Common SEO Questions Answered!Good SEO is invaluable to achieving online success. Before you invest in a search engine optimization tutorial here are some tips for getting the most beneficial effects from your optimization efforts.

1. Text is the favorite format of search engine spiders. You can rely on spiders to crawl and read a website that
has sufficient text content. If your website is heavy on graphics or dynamic content, find some way to work some basic body text into your site because spiders don’t really see Flash, JavaScript or image text.

2. When creating content, stick to one topic for each page. Several topics on a single page confuses readers and
leads to poorer relevancy.

3. Use your strongest keywords early on in your copy, preferably in the first sentence. Craft your sentence in
such a way as to help spiders establish a relationship between keywords. Insert keywords and key phrases in subsequent sentences, but avoid overusing them as this might lead search engines to consider it as spam. How do you determine if you’ve overused a word or phrase? Read your copy out loud. If it sounds natural, then it’s probably all right. If, however, there is a noticeable and awkward recurrence of the keywords, then you need to modify your copy.

4. Provide clear trails for spiders so that they can move from point A to point B and so on until they’ve covered the extent of your website that you want them to cover. A simple way to achieve this is by supplying a text-based sitemap with a link to every page on your site that you want the spiders to crawl. This is especially beneficial if your site is relatively new and has few inbound links or if your site is comprised largely of images or other format that is not easily discoverable by spiders.

Sitemaps are of benefit as well to websites that have a large volume of content pages that are not linked to each other. Although they serve more as a directional tool for spiders than for your human visitors, do consider your website’s visitors when creating your sitemap.

5. In some cases, you may not want spiders to access certain pages on your site. This may be due to privacy reasons or, because the pages are irrelevant to the site as a whole or something else. Learn to use “robots.txt” files to instruct spiders to stay away from such content.

6. Make your URL search-engine-friendly. Use two to three relevant keywords in your URL. Use lower case letters instead of uppercase, and hyphens instead of underscores. In general, simple, easy to remember URLs without too much punctuation are the way to go.

7. After the URL, spiders look at the page title. Titles are a very important on-page factor when it comes to ranking because a good title conveys to spiders what your webpage is about, therefore making it easier to index. When composing titles, use two or three strong keywords that tell the topic of the page and that you want to rank for. Keep in mind that the first words of the title are given the most importance, so you want to get those keywords in at the beginning. Your title is also what is shown to searchers in search engine results pages. Google shows up to 70 characters of a page title in their results page. Be sure to make each page title unique, even if topics may be similar. This avoids confusion.

In summary, if you plan on spending a considerable amount of time and effort towards ranking your own website, then it’s always worthwhile investing in a SEO training course. This will see you really maximize your efforts.

By John Romaine © 2012