Web Design and SEO Tips For the Newcomer

Find your Keywords!

Keywords – the words that people will use to find your website. Choosing the right keyword and being consistent with it is vital to your websites success in the search engines.

There are many tools on the market to help you make the right keyword decision. Tools such as Wordtracker will highlight keyword opportunities. We are looking for popular keywords in terms of expected traffic delivery but have a low competition score from other competitive sites. This score can be called KEI.

KEI or Keyword Effectiveness Index is a measure of performance. KEI is a ratio of business against competitiveness. The lower the KEI number the harder to get results in the search engine results pages.

As a general rule avoid any keyword with a KEI of under 0.1 as this will be very difficult to target and you could be wasting your efforts.

Go for longer, sometimes 3 word keyword phrases that carry good traffic. The benefits being that they are usually easier to target and provide better, more qualified traffic. Try to avoid broad, non specific terms.

Competitors to that keyword?

Find out how many backlinks your competitor sites have – there are many to choose from, just do a search for backlinks tool. They all give varying results but do not get distracted by that, just find a tool and use that in all cases, this will ensure that the results you get are at least relative.

No1 competitor HTML

Have a good look at the top two or three websites HTML for that keyword. Have they done anything that you can improve upon? usually be looking closely at three different sites you can arrive at a best method to use for your site. Ensure that title, heading and other tags include your keywords – remember to be consistent as mentioned earlier.

Improve your HTML

Aim to write valid HTML code. The search engine robots prefer clear code and a valid site will usually guarantee that all of your site will get crawled. Always take the time to write original content too – avoid the copy / paste syndrome that plagues many sites. The search engines thrive on original content, make sure that they notice yours.

Search engines are always looking out for duplicate content and will choose not to display your pages for a given search if it thinks your site is not the originator.

Some HTML tips with SEO in mind:

Description tag – take the tine to write an appropriate description tag for every page of your site. Google will display this in it's results pages and a well written description here should lead to more searchers actually clicking your link and becoming a visitor.

Title tag – This is probably the most important piece of HTML. Always include your keywords here and write an accurate keyword rich title tag for every page of your site.

Keywords tag – It is good practice to put a list of related keywords into this tag although do not overdo it and do not include any keywords that are not relevant to your web page.

Keep the code clean, use DIVs and not Tables where possible as this has many benefits and it means the ratio of content to code is greater. Try to use your keywords in heading tags through the pages.

Take the time to write original copy that uses the chosen keywords throughout. Write the text for a human to read though and not as though you've written it for a search engine. Over use (or spamming) of keywords will work against you always.

Try to get the good text content as near to the top of your code as possible. You could use CSS positioning to help with this.

Navigation – Use keyword rich absolute text links with a title where possible and not relative links.

Link to the domain name itself when linking back to the homepage and not /index.html. The search engines will then find the content in one place and not try to index two URL's – a very common mistake.

To target multiple keywords, create multiple pages to do this using the above methods. You cant expect one page to perform for everything.

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