From Fizzle to Fabulous – Beefing Up Your Website's Optimization

Anyone who has been doing Search Engine Optimization for any length of time can tell you, it isn’t always as straight forward and simple as we tend to make it sound.  Sure, the concept is pretty basic:  take a website and make it easier for search engines to crawl and as relevant as possible so that it ranks higher in search results.  While the focus may be on that one basic goal, there are countless tools and tricks to accomplish it.  In fact, there are so many means to that one essential end, that even the best of the best in SEO can slip up and forget some of the basics.  Let’s look at some of the basic tricks that sometimes get overlooked or forgotten.

First, and this is so basic that a chimpanzee with FTP access could do it.  It is nothing more than the fine are of using <b>BOLD</b> tags.  Don’t go crazy and bold every single keyword on your page, but don’t be afraid of the <b>.  It won’t sting.  Bolding you keywords just a couple of times will have a pretty impressive impact.

Next, let’s talk about articles.  Obviously, you want to post them on your site.  You should also be offering them to ezine publishers (with link backs to your site, of course).  Most publishers archive, so those links are going to be live for as long as the publication is around.  Exchanging articles with other site owners is also great.  Think of it as link exchange with the added benefit of content to draw in surfers.  Everybody wins.  Just make sure that you are switching up your anchor text.  You don’t want all your hyperlinks looking the same, because that looks automated and can get you into trouble.

Speaking of links:  links are good.  You want links and lots of them.  But it isn’t enough to just have links shotgun scattered across a bunch of nothing domains.  You need high quality links on high quality sites.  How do you get them?  We covered links from ezines and other sites, but what about your visitors?  Search engines like sites that are linked by real people.  Putting a social bookmarking widget on your site is the way to get those links.

Your internal links are important too, of course.  Let’s talk about images first.  If you are using image links in the site’s navigation bar then make sure that you are using text links too.  Remember, crawlers will only follow the first link they encounter to a given page, so make sure to put those text links before the image links in the source code.

Your links should all have titles, as well.  Not all search engines consider link titles when determining relevancy, but some do (and that’s reason enough to do it).  Plus, titling your links helps your less literate visitors figure out where they are going.  If they can’t follow the context of where the link appears on the page, they probably won’t follow the link itself, so it’s important to give them a hand.