One of the cheapest, and even sometimes easiest ways to get traffic to a website is to super-charge it in such a way that it is search engine gold. This means taking the right steps and laying down a good foundation so that not only does your website get indexed, but also can climb the ladder of search results, stick to the front page of Google and continue gathering search driven traffic for years to come. Here are the essential steps that you should put the most focus on.
1. Your Domain Name Is Critical To Onsite SEO
Of course you’ve heard it before – using your main keyword in your domain name is essential. The order of domain extensions is important for SEO as well. The order is.com,.org,.net. Always go for a.com if possible.
Your domain name should also be short. An added advantage is to brand yourself. Literally, create a clever name that involves your keyword. This not only contributes to individualism, but also uniqueness – something search engines love.
If you have the funds, do consider acquiring a previously registered domain that has lots of back links and quite a bit of age to it. Domain names are an investment, and for the right price you can give yourself an edge in search engine optimization.
2. Site Structure For Good Search Engine Optimization
The navigation of your website is critical in SEO for both the user and the search engines. You don’t want to be changing things around later, so make sure that you map out how your site should flow together.
A navigation bar at the top with your most important items or categories is always a good idea. Other articles can flow from a side bar, and of course your disclaimer, privacy statement, contact, about page and so forth are most appropriate at the bottom.
Avoid using the famous “nofollow” tag. If you are building an affiliate site, do not use this for your affiliate links. Instead, create a redirect page for each link and place these pages in a subfolder. The subfolder should be listed in your robots.txt file as Disallow so that the search engines do not index any of the content.
3. A Web Site Is Like A Book
One way to build an excellent web site and maximize SEO is to think of it as a book. Your website will one day want to have 100+ pages, a great index (navigation), and most importantly – each page should be formatted as a go-to source for excellent information. To learn how the masters do it, simply scan over Wikipedia. Notice the use of bullet points, italics, bolding, anchor text links, images, etc.
Each page should be at least 500 words, and preferably more. Always include at least 1 photo with good, descriptive alternate text. Including a related video is also an added search engine optimization boost.
Use header tags appropriately, with H1 being the title of your page (not the website), H2 as sub headings, and H3 for sub-sub headings. Take the time to italicize important words, such as names appearing for the first time, terminology, classifications, etc.
Bold your keyword at least once, and underline it on another part of the page. Including a link to another resource with your keyword as the anchor text is a must, and ideally this link will point to an authority site. Never use the nofollow tag when doing this! Google wants to see that you are sharing and helping them connect the web.
4. Do Not Take Part In Link Exchanges
Link exchanges are deadly. If you have a links or resources page, use it simply for the purpose of including websites that are of valuable and similar information, and grow the authority of your own site. Google does pay attention to who you link to. If they see cross linking going on too many times, then this can hurt your site in the long run.
However, seeing that you are openly collecting resources on your site is just good SEO practice.
5. When To Build Back Links How To Do It
Some people start right away or declare that you can. My philosophy is to wait a couple of weeks and let a site age. During this time add as much content as you like, create and submit a sitemap to the search engines, build a couple of back links to get your site indexed and your pages crawled.
Once a couple of weeks has gone by and you are ready to rev up your SEO efforts, here is what you do.
Evenly build back links to each page. Over time these need to be a mixture of links coming from articles, blogs, social bookmarking, forums, videos, podcasts, PDFs, websites from different countries, with different domain extensions, and a few authority links.
The overall message here is diversity in links, and try not to build too many too fast.
If you start implementing these critical SEO tactics, I’m positive that you will see great success with your website.