You as a webmaster want Search Engine Optimization to rank your website at the top of the search results for certain key words. Just like millions of other webmasters.
So how do you convince the search engines that your website deserves a high ranking when those keywords are searched for? The simple truth is you must have really good content. Content that provides the information being searched for in a simple straight forward manner.
If you want the search engines to think your site is important, then you need to make it important for humans. You need to make it easy for humans to navigate and make it easy for humans to find the information they are looking for.
However, not only do you want great content, but content that people really search for. It can be great stuff, but if no one searches for it then it won’t do you any good. There are a number of ways for you to find out what it is that people are really looking for online. There are services such as wordtracker where you can look up the number of searches occurring for any keywords and keyword phrases, as well as how many websites are competing with you for those visitors, and even what your chances are of achieving a good ranking for those keywords. This is valuable information.
Once you have great content that people are really searching for, then it’s time for you to make certain that you have all the important details nailed down correctly. This includes your Title, your meta tags, your alt tags, and a linking strategy.
Let’s think about the Title. It’s imperative that you give careful thought to your title, and be sure to include it in the Title meta tag. The title of your site is one of the most important ways that the search engines use to figure out what your website is about. For instance, if your Title is “The Truth About Search Engine Optimization (SEO)”, then it’s a pretty good bet that your website is not about baking chocolate chip cookies! Make sure your title tag tells the search engine what your webpage is about, and ad the same time you want it to be meaningful to the humans that will see it too. You need the humans to click through to your site as well as having the search engine offer it to them.
Since the search engines often use the meta description for displaying the search results, make sure it conveys to the human reading it what the site is about and make it compelling. It doesn’t hurt to include some of the keywords either. Don’t however overdo your keywords. If your text doesn’t read well and sound natural, then don’t use it.
If there are images on your site then it wouldn’t hurt to have a keyword or two in the Alt text. But don’t over do it! Search engines are not stupid and will recognize key word stuffing. Resist the temptation to over optimize. Moderation is the key.
It’s OK to have a links page, but try to trade links with sites that ad value to your site. Stick to linking with sites that have something in common with the main topics of your site. The best links will come from webmasters who like your content so much that they link to you without requiring a link back from you.
Make sure you make it easy for the search engines to spider your site. If you must use fancy image links and dynamic menus etc, then make a sitemap so the engines can easily find your content.
Unfortunately, for good organic search engine traffic it will take time especially with Google. It can take well over a year for your site to really start drawing traffic. So you should get going on it now. The sooner you start the sooner you will have that traffic. And when it happens you will be very glad that you did!