Why Optimize for Search Engines?
Search engine traffic is one of the most sought after traffic sources, this is because: it’s free, it’s targeted traffic and it can potentially be substantial amounts. In this article I will discuss 5 steps to optimize your website’s SEO. I can’t promise you top 10 rankings but I can promise you better rankings.
5 Steps to Optimize Your Website’s SEO
Include your keywords in your domain name
If a search engine finds keywords in your domain name it will assume that your website is about this topic, it will obviously verify the keywords by analyzing the other SEO factors but having a good domain name does have benefits. If you have already purchased your domain name and it doesn’t include your keywords, don’t worry too much – you can still rank highly without it.
As an example, the keyword “CMS” is included in this website’s domain name “www.live-CMS.com” so if “CMS” is the target keyword it’ll get added SEO benefit. Along with the keywords in the domain name, you should also use your keywords within your directory and file naming conventions, as you can see in the URL of this page, it has some important keywords – www.live-cms.com/articles/SEO_and_Your_Website/.
Build back links from relevant websites
Building back links from relevant websites is a very important step to high search engine rankings. An inward link from a relevant website is treated as a “positive vote” by Google. Some methods for building back links include; linking to your website from a forum signature, commenting on relevant blog posts with your link, submitting to social networking websites and writing articles. The image demonstrates how inbound links benefit a website’s PageRank and search rankings rankings.
Avoid dynamic URLs, use .htaccess to rewrite them
Search engines may not index all of your pages if you are using dynamic URLs such as www.domain.com/index.php?page=news, this is because the spider sees just one page – index.php. To avoid this problem you can use .htaccess to re-write your URLs to a more search engine friendly (and user friendly) URLs. As an example, in the scenario above we want to convert the URL from www.domain.com/index.php?page=news to www.domain.com/news/, this is simple with .htaccess, just two lines of code:
RewriteRule ^(.+)/ index.php?page=$
Use keyword rich page titles and headings
The page title (text in the blue bar) and headings (h1, h2, etc.) should all include the target keywords of the current page. For www.live-cms.com, the page title is “CMS Articles, CMS Reviews and CMS Demos | www.Live-CMS.com” which is far more appropriate than “CMS Website” or “www.live-cms.com” as it includes the target keywords. We include the target keywords because it is unlikely that somebody will search for “www.live-cms.com” but they might search for “CMS Reviews”. is “CMS Articles, CMS Reviews and CMS Demos | www.Live-CMS.com” which is far more appropriate than “CMS Website” or “www.live-cms.com” as it includes the target keywords. We include the target keywords because it is unlikely that somebody will search for “www.live-cms.com” but they might search for “CMS Reviews”.
Write high quality content
Having high quality content is a very important step to high search engine rankings. While a search engine doesn’t literally check for high quality content, having high quality content will still improve your SEO significantly because high quality content will naturally generate back links from relevant websites.
Having high quality content not only improves your back links and SEO, but it also encourages your visitors to return to or stay at your site, this is called visitor retention. With returning visitors your page impressions will increase and if you have monetized your site, your revenue will increase.