Five Simple Search Engine Optimization Tips

Here are five simple tips to optimize your web site for search engines and make it easier for people to find you at the same time.

Learn How People Try to Find You

One of the biggest mistakes we see companies make is to describe their products or services incorrectly. They assume that people looking for their product or service think the same way as they do. Chances are, they don’t.

As an example, here at TGFI we build custom web based applications. While the industry accepts that term, we found the majority of people just want a web designer to help them out. In its simplest form, this is keyword optimization.

Know Your Competition

There is often much to be gained from your competition. Some have been around longer than you. Some have great rankings. Some have a great reputation online. Some have large SEO budgets.

If you’ve been around a while, you can probably name your competitors off the top of your head. If you haven’t, there are several online sources you can leverage.

  • Look at the top 10 sites listed in Google, Yahoo and MSN for each of your keywords or phrases.
  • Adjust your keyword list and check again.
  • Check the Open Directory Project.

Don’t just look at the web either. Traditional media still has some great ideas.

  • Hopefully you didn’t throw out those phone books. They are categorized you know.
  • For those in Indianapolis, take a look at the Indianapolis Business Journal’s Book of Lists.
  • Sign up for industry specific publications.

Optimize Your Page Titles

Every page on your site should be different, and that starts with the title of the page. Be descriptive and use those keywords. Just remember, if a person doesn’t see what they want, they won’t click no matter what your rank. Keep it simple.

Create Unique Descriptions for Each Page

If a search engine doesn’t see a description meta tag, it will use the first 200 viewable characters (letters, spaces, numbers, etc.) it finds on the page. Don’t let them guess. It won’t be what you expect.

Use Headings

Similar to a business document or college paper, headings help to break up the text and tell everyone what you are going to talk about. The search engines know this and look to your header tags to help tell the story. Use your keywords and phrases here. They’ll love it.