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Webmasters Guide To Search Engine Optimization

"The webmasters guide to search engine optimization is a mini checklist that will help you to increase website traffic!"

The process of search engine optimization involves tweaking various aspects of your website and deals only with the organic search results. It has nothing to do with paid search also known as inorganic search or PPC. In order to improve your positioning in the organic search results, these guidelines will point out the tactics on how you can improve the visibility of your website.

Webmasters Guide To Search Engine Optimization

Character Set Tag:
One of the most crucial elements of On Page optimization is Character Set Tag. This tag needs to be correct. The tag depends on what you want from your webpage. The most common used are:
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1" />
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />

The advantage of using UTF-8 is it enables you to use extended character set, thereby allowing your webpage to display more foreign characters. However, if you are not accepting foreign characters then you can make use of 8859-1.
This tag should show as the first tag after the <head> tag. In this way you will not allow the browser to choose the character set for you.

CSS - Cascading Style Sheets:
Another element that plays a vital role in On Page Optimization is CSS. This file brings about consistency in the formatting of all the web pages of your website. By creating a style.css file you can add all your formatting and position it as:
<link href="style.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css">

Page Title:
Page title also referred to as the ‘title tag’ needs to be unique for each page of your website. This tag tells search engines and also the visitors what that particular webpage is all about. The title tag of each page should contain the business/website name followed with important information that relates to the webpage. One must avoid the following:

  1. Recording a title tag that is not relevant to the information present on the webpage.
  2. Recording the same title tag across all the pages of the website.
  3. Recording long title tags.

Meta Description:
The Meta description tag gives both the search engines and also the visitors who perform a search on the search engine an idea on what the web page is all about. That’s why it’s important to precisely summarize the content of your webpage. It’s always safe to keep the meta description tag within 160 characters (including spaces), as the rest of it gets truncated. One must avoid the following:

  1. Writing a meta description that is not relevant to the information presented on the webpage.
  2. Recording the same meta description across all the web pages of the website.
  3. Recording the meta description with only keywords.

URL Structure:
It’s important to create a URL structure that is friendly to the search engines as this will help in better indexing of your website. For this reason, it is essential to create appropriate filenames and expressive categories on your website. One must avoid the following:

  1. Recording long URLs
  2. Recording the same URL across all the web pages.
  3. Recording deep nested subdirectories
  4. Recording irrelevant directory names.

Website Navigation:
A website that is easy to navigate can help the visitors to find the information they are looking for. It also helps the search engines in indexing the pages appropriately. It is important to ensure that all the web pages of your website are interlinked properly and also show the correct page when clicked on. The use of sitemaps both HTML and XML help the spiders to crawl the website easily and also index it. One must avoid the following:

  1. Creating complex websites that are difficult to navigate.
  2. Creating drop-down menus.
  3. Developing a HTML sitemap in which the pages are not organized.
  4. Indexing the 404 page in the search engine.

Unique Content:
The content that is hosted on your webpage needs to be informative, such that it can elicit action. Ensure that the content is not copied and is 100% your own creativity. Keep the content focused around your primary keywords and ensure that the keyword density is around 2.75% to 3.21%. It is also good to keep changing the content on your website so that the visitors can see that the site is not static but dynamic with its content. One must avoid the following:

  1. Using images that serve as textual content.
  2. Using long sentences.
  3. Incorrect grammar and spelling mistakes.
  4. Duplicate content on the web pages of your website.
  5. Stuffing keywords unnecessarily.

Anchor Text:
Anchor texts are links that direct visitors to the internal pages of the website or to an external page/website. Anchor text helps the users to easily navigate between pages and also helps the spiders to understand what the page is all about, that it is linked to. One must avoid the following:

  1. Using general anchor texts.
  2. Using anchor text that is not related to the content of the webpage or is off topic.
  3. Using long sentences.
  4. Creating unnecessary links.

Heading Tags:
Heading tags are used to represent the heading of the content of the webpage. Heading tags range in 6 sizes – h1, h2, h3, h4, h5 and h6. These tags should only be used at the appropriate places. One must avoid the following:

  1. Using one heading tag for the entire content of the webpage.
  2. Using too many heading tags throughout the content of the webpage.

Alt Tag Optimization:
Images can’t be read by a spider when they crawl on the website. Therefore, it is important to use alt tags for the images. It is best suggested to use the primary keyword as the alt tag following the contents that describe the page. One must avoid the following:

  1. Using long filenames.
  2. Stuffing excess of keywords in the alt tags.

Robots.txt File:
A robots.txt file is used to prohibit the robots to crawl a particular page based on the nature and content of information that is available. This file must be placed in the root directory of your site and also named as robots.txt. One must avoid the following:

  1. Search result pages to be crawled.

Website Promotion:
You can promote your website using offline promotion, online promotion, social media sites, AdWords optimization, Google’s Local Business Center, forming groups, forums etc.

Once you have implemented or taken note of all these tactics, do use the Google Webmaster Tools that will help you in solving many of the issues that are related to your website. You can also monitor the performance of your website by using Google Analytics.
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