The ultimate cheat sheet on SEO that you can action today!
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a widely talked about subject in today's modern internet, filled with loads of websites, optimized or not.
Whether we like it, or not, SEO should be considered in any web design project that a designer takes on. SEO is what's going to improve the search engine ranking of that particular website and make it friendlier, both for the user, and Google.
Today, on the Team 8 Digital Blog, I'll run through some of the ultimate SEO tips in this ultimate cheat sheet on SEO that you can action today.
First, let's go through some of the basic SEO optimization techniques that you can start doing right now to improve your general site SEO
Some basic on-page SEO optimization techniques
You don't have to be an experienced marketer to understand some of the basic SEO optimization techniques. Here, I'll go through some of the things that you should already have on your page. If you don't, it would be highly recommended to implement these SEO techniques today.
- The page's filename and URL – this is likely the simplest SEO optimization technique you can do. Ideally, you need to include the keywords of the page you're trying to rank for in Google in the URL of the page, this means naming your pages correctly.
- The page's html TITLE tags – title tags are very important for SEO and general web design. Without a title tag your site visitors are going to be a little more confused when navigating your website. Ensure to include title tags in the HEAD section of your website.
- Meta Description tag – this would is also important, though, likely not as important as your title tags. The meta description tag is where you'll place some content as to what that particular page is all about. This will show up in the search engines just below the main clickable link. I'm sure you've seen this every day being used and it really good for SEO.
- The Meta Keywords tag – over the past few years, this tag has become a little depreciated by Google. And it's true, it holds very little SEO power. Our suggestion is that if you're going to use this tag, try and put a few basic keywords in there just to break it up a little.
- Use keywords in image filenames – Who would've guessed it, using keywords in your image filenames. It is thought that in doing this, those images are more likely to show up in Google images. However, use descriptive image titles that DESCRIBE the image rather than cramming irrelevant image filenames into them just for them to rank in Google.
- Use text links on your page – one unheard SEO optimization technique for web design is to use on-page text links, anchors that link to other important pages on your site. Not only is this good for SEO, it's also good for general user flow on your website. Without links on your website, it's hard for people to navigate your site. Be sure to include these links strategically rather than randomly placing them on your page.
- Use keywords on your page – keywords are an important part of SEO and web design optimization. Keywords are the heart of your website, without them, ranking for particular words and phrases on Google become fairly slim. We suggest to do some keyword research for your more important pages of your website and optimize these pages for SEO based on the keywords that you've found. Try not to randomly keyword stuff your pages though as this will have a bad impact on your SEO.
- Your page should include – when your web design project begins, you should be sure to follow a few simple ground rules when creating pages. These pages should include the following: Your TITLE tags, a DESCRIPTION meta tag, a H1 tag for your optimized heading, a few smaller headings for readability, some text links and a good amount of index able content for Google to grab hold of.
Off-Page SEO optimization techniques for web design
So, now that you've had a look at some of the on-page SEO optimization techniques that you can use to help boost your SEO profile.
Let's take a look at some of the things you can do that aren't directly linked to on-page SEO.
I think you'll be surprised by some of these optimization techniques for SEO.
- Social media – social media is a big thing nowadays, most people use Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and many other social platforms. So why not leverage these platforms and build up some reputation for your website? Since most people are already on social media, they'll be browsing through their news feeds, 100s of posts at any one given time. It's no surprise that it could be quite difficult to make a mark on these sites. But, just by having these social profiles, is going to help with your site SEO since Google will see social profiles directly linked with your website.
- Forums and email marketing – here's just 2 additional SEO optimization methods that you could certainly action today for next to nothing. Email marketing and forums have come a long way over the past years, and there's certainly some additional website traffic that you could leverage here. It's worth a shot and wouldn't cost anything to do.
- Talking to people – that's right, this is more of a traffic driven method, and is FREE to implement. Talk to your friends, family or work colleagues, share it at conferences and other business seminars. Although this likely isn't going to add any direct SEO value, it'll certainly improve the general website traffic, which Google will like. And they may even give you a slight SEO boost for doing so.
Submit pages to Search Engines for optimization
Submitting pages to the search engines is extremely simple and has a good impact on SEO. Submitting pages is usually done through Google Webmaster Tools using their ‘fetch' tool.
Submitting pages to Google's index is important, without it, it'll take longer for your pages to rank and be found in Google.
Below are some methods that you can quickly implement for FREE to get your pages submitted to the search engines:
- Use a sitemap – sitemaps are an important SEO ranking factor with Google. A Sitemap is usually found at your domain URL and by adding ‘/sitemap.xml'. This essentially is a simple sitemap that holds the data of all of your website's URLs, their priority, when they're likely to be edited and the date that they was edited. You can create a sitemap for FREE and upload it to your website and get it indexed.
- Use your robots.txt file – the robots file allows you to choose what pages of your website Google can access. You set whether the Google bots can search the pages or not. But more importantly for SEO. Ensure to put the XML sitemap in your robots file.
- Setup your Google and Bing webmaster accounts – this will be useful for tracking the progress and performance of your website. As well as seeing how much SEO impact is happening on your site, you'll need these accounts for submitting your pages to the search engines anyway.
Besides these few further SEO optimization points that you can do, you should take a look at the data that Google Webmasters and Google Analytics gives you about your site.
You want your website to perform well right?
Ensuring that you follow these few simple SEO optimization techniques that we've covered in this ultimate cheat sheet on SEO that you can action today.