Search Engine Optimization is all about attracting non-paid search traffic to a website based on probable keywords related to a business brand that would be used by potential customer, leads or website visitors in order to locate your website. Therefore it is highly relevant that your website is easily understood by both people and machines (search engine bots & crawlers).
With this post we look at some of the essentials that need to be adhered when we talk of optimizing a website for the right keywords associated with the business brand:
Create Google Account, email address & do the same for Bing/Yahoo network
Install Google Webmaster Tools
Install Bing Webmaster Tools
Check Google Webmaster for 404 errors / 500 errors, duplicate content, missing title & technical errors
Verify site code with W3 Validation & ensure the validation score is 100% perfect
Ensure that your website implements Google+ Authorship Mark-up and for the same refer to the following video on Google Webmaster Help on Authorship by Matt Cutts & Othar Hansson. You can also refer to this Definitive Guide to Google Authorship Markup
Create Robots.txt file & submit in Google & Bing Webmaster Tools. Robots.txt is a text file created to instruct robots (search engine bots) on how to crawl and index pages on a website.
Deploy mobile/smart device compatibility as well as cross browser compatibility test for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, IE all versions using tools like Browserstack.com/screenshots, Netrenderer.com, Crossbrowsertesting.com.
Incorporate primary keyword (or something close) into the page URL, also known as URL Optimization.
Optimize On-pages SEO elements with Title tags using 65 characters or less; Description tags using 155 characters or less; 4-5 keywords preferably in conversational string (e.g. where to find ….. keyword, how to use ….. keywords)
Ensure that your site code for Java Scripts & CSS are being called from an external file & not embedded directly to your sites source code.
Use H1 tags all up to H4 & H5 across the pages with at least 100 – 400 words in content including a healthy amount of search engine accessible text. Avoid creating a page that has less than 100 words of content
Use of synonyms & natural language (Conversational Search Strings) that’s influenced by keyword research is encouraged as per latest Google Hummingbird updates
Add ALT tags & Title tags for the images on your site with appropriate filenames for high relevancy listings on Google Image Search. ALT, Title tags & image file names are among some of the factors that Search Engines uses to “see” & review images
Link your internal pages in an SEO-friendly way so that both users & search engines understands what the links are about. Refer to the following post for more details in Internal Link Building
Focus on Off-Page SEO & initiate link building exercises to boost your websites reach across relevant platforms. Refer to the Beginner’s Guide to Link Building from Clickminded.com for a more detailed understanding
Conduct an SEO Site Audit using crawling tools like Raven SEO Tools that comes with a 30 Days Free Trial or SEO Spider Tool from ScreamingFrog.co.uk. Refer to the following post on SEO Site Audit & Back Link Follow Ups for a detailed perspective.
Claim your business / website name on some of the major networks for online reputation management. Completing this process across the mentioned domains ensures that your listing is listed & available across the first page of a search, more so if you are a new website or company:
Set up social media accounts/profile for your website/brand on social networking platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Refer to the following post that defines Social Media Marketing Predictions for 2014
Ensure that you are using appropriate structured mark-up for your website coding. Refer to Schema.org for more.
By: Pallab Kakoti