SEO – Search Engine Optimization for Dummies
Optimizing Your Website the Easy Way
Search Engine Optimization sounds difficult to most. One reason being that search engines are very technical things and the other being that the word optimization has five syllables. But in truth Search Engine Optimization is not an exact science, even though the companies that advertise this service will make it out to be. The steps that are outlined in this article will help you to optimize your site correctly at the design stage of your website.
Selfish of me I know but when I design a site I think of the Search Engines first and people second and I set out to design a site that search engines appreciate. Optimizing the site as much as possible anyway I can without cheating my way to a first position or over optimizing. To be quite honest I’m not upset if I don’t hit first place but I do expect to hit the top half of the first page, as most people are too lazy to scroll down.
The following steps should be taken after you have taken care of your Keyword Research.
The Pyramid Method
The Pyramid Method is a term which I like to use to describe the way that I optimize a website to amplify my chosen keywords so that the search engine gives me a nice placing among or above my leading competitors. The Pyramid Method starts up at the top in your title, spreading through your description and Keywords then onto your page body, headline tags, first words, links and then onto the pages that you link to.
The Head region
When writing your page title remember that a good page title doesn’t have to be 100% grammatically correct but should be a readable sentence, while using as little stop words as you can. Stop Words are words that are not important to a search engine’s search i.e. and, if, on etc. These words should be used as little as possible.
The title should be no more than 12 words long, descriptive and clear involving as many of your chosen keywords as you can cram in. When submitting your links to certain sites if your description is too long to be allowed on the link submission site then your title can be used it’s place.
On www.itandwebdesign.com we used this as our title.
‘SEO Bangkok, Web hosting, Thailand. Website Design Consultants and Website Design Courses.’
Meta Tag Description
A grammatically correct description of no more than 24 words is needed here involving all your main keywords that you used in your Title tag plus 12 more keywords or your main keywords again in different collocations (different word order).
On www.itandwebdesign.com we used this as our description.
‘SEO/website design consultants Bangkok, Thailand. Web design, search engine optimization, Adobe CS3 training courses, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Flash lessons and private computer classes’
Meta Tag Keywords
No more than 48 words should be used here in as many different collocations as possible. If you do have more than 48 keywords or too many keywords to put on one page then put the appropriate keywords on the appropriate pages.
We used 48 Keywords in 17 different phrases, but only 24 niche words were used.
Finally your Title and Meta Tags should be in the following order.
As most people are lead to believe.
Headline 1 Tag
A nice descriptive text title in h1 at the top of your page or under your banner containing your main keywords is needed to catch the search engines attention. Headline tags show the search engines the importance of these words. A grammatically correct title is needed on your page as humans will be reading this one too. All subtitles on the page I wrap with h2 tags over use of h1 tags can have a negative effect. The problem with Headline tags is that the text is massive and it leaves a leaves an automatic line break underneath. These problems can be quite easily solved using CSS styling.
Our h1 heading on our index page reads like this.
‘Itandwebdesign.com Computer Training Bangkok – Thailand Website Design, Web Design Courses, SEO Company and Link Campaigns’
There’s no point opening your page up with a bunch of words that sound really good to read but contain nothing but your company name and a bunch of adjectives. The first words on your page should be a nice paragraph that contains your main keywords which is very important for the search engines so take advantage of the first words on your page. Make it a readable correctly punctuated paragraph not just a bunch of keywords separated by commas; this would get your website penalized for being over optimized. Repeating your description with a few extra keywords all wrapped up in nicely written sentences would be a good idea here.
The niche words you have used in your Title, Description and Keywords mean nothing if they are not referred to in your body text. Google does not like liars so do not throw keywords into your Meta tags and Title if you are not going to refer to them in your body text, we only used 24 niche words so it ‘s not an impossible task. Optimizing your web page should be as smooth and simple as possible and keeping everything related holds the page together and improves performance. Break the text up into small descriptive paragraphs with a hyperlink close by to point to the different sections or products on your site. An h2 sub heading for each paragraph can be added if you choose to do so this will also help to increase performance.
Anchor Text, Link Labels and Hyperlinks
Last but not least. Anchor text (or Link Labels) is ranked highly by search engines, because the linked text is usually relevant to the landing page. The objective of search engines is to provide highly relevant search results; this is where anchor text helps, as more often than not, hyperlinked words are relevant to the landing page. However I also suggest that there be anchor text on each page pointing to the page that it is on. On our site www.seo2marketing.com we solved this problem by using the same navbar on every page, meaning that every page has a link pointing to itself. When creating a hyperlink use a title for your link which will create an alt text description on mouse hover and will also be picked up by the search engine spiders.
For more information on how to resize your Headline tags and correct use of hyperlinks using Dreamweaver please check out our article ‘Optimizing in Dreamweaver for Dummies’.
Mark A Smith
Chief SEO and Area Manager
www.seo2marketing.com – SEO Training Programs and Web Developer Courses, Bangkok, Thailand