Search Engine Optimization is a very hot topic on the World Wide Web. After-all, everybody wants to rank higher and come up on the first page of Google search and get more traffic.
Sometimes it is easy to get carried away with SEO though. In my opinion, the best technique is to keep it simple and apply a bit of common sense.
Most SEO plugins will take care of the common architecture related stuff for you. So in this article I will only focus on techniques that you need to do yourself (or be aware of).
I have identified and made a list of top 15 SEO practices that I tend to forget quite often. These simple SEO techniques, if practiced properly, can make a significant difference as to how my pages are ranked in the Search Engine Queries.
- Use proper anchor text for inter-links. Don’t use “here”, “there” etc for the anchor text (if you can avoid it).
- Optimize the images, always create alt tags and write description in the alt tag.
- Use search engine friendly permalinks. Try not to have too many ‘&’, ‘?’, ‘!’ etc characters in the URL. Sometimes it is unavoidable but try to keep it to a minimum.
- Use hyphens (-) between words to improve readability.
- Do not use underscores (_) in URLs, use hyphens (-) instead.
- Do not use session id in URLs. If you are using good hosting then you shouldn’t have to worry about this one.
- Avoid using capital letters in URLs. Windows servers are case sensitive. Keep them lowercase so there’s no confusion.
- Use internal linking when possible and appropriate.
- Use sticky posts (if you can and if it applies to you).
- Have a category description paragraph.
- Let the visitors subscribe to category specific RSS feed. (Use category specific RSS plugin for WordPress)
- Use rel=”nofollow” tag on low value links to not pass the page rank juice. For example “Read the rest of the entry”, “About”, “Contact” etc.
- Use sub-directories rather than sub-domains when possible. Sub-domains do not share link love from the main domain as it is treated as a different domain.
- Research the target audience and aim the site content appropriately.
- Keep the content up to date. Visitors don’t like outdated content. Updating the content frequently also attracts the Search engines spiders to index the web pages frequently.
Going forward I will try to use this list to optimize my web pages.
Here is a list of articles you should read to learn more SEO techniques:
- How To Ensure That Your Blog Is Never Penalized By Google
- 6 Simple Strategies to Get Blog Posts Indexed Quickly
- Short All-You-Need Guide to Keyword Density
- 6 SEO Strategies That Can Generate Highly Targeted Traffic
- Blog Commenting Strategies to Improve Search Ranking
Have you identified any SEO mistakes that you commonly make?
Comments (93 responses)
This is good, i have been using SEO Post Content Link plugin from WordPress. Its really great and helpful for my blog.
I managed a number of WordPress sites for a couple of years now and I would never know that I am making big mistakes in SEO. I had many sites with sub-domain, I am thinking of adding categories before but I decided to use sub-domain instead. I never thought that it has a big impact in sharing link love. In addition, you can revise, change the title, meta description, etc of an old content to make it fresh and re-publish it.
I don’t think, that “Tag Cloud” is a good idea:
It’s the german Version, but the video from Matt Cutts is in English.
One of the most important elements of the optimized site is appropriate keyword density. Your keyword density should be kept under 20 percent, which will prevent your site from being targeted as spam.
Thank you so much for this great informative article! I love this blog.
Thanks for bringing most valuable information. Till now am using ‘_’ but i got to know that it is always better to ‘-‘ and no follow to contact us page. Nice post dude keep up.
Most people over look the importance of SEO and the affect it has on the increase of web traffic to a blog, however in this article you pointed out some of the most common mistakes that many new bloggers and site developers find themselves in. Was really a great read, thanks for sharing.
This is very important for me! “Use sub-directories rather than sub-domains when possible. Sub-domains do not share link love from the main domain as it is treated as a different domain.”
That’s a nice list of tips, some of which I had absolutely no idea of. I can’t claim to be a seo expert yet since I mostly do manual submissions, so I will try out these on my site and report back with the results. Thanks for sharing!
How about keyword mapping?
It is so easy to link all your keywords to the home page but that won’t stick in a competitive term.
