So you want your website to be seen. You hear about this thing called search engine optimization (SEO), and you start looking it up. Because you’re smart, you get the idea pretty quickly. Fortunately, you also happen to know a thing or two about coding websites. So you want to apply SEO ASAP because the world just needs to know about your website.
Before you start plugging in every technique you’ve stumbled upon your Google search into your website, take a breath, and realize that not all SEO elements are necessary, especially for beginners in the field.
You need to focus on five basic things that are absolutely required if you want to put your website on the proverbial map of the World Wide Web.
How will your website even be seen if it drops off the face of the Earth every other day due to bad hosting? Even if most of it stays up, you’d also want to check each and every page doesn’t go to that automated eyesore that is the 404.
If you’ve already made a website on an unreliable host, it’d be better to just take your business elsewhere and start a new as you’ll only incur headaches instead of page visits no matter what SEO techniques you use with a faulty webhost.
Structured Internal Linking
Once you’ve got a steady host, you need to make sure your site can be navigated by users easily and “crawled” by search engines efficiently. The most important pages should be highly visible, but that doesn’t mean each page in your website should be linking to those pages. The links should be relevant to the page, and the anchor text should appear natural.
HTML and XML sitemaps help visitors and search engines, respectively. HTML sitemaps are basically a list of links to the different pages in your website that visitors can see and click on. XML sitemaps are kind of the same but made for search engines, so they know what’s important and what to index.
This is what people go to your site for. If it’s good, they will keep coming back and probably tell other people about it. So what exactly is “good” content? There aren’t hard and fast rules about it, but some important points are: it should match the audience’s characteristics, it should be easy to read (meaning no walls of text), and it should be relevant.
Inserting keywords to the content is also a good way of getting your site ranked high on search engines, but they also have to be relevant and be used in moderation to avoid penalties.
This might sound weird at first, giving other websites “publicity” when it’s supposed to be your website that needs all the promotion. But the Internet is built on websites linking to other websites, and search engines that see your website links to others will know that you are connected and will reward you for it.
Link to websites that are actually relevant to your niche. So if you’re talking about marketing strategies, link to places like an SEO-related websites or affiliate marketing blog.
By robots, this means the txt file used for search engines’ convenience, not automated machines. This file basically tells the search engines’ “robots” what they can and cannot look for in your website’s entire structure for analysis. This lets you control the pages that might mess up how your website is viewed by the search engine, making it show up in irrelevant searches.
Make these five SEO elements as the pillars of your process in optimizing your website, so you have a steady foundation to build upon later with more advanced techniques.
About the Author: