We've received a lot of questions lately about making the most out of your site with SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Below we've collected a few of the more popular tips that can help your site quickly climb the search engine ranks.
1. Choose an effective domain name.
Domains are the first place a search engine looks when beginning the indexing and ranking process. Use a domain with short keywords that relate to your business, e.g. torontofamilylaw.com. Include relevant, researched keywords in your name will help rank your site above your competitors’.
2. Optimize your page titles.
Each web page should have unique page titles, they are one of the first and places search engines reach when their indexing tools scan your site. The best page titles are 67 characters or less, including blank spaces. Most search engines will not index anything beyond that, so including keywords within the first 67 characters is important.
3. Organize your content.
Familiarize yourself with the different header tags that can be applied to your site content. There are 6 header tags in total. Header 1 (<h1>) is best used once per page, and is usually interpreted by search engines as what the page is about, allowing easier sorting. Each header after 1, down to 6, can be used to sort your remaining content, helping search engines organize all of it and display it in search results. Always try to include page specific keywords in your headers, especially in the H1 header.
4. Treat your images right.
Use keywords in the file name of your image to help improve keyword density on your pages. Give images alternate text, which can be read by text-based browsers, emails, etc. Images with alternate text are considered more user-friendly than images without. Images are a great place to include page-relevant keywords that may otherwise not get included in your content. Optimize each image. Smaller file sizes will help your page load faster, making it easier for people to access quickly. Slower loading pages result in a lower placement in search results.
5.Create user-friendly links.
Thought out links that tell people what they’re being taken to, rather than generic ‘click here’ links are always better. The text used for a link is known as anchor text. Try to include keywords related to the page you’re sending people to in your text link. Include link title attributes on every text link on your site. Link title text functions much like alternate text on images, and can contribute to better search results.
6. Create SEO-friendly text based navigation.
If using an image based main menu make sure to include a secondary text-based navigation menu somewhere on the site, in the footer for example. Text based links are beneficial because they load faster than images, their anchor text can be read by search engines and their link title text can contribute to better search results.
7. Write effective content, formatted with the correct styling and keyword placement.
Use keywords and phrases in your content. Using a keyword density on a page between 3-5% is considered the optimum percentage, anything higher may be considered search spam, resulting in lower rankings. Make regular updates. Introduce relevant content regularly via a press release or blog. Stagnant content will eventually stopped being indexed regularly, telling search engines that the site is not current, resulting in lower results.
8. Consider working with professionals.
When it comes to designing your site and preparing its content, why not work with a professional? Relying on an expert team of designers, writers and photographers will make sure that your site is as effective at reaching your target audience as possible. Relying on people that create web sites every day means you’re getting a level of quality and polish you may not accomplish on your own.
9. Publish new content on a regular basis.
Publish news articles, press releases, etc. about your business and the services you offer to online article directories, blogs, forums and other reputable places on the web. Always include a link back to your website in any published materials, giving readers the option to learn more about your business.
10. Create a site map and submit it to search engines.
Submitting a site map of your website to engines like Google means the pages on your site will be scanned, sorted and indexed much quicker than if you just waited for them to come to you. Mantis automatically creates a new sitemap of your site on a daily basis, meaning that once you’ve submitted your site map, search engines will be able to display your new content much quicker.