Search Engine Optimising your website

by Gary on July 4, 2007 · 7 comments

in SEO Basics

How to search engine optimise your website has become a perennial question. You can find hundreds of ways to optimise your website for search engines but these ways are so many, and so intricate, that one often feels lost. In this post, very briefly, and quickly, I’ll explain the most fundamental steps you can take to search engine optimise your website. Here they are:

Have lots of relevant content

Lots of here means, lots of. The more relevant content you have, the greater is the chance of getting ranked higher. Lots of pages increase the probability of getting linked to by other webmasters. The more they link to you, the greater is the frequency with which the search engines spider your various pages. The more pages you have indexed, the greater is the number of people finding you through search engines. So you see, it becomes a self-feeding cycle. Keep it going by continuously adding fresh, relevant content to your website.

Create compelling titles and headlines

The search engines carefully evaluate your text in the title and headlines tags and in fact the title of your web page prominently appears as a hyperlink on the search engine result pages. Your page title truly represents the overall subject of your individual web page. Use your important keywords in your title but only if those keywords are relevant to your web page.

Similarly, the headings and sub-headings represent paragraphs and ideas. It’s been observed that once on your page, 8 out of 10 people will read your headlines but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest of the copy. This is why the search engines pay such a close attention to what you say within your header tags.

Use your keywords at the right spots

You should use your keywords and key phrases

  • As anchor text. Anchor text (text between <a> and </a>) tells the search engines as well as the human readers the nature of the web page being linked to. If your keyword appears with the link, it means you have more information/sources about that keyword.
  • In the lists. When you use your keywords in the bulleted lists (<li></li>) it means you’ve got a list of things about that keyword, and if you have a list of things about that keyword, then that keyword must be relevant to what you have on the page.
  • As bold text. Just once or twice and don’t overdo it.
  • Within the header tags. As mentioned above.
  • In the title tag. As mentioned above.
  • Once or twice in every paragraph.

Keep your website accessible

Keep your website accessible by keeping it as text-friendly as possible. Use proper ALT text with IMG tags. Keep the JavaScript and other bells and whistles to the minimum. Always test your website with a text-only browser and see that none of your important messages are left out.

These steps are an important start. Although, as already said, there are hundreds of things you can do to search engine optimise your website, these steps can take you a long way in getting good positions on the search engine result pages.

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