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How to SEO in2016
  • On page optimization
  • + User behaviour optimization
  • = Top search engine rankings

How to SEO your website in 10 steps

Learn how to SEO your website in 10 steps and be on your way to higher rankings within minutes. This quick start guide includes links to my well known how to SEO your website guide which covers the process in much more detail should you need it.

Step 1 : How to SEO your domain name

What

Your domain name is something like www.nameyouchoose.com

How & Why
  • If you haven't registered a domain yet look for one that contains at least one of the keywords you want to rank for.
  • Avoid Exact match domain names.
  • If you already have a website established consider skipping this, it's only for an ideal world.
Example
  • www.bicyclesmytown.com is better than www.franksbicycles.com
More

For more detail skip to how to plan your SEO works.

Step 2 : How to SEO your URLs

What

A URL might be something like www.yoursite.com/thepageiwanttorank.html. The part we are talking about is thepageiwanttorank.html.

In WordPress it is known as the 'permalink'.

How & Why
  • Your purpose is to help search engines understand the content of the page because they place weight on the content of the URL and to make your page look more attractive in the search engine results.
  • Your URL should match the page title but you can strip 'dead words' out of it such as "and", "or", "the".
Example
  • Good example: If your page title is 'bicycles for sale in mytown' your URL might be bicycles-for-sale-mytown.html.
  • Bad Example: A URL like page.php?product=bicycles&town=anytown&transaction=forsale.
More

For more detail skip to how to SEO your URLs.

Step 3 : How to SEO your page titles

What

Each page has one title and this can be found:

  • within your HTML code tags <title> and </title>
  • are usually the post title in WordPress but can be edited if you have a plugin such as SEO for WordPress by Yoast.
How & Why
  • Your page title tells search engines what your content is about (and they will believe you if the content matches) so you should be looking to get one or two of the keywords you want to rank for in here.
  • The page title is also the blue text users click on in the search results of Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. so it should be interesting and engaging to encourage visitors to click through.
  • Every page on your site should have a unique title of no more than 70 characters (or it won't show fully in the search results).
Example
  • example: If you were trying to rank for "successful website" then the title 10 steps to a successful website would be better than Things to make your site more popular because the former a) contains your keywords and b) is more attractive to users when seen in the search results.
More

For more detail skip to how to SEO your meta tags.

Step 4 : How to SEO your meta description tag

What

Each page has one meta description tag.

  • In the HTML code it looks like this: <meta description="The description of the page" />.
  • In WordPress the first 170 or so characters are taken from the post but you can edit this if you use a plugin such as SEO for Wordpress by Yoast.
How & Why
  • Every page should have a unique meta description of up to 190 characters which provides a summary of the page.
  • Meta descriptions often show as the black text in search results so they should be attractive and motivate internet users to click through.
  • Meta descriptions are ignored by search engines but as they can appear in the search results optimizing them is essential.
  • If in doubt use the first 190 characters from the pages visible content (not including the title).
  • Do not list keywords or go far over the 190 character limit.
Example
  • Sticking with our 'bicycle shop in anytown' the home page meta description might be: "We stock a wide range of bicycles for sale and we're open 7am to 7pm daily. Find us on the High Street, anytown, call us on 0800-1975-765 or order online 24/7/365. Low prices guaranteed".
More

For more detail skip to how to SEO your meta tags.

Step 5 : How to SEO (or not) your meta keyword tag

What

If you have these you will find them on each page:

  • within your HTML written as <meta name="keywords" content="keyword one, keyword two, keyword three" />.
  • in WordPress there is often a field called "keywords" for each post or static page.
How & Why

If you have keyword meta tags get rid of them. They are ignored by search engines and only assist your competitors in knowing what you are trying to rank for.

Example

None - don't do it!

More For more detail skip to how to SEO your meta tags

Step 6 : How to SEO your keyword density

What

Your keyword density is the percentage of times the keyword (or phrase) that you are trying to rank for shows in each page.

So if one of your keyword phrase is 'bicycles' and this appears twice in 100 words of content your density is 2%.

How & Why
  • Keep your keyword density for each word or phrase between 2 and 6% in order not to appear spammy and to ensure your text is easy to read.
  • Be aware that the major search engines understand different words that have the same meanings such as 'car' and 'automobile'.
  • Make sure your keywords appear naturally within the main text content of the page.
Example
More

Note that in the field of SEO keyword density is a hotly debated topic ranging from those who see it as essential to those who believe it is of no importance.

See the blog post Does keyword density matter in 2013? for more information.

Step 7 : How to SEO your internal links

What

Internal links are any links within your website that take the user to another page within your website.

The text within the link is known as anchor text. For example <a href="myotherpage.html">This is the anchor text</a>

How & Why
  • Whenever possible make your link text (rather than a graphic) and make that text descriptive (see examples below).
  • Where you have no choice but to use 'click here' or 'see more' consider changing them into graphics so their text is ignored and then use the title tag within the link code to be descriptive.
Example
  • If you are linking to a page about 'bicycle wheels' use 'bicycle wheels' as the text of the link, not (for example), 'click here'.
  • If you look in the box below I have not used click here as the link, instead I've used the title of the page I'm linking to.
More

For more detail skip to How unhelpful code affects your SEO.

Step 8 : How to SEO your code

What

Websites with poorly written code undermine the confidence search engines have in them because they will not be sure your pages will display correctly in all the different browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, etc.

How & Why
  • For websites written in code before HTML5 use the W3C Validator service.
  • For websites written in HTML 5 use validator.nu.
  • Note you may not be able to reduce your errors to zero (some additions such as Facebook can cause issues) but you should look to minimise any mistakes within your control.
Example
More

For more detail skip to How unhelpful code affects your SEO.

Step 9 : How to SEO your visitor behaviour

What

What your visitors do has a direct bearing on your organic rankings so you'll need to understand what makes them stay ... and what makes them leave.

How & Why
  • Make sure you have Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools set up correctly for your website.
  • Learn to analyse the successful pages and the not so successful pages by considering the click through rates, bounce rates, time on site, exit pages, visitor flow, etc.
Example
More

For more detail skip to User Behaviour and SEO.

Step 10 : How to SEO with link building

What

Links from other websites to yours tell the search engines you are popular so long as they are quality links from quality websites.

Ideally the content you create should persuade others naturally to link to you or share your content on social media platforms such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter, etc. so always consider your content as your number one link building tool.

How & Why
  • Do not engage in any link building 'programmes' or software. These are the fastest way to getting you banned from Google.
  • Think quality, not quantity. One good link is worth 1,000 poor quality ones.
  • Remember links from social media such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter, etc. count so make it easy for your visitors to share your content.
Example
More

For more detail skip to Links in SEO.

To learn the detail in these ten steps read my how to SEO your website guide.

I'm Tim Hill, a Search Engine Optimisation and Online Marketing specialist. I created this site to help others understand that SEO is not a mysterious black art!.

If your a newbie try the Getting Started in SEO page, otherwise feel free to dig around and learn more.

Find me on Google+ or get a quote if you need help.

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