I got a question the other day about SEO and what people should be doing to their websites.
Well, there is a lot you can do. Like adjusting title tags, adding keyword rich content, adding video and photos, making sure that their is a 301 Redirect to your www, etc so the search engines see only one site, etc…
But I always like to let the experts do the talking so I head on over to seomoz.org and find out what the smart SEO guys are doing.
There’s a lot of great information – especially the Beginner’s Checklist for Small Business.
But one of the best parts of SEOmoz.org is the survey from SEO experts in the field on Search Engine Ranking.
1. Keyword Focused Anchor Text from External Links – 73% High Importance
What does that mean? In plain English, this means that websites that link to your website are using real words to describe your website and linking to it.
Example: Chas Grundy has a great blog called “Bread Year” (he’s making bread for a year because of resolution. Don’t ask me about it. Ask Chas.) Anyway, if I link to his site it would be great if I made a link like this – Check out Bread Year or this Chas’ Bread Making Site. But if I do this, Check out Chas’ BreadYear.com by clicking here.
The search engines don’t know what “click here” means but they do know it is a link. They give more power to the “keyword focused anchor text” link.
2. External Link Popularity is 71% High Importance.
This is something I preach over and over to people. The more links you get, the better off your site is. It’s not easy to get links but it’s worth it in the long run. And buying Google Adwords does not get you links. And don’t buy from “link farms” either, they will hurt you as well. You may win in the short run – as a friend of mine did when he got himself mentioned quite a bit on a social network – but as soon as Yahoo! downgraded the value of his links, his ranking position fell on the Search Engine Results Page.
How I try and get links every day is by writing good content (which is difficult), commenting on other people’s blogs (some of these won’t count but leave a link anyway), and working social networks. Putting links on any directory you can find – that is legitimate is good as well.
3. Diversity of Link Sources – 67% high importance.
This happens a lot at Notre Dame. One site I reviewed the other day had over 3000 inbound links. Yeah, that’s good stuff. Not really. If you take away the inbound links from the domain nd.edu, they dropped to just over 200. That’s why they weren’t being found in search. They didn’t have a lot of outside links from our domain or any other domains. Good content will get you diverse links.
4. Keyword Use Anywhere in the Title Tag – 66% high importance.
The fortunate thing about this is that it is easy to do. The title tags are the line in the very top of the browser.
Putting in keyword rich title tags can help you get found. Like one of the sites I reviewed the other day, had several keywords in the title tag and it made them number one in search on search.nd.edu organically. Even though there were several sites on campus that should have been beating them out.
Putting things like “Welcome to my Site” is worthless to Google. Maybe you are asking “how do I know what keywords to use?”.
If you are using Google Analytics, you can go into there and look at the search engine results. It will tell you the keywords that people are using to find your website.
If you want to be found for keywords that you think people might be putting into search fields, write all the words down and then use Google’s External Keyword Tool to see if people are really using those terms.