This tutorial teaches you how to optimize your website for search engines, accessibility, and performance. Having a website which ranks highly in search engine results, is easy to use, and loads quickly will increase your traffic, prevent user frustration, and add to the overall quality of your site.
Analyze and study your website. Your first and most important step for SEO is to analyze your website to determine what changes, if necessary, should be made. This process includes assessing the site navigation, context, and overall cosmetics of the website. Once you've determined common issues (e.g., lack of site traffic on a specific page), you can proceed.
It is a good practice to develop a task sheet to better proceed with the optimization of the website. Remember that search engines look at domain names, title tags, and header tags to assist them in ranking the website according to relevance. Thus, it is important to maintain consistency in text with the subject of your site.
Review your competition's website(s). By knowing your competition in the industry, you will gain a better understanding of what exactly needs to be accomplished. It is helpful to find the top 5 to 10 competitors in your industry and find out what methods they are employing, including their chosen keywords and site structure.
While you don't want to copy competitor websites outright, knowing their strategies will help you identify weak points in your own.
Research keywords. Identify keywords related to your site's content. These can be popular search terms that lead people to your site, words related to your overall topic, and the topic of a specific page or blog post. If you're not sure which keywords are popular search terms, there are services online that can help you evaluate keywords, many of them with free trials.
Place keywords strategically throughout your content. Having keyword-rich content is the key to performing well with search engines. Some search engine bots may penalize you for keyword spamming, however, so learn where to focus your efforts:
Use the keywords liberally on your home page.
Include keywords in header tags, title tags, and meta tags.
Include keywords in the anchor text used to describe links.
Use keywords in the URL of new pages.
Include meta and title tags. HTML's meta tag does not alter the content visible on the website; meta tags exist only for search engines and other bots. Some ways in which you might use meta tags to boost your website's search ratings include the following:
Place a meta title tag at the top of each page to identify the document's overall content to search engines.
Write an accurate meta description tag, since it is often used by search engines to describe a site in search results.
Add a meta keyword tag as well to reveal the most important keywords for each page to search engine bots.
Keep in mind that Google's search bots do not look at meta keywords, but other search engines often do.