have unique title tags for each page and to make sure that they are factual and clearly describe the content of the page.

Content is king

A one page website won’t win you any SEO awards. The more quality, unique content you have, the better. Give away freebies, offer discounts and free advice, and do it regularly. This a sure shot way to drive quality traffic to your website.

Use H1, H2, H3, bold and italic tags

Header tags (H1, H2, H3 etc.) are the most important pieces of text on each page. Google will match these headers with the title tag, so make sure you keep it consistent. If your main keyword for the page is “Web Design Oxford”, make sure you have that in both the page title and in the H1. Then highlight your second most important keyword/phrase using the H2 tags etc. Highlighting additional keywords using bold also shows Google that this word is of more importance.

Domains and URL’s

Always try to use a top level domain name for the region you mainly do business in. For the US that is .com and for the UK .co.uk. Keep it to just one domain but if you have several domains, don’t map them, do a 301 redirect instead as this will help Google to focus on just one domain and not spread the page rank across several domains.

URL’s (the web page address) should be human readable and if possible contain keywords. Avoid using PHP/ASP style URL’s. It’s also very helpful if you can show a clear structure in the URL, something like:

www.domainname.com/top-category/sub-category/actual-page-name

Internal links

Don’t just be obsessed with getting external links to your website. Linking to your other pages from within you page text can help you too and it can also increase your Google Page Rank. It also helps your readers and the search engine robots in there quest to index your website and can get new pages indexed faster.

Make sure you use keywords in your anchor text. There are too many examples of poorly created hyper links and the best example has to be “click here”, unless you try to get to the top of Google for the keyword “click here” off course 😉 Good quality anchor text will improve your search engine ranking for your keyword.

Improve your description tags

The keywords and phrases you use in your Meta description tag might not affect your page’s ranking on search engines, but the description tag can still improve your user experience as this is what’s shown in the Google search result. Keywords are also highlighted in bold in the search result and this is proven to increase your click though rate from Google.

Don’t forget your images

Make sure you use ALT tags and place a few selected keyword in there. Search engines can’t read images but they can read the ALT tags. Also very good for accessibility.

External links are still important

The more pages that link to you the better, just make sure that the pages linking to your are of relevance. It’s key that the incoming links are text links and that you use a variations of keywords. Using the same link text on all external pages will make Google suspect that you are keyword spamming.

Make sure your website is W3C compliant

Using valid HTML and CSS might not be super important, but it can play a key role in how your website is presented to Google. Try to use DIV’s and then CSS to display the content in the right way to your users and in a different way to Google. Placing more important content at the top off your code, like your H1 tag etc., then move this using CSS so it’s in the correct place when viewed by a visitor. This way you can also avoid repeating the same content at the top (like your menu) on each page making sure Google see the actual content of each page.

Use Google Webmaster Tools and Analytics

Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics are a great way to submit, track and analyse your website. They are completely free and offer you the best possible way to get started.

Hire a professional

Electric Studio offer free, impartial advice and thrive on making your business a successful business. Contact  us today and get the ball rolling.

Well see you on top!

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