How are sticky posts going to help? I always thought fresh content was the key to having more regular visits from Googles spiders, noticing you updated content?
Great list of tips, really helpful. thanks!
16. Not using a tool, like Seomoz’s Open Site Explorer or Majestic SEO to identify links from compeditors! Add it 😉
If you are a new to internet marketing, search engine optimization (SEO) is sometimes hard to understand in the beginning. SEO is the ability to make an article or a web page optimized for the search engines. Once the article or webpage has been SEO optimized the search systems such as Google, Yahoo and Bing now have the ability to rank and index the page or article appropriately
I have been trying this SEO for about 6 months. I have 2 pages rank well in google, but can’t seem to get the rest to do well.I need to do a better job of researching my audience. Thanks for the info
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This is a great article. I always forget about subdomains. This is something Im going to be experimenting with shortly. If a website is fully optimized, are could tags truly useful? Im curious your opinion. Thanks.
Great article on the right things to do to keep SEO at the front of the site. Anchor Text is the one that I keep forgetting, but makes such a difference if you get it right.
Thanks for the reminders and the list.
Even though I know all these tips and school my clients on them incessantly I still find myself slipping up now and then. My most common mistakes come from falling back on the time-saving shortcuts of my early website designing days, when brevity was favored over breadth, and of course prior to anyone thinking about SEO.
@Kiash, meta description and meta keywords are two separate things. Meta descriptions should not be longer than 160 characters. Keywords should be 2 to 5 words long.
Thanks for sharing those valuable seo tips. I have a question that is, “How long I can give meta description or meta keywords? shorts forms are good or long ones?
@Bob, tagging your posts will help your visitors find your content easily. Things that help your visitor find your content can also help the search engine find your content.
I wish that you had went into greater details about the tag cloud. I have seen that alot, however I don’t get it. Is this an SEO trick? Is it a gimmick? Is it for styllistic purposes? I just don’t get it.
I don’t really agree with using tag clouds. By doing so you will get a lot of new links with the result that all of your other links lose some value. It’s not really worth it and personally I don’t believe the users ever use it.
Good nice to be here in this blog i learn a lot with this blog more good niche to come.nice as online game
thanks for sharing this information with us.
Your post touches upon a lot of great points, but ultimately I think the most important thing is that as writers we should always write for the reader and never for the search engines
Thanks for taking the time to post this info, very useful for us types who just cant work out why their blogs/sites are on page 10 of Google!!
I can’t believe the number of clients I have who simply refuse to tag their photos properly. It’s such a simple and beneficial strategy, yet so often neglected. It’s a real shame as it couldn’t be easier to do, especially with todays CMS backends making tagging, and captioning so damn simple. I guess some folks just never learn.
One of this tips was missing in my blog : the category description paragraph,
i think is very important
Very good article. I think perhaps most importantly, with relevance to Google, entering the title tag an expression of words or keywords, that is optimized for that page.
I love this article, why because I forget to so many of the same things, hahaha. I think I’ll copy this article and make a checklist out of it, thank you so very much.
This is great. I was looking for a quick list of SEO tips and this hit the spot. These are easily forgotten search engine optimization tips that definitely need to be incorporated into your strategy. Excellent article.
There are few ways to give your content a boost. You can add to the current content or re-write it. If you’re going to add to your content just continue where you stopped writing. How? Just add two or three new tips or pieces of information and write a paragraph on each. This will naturally strengthen your article or post. After re-publishing remember to ping your site. This will let search engines know that you have updated your content. It might take a few days for all the spiders to crawl your site but once they do you should see an improvement.
Great Information, O try the SEO but i cant see the difference.
I’m constantly forgetting to add the rel=nofollow tag to my outlinking links, which is a drain on the juice. Helpful reminder list.
Very cool, I am just starting to learn about search engine optimization, so I am reading every article I can find, thank you very much for sharing yours.
“# Use tag clouds.
# Have a category description paragraph.”
How exactly do those things improve SEO?