If you have ever tried to research techniques on how to increase traffic to your site you may have noticed an underlying theme in most recommendations – host a quality website.
Why host a quality site? Because a quality site is one that people want to visit and link to. So what makes a quality site? There are two versions of quality, one is how visitors judge your site and the second is how the search engines view your site. Search engines, in an attempt to stay competitive, try to deliver a quality product to the people that use their search tools, which means that they want their visitors to find relevant search results and use their search engine often.
So the search engine tips, tricks and traps popular five years ago do not work anymore, because they do not supply relevant page results. Search engines are now looking for applicable content, not only relevant but real content, not pages stuffed with keywords.
Here are our 56 tips to improve your website and how search engines view them.
1. Include relevant content, relevant to your page description and Meta keywords.
2. Instead of changing your URL or redirecting from your old URL to your new URL, follow Google’s procedure on URL changes to make sure your new site does not get skipped, or just avoid URL changes if you can.
3. Don’t post duplicate content on your site, so if you quote another page only include a small excerpt and don’t repeat your own content on multiple pages.
4. Avoid flash, even though it looks cool, flash and animated banners and intros annoy visitors and search engine bots don’t read them.
5. Submit to quality directories.
6. Make sure your robot.text files are not blocking destination URLs that you do not want blocked.
7. Choose your Meta keywords wisely and include them in your content.
8. Strive to obtain quality links into your site.
9. If you use icon or image links, include a text link.
10. If you operate an affiliate site, make your site a valuable resource, so people chose your site rather than go straight to your affiliate.
11. Add a site map.
12. Don’t use link schemes.
13. Write specific content, so searches can find applicable results. Instead of writing “books,” write “medical text books” or “organic cookbooks”, be specific.
14. If you include low quality links on your site, block them from being scanned by Googlebot.
15. Don’t break up your content too much, like loads of banner ads and so on in the middle or your text, irritates readers and bots.
16. Write unique and compelling content.
17. Don’t forget to include your page descriptions.
18. Don’t bury text content in images.
19. Look for un-indexed URLs, URL with more than a few parameters or dynamic links, they may be skipped.
20. Stay up-to-date on SEO, your strategies need to constantly evolve.
21. Deliver what you promise, don’t drive readers to inapplicable or irrelevant pages.
22. Carefully consider your titles, make sure to include targeted keywords.
23. Don’t forget humor or other devices that attract and keep readers.
24. Add text links with anchor links.
25. Keep links out and in up-to-date.
26. Start a blog or forum if it makes sense on your site.
27. Join BBB or your local Chamber of Commerce or other reputable business associations.
28. Submit articles to respectable and active article sites.
29. Add Alt tags to images for people that disable images.
30. Validate and 508 your site for accessibility.
31. Submit your business description to Wikipedia or other popular information sites.
32. Consider adding maps or mashups.
33. Submit to multiple search engines.
34. Consider marketing some of your subpages or articles that have less competition.
35. Don’t forget good old-fashion PR.
36. Start a little controversy.
37. Consider adding an RSS feed.
38. Write “top ten” lists, which are popular with article search sites.
39. Build a good site that others want to link to.
40. Eliminate grammar and spelling errors.
42. Send out press releases when it makes sense.
43. Avoid hidden text and links.
44. Keep your content up-to-date.
45. Don’t employ redirects or “cloaking.”
46. Don’t create pages with bad content, like viruses, trojans, malware and so on.
47. Steer clear of empty, unoriginal affiliate pages.
48. Make sure every page is assessable through at least on static text link.
49. Use text, instead of images to relate important content.
50. Check for broken links.
51. Don’t put too many links on one page, even if it is a resource page, keep it well under 100.
52. Test out your site with a text browser.
53. Be leery of badly placed session IDs and arguments.
54. Employ the IF-Modified-Since HTTP header to let Google know if your content has changed.
55. Do not use “&id=” as a URL parameter, they are not indexed.
56. Avoid deceptive or manipulative techniques.
All in all, you just want to create a site that you would want to visit – one that is useful and up-to-date – that’s it, no magic, no tricks.
Pamela Stevens writes for TopTenREVIEWS.com, a review site that publishes technology and entertainment reviews.
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