Search engine optimization can sound like a complicated, technical endeavor, and indeed, it can be. There are numerous professionals whose sole job function is to try to decode search engines’ behaviors. What makes one site seem better than another to those automated spiders from Google and Yahoo? The answer can be elusive, because these sites are constantly changing their algorithms and formulas to produce better search results and prevent people from taking advantage of the system.
So what does that mean for you? Should you just hang up the towel? No! There are still many things you can do to improve your chances at a higher search engine ranking, which will result in more web traffic.
Link back to yourself. When it’s appropriate, link back to old content. Be aware of what words you are linking. Let’s look at this sentence: For more tips, read our past article on planning an effective internet marketing strategy. I could have chosen to link the words “past article,” but this doesn’t help the search engine identify what the page I am linking to is about. By linking more relevant keywords like “marketing” and “internet,” the page is more likely to come up for those terms.
Use keywords in your URLs. Many blogs and sites have systems that “file” things under dates or numbering systems. The result is something like this: “http://www.intechnic.com/2011/08/12/57362.html.” This isn’t ideal. Instead, change it so that the title of your article is also in the URL.
Avoid Flash. Sure, it looks pretty, but since you can’t link to a single page, it doesn’t help with SEO. Can’t get over how snazzy it looks? Then just use it on part of your main page and make the rest of the site basic HTML.
Label your pictures. Search engine spiders can’t “see” images, but they can search the “ALT” tag associated with images. Include a keyword-rich description. After all, it will be invisible to most visitors.
Add new content regularly. Search engines love content. They eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so give them more of what they want. Blogging is one of the easiest ways to keep your website fresh and relevant.
Get people to link to you. The more “linkbacks” you have, the more valuable your content must be. At least, that’s how search engines see it. How do you get people to link to you? Provide valuable, entertaining, or informative content that people want to share. If you need a boost, just ask. Often, people are more than willing to do a link exchange. They’ll link to your blog if you link to theirs.
Remember, your goal is not only to get more traffic, but also to keep people on your site or get them to purchase, so don’t go overboard. Excessive use of many of these techniques – like a page covered in links or stuffed with keywords – will come across as unprofessional and annoying, and drive people away.