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Search Engine Optimisation - 10 Top Tips

The higher your site is ranking for a particular search term, the more traffic you'll get.

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of improving the volume of traffic to a site from search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Big via unpaid search results. Fundamentally, the higher your site is ranking for a particular search term, the more traffic youll get.

Here are 10 SEO tips you should know:

1. Content is king - Original fresh content in the shape of articles, how-to guides and even elaborate FAQs are the single most important factor for constantly ranking higher up the search engines. While not to underestimate other factors, the search engines place huge weight in determining is your site an authority site on the search term youre trying to rank for or not. By posting high quality original content closely related to your keywords the search engines will associate your site with the search term and over time it will become an authority site. The best example to demonstrate this point is probably Wikipedia.org

2. Add Complete Metadata - Each page on your site must have relevant metadata based on the keywords youre trying to rank for. To optimise your site for Google, limit the page title (also known as window title) to 70 characters, the page description to 140 characters. Once youve added or updated the metadata, use a preview tool to ensure you havent exceeded the number of characters and that it reads well.

3. Right Use of Images - Traffic from users searching for images (unlike the normal search which will fetch text) could benefit your site. To optimise your images for Google Image search, make sure you use a descriptive file name so iphone-case.jpg is better than 9h80.jpg, images are hosted on your site on a folder /images/iphone-case.jpg and always use alt text to describe the image.

4. Consolidate Homepage Versions - In most cases when users search for a keyword for which your site ranks for they will see your homepage first. The reason for this is again tied to your authority and because most other sites will link to your homepage, therefore you need to get it right. Some websites have multiple versions of their homepage which will result in poorer performance as your authority will be spread across a few homepage versions. The most common issue is having non www and www versions. To test how many versions of your page exist use a content duplication checker and fix the issues found.

5. Increase Backlink Count - One of the most important factors in ranking highly is the number of backlinks (other sites pointing to your site.) To check how many links are pointing to your website use Yahoo site explorer and work to increase this number by registering with niche directories, submitting articles, submitting your work to galleries etc as long as you keep it within the search engines guidelines.
Building your backlink profile takes times and even when you do get quality sites to link to yours, it might take some time before the engines take notice.

6. Make Your Site Linkable - Sometimes in order to get users linking to the site, we need to push them in the right direction (gently of course). By introducing a social bookmarking plug-in users could easily share and bookmark your site. The leading two social bookmarking tools (both free of course) are Add This and Add to Any.

7. Ensure The Site Loads Quickly - Analyzing how quickly your site loads is not only important for SEO, but for user experience as well. When the search engines crawl your site the pages should load quickly because were looking to get all the sites pages indexed. To analyse how quickly your site load use a page analyzer and address any issues found with your developers.

8. Find and Fix Broken Pages - If we said earlier that ensuring site pages load quickly is important for SEO then ensuring all the pages are working is even more important. If you have Google Analytics installed you can find this information under the content tab -> contact by title. Otherwise, try the free utility xenulink. This software will verify your internal link types such as normal links, images, etc and will highlight any issues found.

9. Add Full Contact Information - Adding full transparent contact information does not seem an SEO tip at first, but the search engines use this information to boost your credibility which in return will help your ranking. Furthermore, contact information such as your physical address and phone number is used by the engines to serve local results such as search term + city.

10. Dont Give Up - There are no shortcuts when it comes to improving your ranking. Be persistent, work to generate quality content, follow up on the above tips and with time your ranking will improve.

Ran Nir
Photo Paper Direct

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