Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short, is a complex aspect of web development. After working for several years with SEO, and in particular 4 years with SEO and Joomla, I have acquired a great deal of experience in these areas. In this article, I will be sharing with you: 10 important factors to consider when optimizing your website.
In my opinion, SEO is a long term strategy and not a quick fix. It is something that you do on a daily basis. If you implement these factors exactly, your website will see an increase in traffic from the search engines. So let's get started.
The Title tag is extremely important. It is what is displayed in the search engines as your page's clickable headline. Google does take notice of this, so make sure to incorporate your main keywords into your title tag if possible. It is definitely worth it to take the time to come up with a title tag that includes your main keyword in it.
Don't use too many keywords
Most webmasters are very well aware of the fact that having the most important keywords on a page several times in the article is critical if you are wanting to compete for the top positions in the search results. However, too much is not good. You need to keep in mind that the text needs to be fluent and readable for your readers. Stuffing too many keywords into your pages is not pleasing to the search engines. Readers find it annoying and it can also backfire on you if the search engines exclude your pages and website from their search results.
To help you deal with this issue, Scribe SEO for Joomla can be used. This is a tool that analyzes your content and also helps to remind you of all the content rules that can have an impact on your SEO.
Get plenty of inbound links
Another really important factor is getting inbound links for your pages. The best way to obtain inbound links is creating compelling content so that readers will want to share it. Use StumbleUpon, Digg and other services for spreading the word about your pages. If you have good content, other site owners and blog will want to link to them.
Wikipedia is a really good example. People link like crazy to it. That's because it contains a lot of relevant information on just about any topic.
External and internal linking
If you have pages on your site with content that is relevant to what you are currently writing about, you can link to the new content internally. This will help to improve your rankings.
When you are linking externally, you may want to add the rel=”nofollow” tag to your links. Having too many links on a page can hurt your SEO, so it can be a good idea to set some of them as nofollow.
Pay close attention here. In order to get the most that you can from a link, carefully consider the text you are using (anchor text). For example, if you have a link that uses the word product as the anchor text it will not be as efficient as having an anchor text of iPhone 4. The keyword or keyword phrase you are linking from will be what Google uses for improving your ranking. Therefore, the page you are linking will be given a boost for the keyword phrase iPhone 4 whenever you create the link with that anchor text.
This is an XML file showing all of the pages on your website so that the search engines can easily include them. If you don't have a lot of pages, a service such as xml-sitemaps.com can be used for free to create your XML sitemap. Or XMap can be installed on your website to automatically create your sitemap on your Joomla menu.
Use your robots.txt file
This is a file that is located inside your website's root folder. There is information contained on which folders are to be indexed and which ones are not. There may also be information on your XML sitemap included also.
Tip: Remove the lines that excludes the Joomla/images folder. If you don't, none of the images on your site will be indexed in Google image search utility.
Use Google Webmaster Tools
This tool from Google helps to analyze and improve your website. If you somehow missed putting in any titles or description, the tools make it easy for you to spot the places on your website where you may have missed these. You can also test your robots.txt file and submit your site's sitemap XML.
Track and analyze
It is very important track your site's traffic and also analyze it on a regular basis in order to make improvements to your website. Google Analytics can be used for reporting. Look at its reports regularly. The following are some of important things you will want to consider:
- Traffic sources (referring sites, direct traffic, search engines)
- Bounce rate (how many visitors see just one page)
- Most common exit pages
- Most popular pages
- What keywords generate the most traffic (get ore traffic to those keywords and get ideas for new content)
Use the segmentation tools that are part of Google Analytics for SEO work you will be doing in the future.
The first thing you need to do is keyword research. It can be a big advantage when you know what individuals are searching for so that you will know which keywords and keywords you should optimize your website for. The Google Adwords keywords tool can be used for doing your keyword research or you can use specialized software such as Market Samurai.