If you want your website to be successful in the highly competitive realm of the internet, search engine optimization (SEO) is vital to ensuring this. If you are in the process of designing your own website or you currently work for a web design company and are looking for ways to improve your SEO, these are the rules that you should be following:
1. Don’t cheat the system
Google and the other search engines employ hundreds of highly intelligent people whose job it is to make sure that everyday people cannot cheat the system with SEO. If anyone tells you that they know some SEO techniques to get around the system, leave straight away – the only result you’re likely to get is banned.
2. Stick to some select keywords
For the most effective SEO campaign, you should pick out a few keywords or phrases that relate strongly to your business (such as ‘landline’ and ‘phone’ for a telecommunications company) and then use them wherever they flow naturally.
3. The only searchable code is clean code
When building a website, it should be done in a text editor with clean, human-readable HTML. This is because the search engine spiders can actually index your HTML, so doing this is highly beneficial for SEO, especially if you use descriptive tags (P for paragraph, UL for lists, H for heads, and so on).
4. Links do have SEO relevance
The search engine spiders actually do pay a lot of attention to the links on your website, so you should use your SEO keywords in them wherever possible. Never use the popular ‘click here’ or ‘see more’ tags that you see on all the other sites; you need to have some sort of description (such as ‘learn how you can improve your SEO’).
5. Have a sitemap
Every website should have a sitemap that shows visitors how the various site has been structured. Did you know that the search engine spiders also use this map to tell how your website works? To improve your SEO, submit this map (as an xml file) to Google.