SEO can seem to be an overwhelming task when considering Google changes it’s ranking algorithm at least once a day. But not to fear, here are four quick things that can immediately make your website more search engine friendly.
1. Have one version of the homepage
Matt Cutts, the head of the Google Web Spam team says:
…technically all of these urls (above) are different. A web server could return completely different content for all the urls above. When Google “canonicalizes” a url, we try to pick the url that seems like the best representative from that set.
If you have don’t have just one version of your homepage, you are splitting authority and the ranking potential of your homepage between multiple pages. Make sure the “home” button references back to the one homepage version that you decide to use. I usually recommend going with the www.example.com.au version.
2. Unique page title for every page
Every page on your website must have its own unique page title describing the content contained within that particular page. Use keywords – this guide provides a good summary on what to put in your page title. SEOMoz.org suggests this to be a good format for your page title:
Primary Keyword – Secondary Keyword | Brand Name
Page titles are extremely important in helping both users and search engines identify what each particular page is about on your website. If you have the same page title for multiple pages on your website, how is a user going to know the difference between these when they do a search on Google?
3. Hyperlink using keywords instead of “click here”
Instead of linking to other pages and documents using the words “click here”, use keywords and phrases that more accurately describe what that particular page is about. Search engines look at these keywords to determine the relevancy of that particular document for those hyperlinked keywords.
Don’t waste your valuable anchor text on “click here”. Link to your internal pages using relevant and descriptive keywords – it helps the search engines to understand how your content is related.
4. Ignore Meta Keywords
Meta keywords used to be a ranking factor in the early days of search engines. However, due to excessive spamming and the placement of irrelevant keywords into many sites meta keywords are essentially useles and have no ranking impact at all.
Avoid using this section altogether as it can show your competitors which keywords you are targeting on all your pages. You don’t want to give this information away that easily!
These are just a couple of quick wins that could have an immediate impact for your website and its ranking. If you have any other quick wins, please post in the comments!