How to Optimize Your Search Engine Rankings
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Web Master's Guide to Google SEO
It took us several years to grasp the understanding of web design, then another year or more to understand the concept of SEO. Now we're going to share our knowledge of how we accomplished our Google rankings.
For the Un-initiated, SEO Stands for Search Engine Optimization
Back in 1999, while working for an internet marketing company, we (I the writer) learned a few simple rules about how to write simple HTML and embed keywords in the meta tags. The meta tags sit inside the "HEAD" tag before the "BODY" tag of every website. Meta tags consist of "content description", "keywords" and "time-to-revisit" to name only a few. In short, meta tags give the search engine robots instructions on how to spider your site's content and tons of other information. Let's be clear... I'm not here to teach you how to design a website. There's lots of others out there willing to do that. Your choices are simple; either hire a web designer or learn on your own like we did. Design isn't easy work, nor is SEO. Here, we're simply introducing you to tools of the trade, along with a few tips & tricks.
Let's talk about the Tools of the Trade and things your web designer may not know about SEO.
SEO Tools of the Trade
First, you need a web hosting company with robust servers and preferably running what's called FreeBSD, OpenBSD or alternately, Linux. These are all very stable UNIX Like operating platforms that perform well under many different conditions including heavy web traffic.
Second, you need a great web design that's attractive and easy to manage. We chose the Drupal System as our basic layout, then built on it, using some ordinary, off-the-shelf Drupal themes. Over time, we customized some modules, worked on the themes, did some work on graphics, and basically played around with it 'till it looked the way we wanted it to. You can download Drupal from http://www.drupal.org
An average Drupal design will cost anything from USD$1000.00 to USD$5,000.00 and up, depending on the complexity of the site. Never underestimate the power of the web, nor should you underestimate the power of Google+Drupal. When properly implemented, a simple site could well become an overnight success.
SEO Key Tips in No Specific Order
Ensure to add ANCHOR TEXT to each and every HTML anchor on the site
SEO Domain Name
When searching for a subject, your domain name becomes a huge part of the search process, especially for Google and Alexa; the world's two most powerful search engines. If you choose the domain name SEOSEARCH.COM, chances are highly likely that users looking for SEO SEARCH will cross your sight.
Ensure to name your URL's as appropriately as possible. This URL for example, happens to be "http://www.networkinformation.com/webmasters_guide_to_google_seo" It really helps when you plant keywords describing your page in the URL.
SEO Meta Tags
Make sure you add your Meta tags and properly describe each page, along with an individual TITLE tag, and KEYWORDS so the search engines understand what the actual content means.
SEO Title Tag
The Title Tag is probably the most important component of effective SEO targeting. The Title describes the content of the site as well as the content of the specific page. In Drupal 6 & 7, we use the Title Tag Module that allows us to create specific Title tags for each page.
SEO Content Tags
The content tag is another important aspect of SEO, such as the tags we have listed below this content. These are taxonomy content and is especially important for search engines using "word tagging"
SEO Filename Usage
Name your Filenames for each image, pic, or video you place on the site. For example, if you advertise Two Way radios, make sure you name your image filename starting with the make, model and description like so: icom-ic-f5023h-vhf-two-way-radio.jpg . When the search engines spider your filename, it will eventually show up in Google images, tagged by the keywords of the filename, along with a link to your page.
SEO Social Media & Google
Social media: Twitter accounts, and Google+ are probably the two most important tools of social media today. Make sure you tweet at-least twice a day, if not more - and ensure your tweets are meaningful with relation to your business. And ALWAYS ensure you have a Google+ plus page, linked to your site. Just remember, Google Plus is your company resume on steroids and anything you say or do on twitter or Google Plus will end on on the front page of a Google Search. Post clear, concise and informative information that customers will appreciate. And lets' not forget about YouTube!
Ahh yes... YOUTUBE - what would the world be without Youtube Videos. As you may notice, we're not big on YouTube as of yet mainly because well... excuses win here I'm afraid... because we just haven't had time.... But Youtube is, without doubt a very powerful method of social media and one every company should deploy. Always ensure you build links back to your site... that's really important.
SEO Google Webmaster Tools
Webmaster Tools; If you haven't already noticed, Google has this great product called Webmaster Tools. Each time you add a new page to your site, you need to tell Google about it.. well not really, but it sure speeds the process. So if you haven't already won yourself a Google Webmaster account, it's time you get on the fast train now. An invaluable tool for success!
SEO Google Site maps
Site Maps: XML Generators are used to create Site Maps. In short a site map is your website, condensed into a single file, with links to each page. The XML file is in a similar format to an HTML file used to build the site. XML is a remarkable language that's easily understood by Google. Your sitemaps are a big part of SEO - so always ensure to generate a sitemap and submit it to Google Webmaster Tools on a regular basis.
SEO Google URL Backlinks
Make sure you have other sites (make those relative sites) link back to your site. If you're in the car sales business, call upon your local garage to link back to your dealership. If you're in the restaurant business, make sure you've got a listing on yp.ca (The Yellow Pages for everyone else) and make sure it's linked back to your website. If you're a local business, solicit other businesses in the area and ask them to post links back to your site... and do the same for them. CAUTION: Never... Never link to any material that may have a negative impact on your business.
SEO RSS Live Feeds
RSS Live Feeds: If you haven't already got a BLOG, get one now. That's one great thing about Drupal; It's not only a great way to display your web content, but it also makes a great BLOG that can easily be changed from day-to-day. Building and submitting an RSS feed allows the search engines to keep-up to your daily changes and allows your content to go live each day, as your content changes.
Other Search Engines
All Other Search Engines: Don't forget about the other major search engines. Drupal has various modules that allow for ID code generated by other search engines such as Alexa to be embedded in your site. Always ensure your Google-Identification-code and Alexa-identification-code are embedded within your site. It will prove to the search engines you own the site and have complete control over the content in Webmaster Tools.
Some of our most recent sites include:
Centrix Technology Group Inc (International)
Timberline Radio Systems Ltd (Canada)
Timberline Radio Systems (Tower Division)
Timberline Radio Systems Mining Division
Try for yourself;
Google "two way radio mining"
Google "radio systems for mining"
Google "portable radio repeaters vhf Canada"
Google "two way radio bc"
Google "long range communications canada"
Google "two way radio Yukon"
Google "two way radio vhf repeaters Canada"
Google "underground mine two way radio"
Google "radio systems for logging"
Google "logging road radios"
As well as any variant of the above to the tune of 210,000 descriptions of which we see an average relative hit record of 90% click-through rate.
This concludes our short, but hopefully, informative talk on SEO. As always, should you have any questions, we're always here to help.
Wishing you all a great season of SEO !