The Beginner’s Guide To On-Site SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) involves modifying your website so that it will rank better for certain keywords in Google, Yahoo, Bing, AOL and other lesser-known search engines. As you probably know, the better your website ranks, the more traffic you’ll receive, which is why SEO is an important aspect of any web-based business.
SEO can be categorized into two basic types – on-site and off-site SEO. While some webmasters will argue that one is more important than the other, investing your time and energy into both are essential for the success of your website rankings.
When choosing a domain name, you should also try and register “yourkeyword.com” first (also known as an exact match domain). Although Google has adamantly said that domain extensions don’t affect the ranking of a website, nearly every experienced webmaster will agree that it does in fact have a profound impact. In my experience, .com, .net and .org domains rank the best. Of course .edu and .gov are two authoritative extensions as well, but it’s usually difficult or even impossible to get your hands on these.
The first step in on-site SEO should include basic keyword research. After all, you cant target profitable keywords if you don’t know which ones receive a lot of searches. Use either the free Google Adwords Keyword Tool or the paid version of Micro Niche Finder. Both of these are powerful tools which can help you find the perfect keywords to target for your website. Ideally, you want to find basic, high-traffic keywords with low competition to target for your main page (known as primary keywords), as well as secondary keywords which generate less traffic.
Once you’ve identified a couple primary keywords, start modifying some of the elements on your website. Open up your squeeze page in your preferred HTML editor and add your primary keyword between the title tags. For instance, if your primary keyword is “Free Marketing Tools”, the first HTML elements of your squeeze page should includeFree Marketing Tools. If you have other primary keywords, you can add them here as well. Just be sure not to fill it with irrelevant nonsense.
Another on-site SEO feature you shouldn’t overlook is the use of H1 tags. These are typically larger, bolder keywords which are should be left for your primary keyword(s). As you can expect, the HTML coding for this is <h1> for the opening tag and </h2> for the closing tag. In addition to using H1 tags, you can throw in your secondary keywords as H2 tags.
If your squeeze page contains images (which it should), select them in your HTML editing program and add an “alt” tag to each of them. Search engine spiders can’t physically see what an image looks like, so they must rely on the title, description and alt tags to categorize and rank them appropriately. By adding these tags, you’re providing the search engines with more information about your website, therefore increasing the chances of it ranking high for your targeted keywords.