Strategic Planning for Website SEO
Strategic Planning for Website SEO
1. Choose target keywords carefully. Focus on words or phrases that users would typically type into a search engine to find the site as the “target keywords.” Optimize the Web page for those target keywords. Each page of the site may have different keywords. Ensure that the target keywords are at least two or more words long to avoid battling the odds of trying to rank well with one word. Use ten or fewer keywords per page, otherwise it dilutes the message.
2. Optimize title tag. The target keywords must appear in the HTML title tag as well as in the first few lines of the page. Ensure that the titles are short and attractive, as these will be picked up and displayed by the search engine.
3. Optimize H1 and H2 headers. If the site is about “Dog Grooming,” with “Groomers” and “Techniques” as headers, consider revising to “Dog Groomers” and “Dog Grooming Techniques” to ensure better relevancy for search engines and users.
5. Avoid large blocks of graphical text. While graphics containing text may look nice on the Web page, search engines cannot read the graphical text, and its relevancy will be lower as a result. Ensure that relevant content is in HTML text format. Use the <Alt> tag to describe the image.
6. Meta tags are useful. While not as important as the Title or top paragraphs, the site should contain the target keywords of the Web site (no more than three times, and not next to each other (e.g. dog, grooming, groomers, dog, grooming, groomers, dog, grooming, groomers.)
7. Meta descriptions are helpful. Describe what the Web site is about – not the company – in the Meta Description. Focus on relevant keywords to draw users to the site. Once there, they can learn about the company.
8. Use HTML links. If the site uses graphical links on the homepage, ensure that there are HTML: links available as well. This is both a good Web design practice, as well as imperative to allow search engines to follow all the links on the site. Consider that the most relevant pages are “inside” the homepage.
9. Include a site map. Consider including a site map with all text links to every page on the Web site for submitting to the search engines. A map will ensure that every page on the Web site is “crawled” by the search engines. It is also very useful for site users.
10. Dynamic content may not be indexed. Some search engines cannot crawl dynamically generated pages. Ensure that the target keywords are available on the page outside of the dynamically generated data.
11. Avoid non-standard symbols in the URL. Search engines can choke on symbols in the URL, especially the question mark.
12. Build links. Create links to credible sites that contain content that is relevant to your site. Focus on a few quality sites rather than on link farms. Contact these sites to discuss the possibility of “trading” links.
13. Submit key pages manually. Do not trust search engine crawlers to automatically index the site. Submit the key two or three pages (containing links to the rest of the site) manually to the major search engines. It can take a month or two for the site to be indexed, so be patient.
14. Re-submit the site often. Any time that a major revision is made to the site, re-submit it to the search engines to ensure that it is re-indexed.
15. View the site in Mosaic. Download a copy of Mosaic (one of the oldest web browsers) to see how the site is crawled and indexed. Look at your site in Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Safari, and Netscape Navigator to determine cross browser functionality. Optimize the site for the browsers most used by your visitors.