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Top 10 SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO) Checklist

May 6, 2011

SEOThere is a big difference between web design and search engine optimization. It’s like comparing apples and oranges. In today’s business world around 60% of success depends upon the company’s appearance.  Getting your website designed and hosted is step 1 – the apples.

So now that your site is up, have you been wondering why you haven’t received more calls or emails from your site?  Here is where Search Engine Optimization comes in.  Search engine optimization or SEO is basically a technique to put a website on top of various search engines. When somebody searches for a specific search term in Google, Yahoo or MSN, websites showing on top of the SERPS  are the ones most likely to be visited by the users. This is what SEO aims to give to a specific website owner or a business owner.  Marketing and SEO for your website is step 2 – the oranges. 

When you hire someone to design and create a website,  ask them if they also do SEO.  Some companies do, but you must note that this is a separate and comprehensive service and fee all of its own. If they don’t you can choose to tackle some of it yourself! 

Whether you choose to hire your website designer OR a separate SEO company OR decide to optimize search engines for yourself,  here is the Top Ten SEO Checklist!

1)      Proper Title Tags: Well-constructed title tags contain the main keyword for the page, followed by a brief description of the page content. Make it less than 65 characters and avoid using stop words such as: a, if, the, then, and, an, to, etc. Your title tag should also be limited to the use of alphanumeric characters, hyphens, and commas.

2)      Proper Description Tags: Good description tags contain information about the page’s content and persuade search engine users to visit your web site. They should be between 25 and 35 words in length.

3)      Proper Keywords Tags: Your keywords meta tag should contain between 5-10 keywords or keyword phrases that are also found in page content.

4)      Proper Heading Tags: Each page of your site should use at least the H1 heading tag for the search engines that examine it when crawling your site.

5)      Page Content: Pages should have between 300 and 700 words of descriptive content that contains the keywords specified in the keywords meta tag for the page. A page’s meta tag keywords should also be those that occur most frequently on the page.

6)      Proper Navigation: Each page of your site should contain links to every other page so search engine spiders can find every page. This is a critical step for the proper indexing and page rank distribution of your site.

7)      Proper Sitemap: It’s important to use two site maps for your website–an XML version and a static version. The XML version can be created with Search Engine Visibility’s site map tool. The static version should sit on a static HTML page and contain links to every other page.

8)      Controlled Crawling: It’s important that search engine spiders find your robots.txt file that guides spiders to pages and directories you want crawled and denies entry to protected areas of your site.

9)      Duplicate Content/Tags: Because search engines treat web sites as a grouping of pages and not a single entity, each page on your site should be unique so that the tags and content differ between each page. Doing so increases the number of pages that will rank.

10)   Word Density: Pages should contain 300 to 700 words of unique and descriptive content.

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