After you’ve selected your target search terms, you will need to make your site
more search-engine-friendly. There are a few key areas you’ll want to focus on
when creating or tweaking your website.
Avoid using Flash for your site
Google’s robots are not very sophisticated; they primarily pick up on content and
links but not much else. Building your site in Flash will significantly reduce the
content you’re able to include and could hurt your ability to rank on the search
engines. Therefore, it is recommended that your site be built without relying on
Include a sitemap on your website
A sitemap will typically help your site to be better organized for both your
audience and the search engine robots. Having a sitemap will therefore assist the
search engine robots to quickly crawl your site.
Include internal linking throughout your site
Internal linking can be a contributing factor to increased rankings. Therefore, it’s
important to include links within your site to other areas of the site wherever
Use the target search terms on your site
If there’s a search term you want to rank for, you must incorporate it into the text
on your website at least a few times. I would recommend that you use your
target keywords within the first twenty-five words and the last twenty-five words
on your page. I would also recommend that you bold your target keyword at
least once. Often times, when your site is crawled by Google, their robots will
scan it and put more emphasis on the beginning and the end of the page.
Incorporating your target search terms into the page multiple times is commonly
referred to as keyword density and can help your efforts as long as it is used with
moderation. However, it is very important that you ensure the page provides a
good user experience. If not, the visitors you start to attract will leave your site
immediately and all of this work won’t do you much good. Always keep in mind
user experience when optimizing your site.
Use the most important search terms in your page title (Google
recommends using less than 65 characters)
Search engines rely heavily upon page titles to determine relevancy. You should
always include your top keywords in the page title.
Use image alt tags on your images
Search engine spiders are fairly unsophisticated and aren’t able to identify
images. These tags will help the search engines understand what the images
represent on your website.
Incorporate important search terms in header tags
Businesses often overlook header tags as a place to highlight important
keywords. Placing search terms within header tags increases rankings and
Here’s an example of areas on your website that these HTML tags would impact:
Optimize Header Tag – Employing targeted keywords in the H1 tag has shown
to correlate with higher rankings. It’s also considered a best practice for
accessibility and to describe a page’s content.
Keyword Usage in Document – Text content is very important for modern SEO.
In order to optimize your chances of ranking higher for the targeted keyword(s),
I highly recommend using multiple targeted keyword(s) on your site.
Add Image Alt Tags – Keyword usage in the alt attribute of an image employed
on a page is surprisingly positively correlated with good rankings. It also helps
considerably with image searches.
Other areas that you will want to focus on in order to make your website SEOfriendly
Leverage the meta description (Google recommends using less than 156
This is a place to briefly list what your site is about, what products you offer,
what areas you service, and other vital information. It will impact your website’s
description on the search engines, so it’s important to get it right. It’s the first
impression you leave with a prospective customer.
Avoid using meta keywords
Many website owners still rely on meta keywords in their attempts to make their
websites search-engine-friendly. Search engines largely ignore the meta
keywords tag in their ranking algorithms. While it technically won’t harm your
rankings, it can give competitors insight into what search terms you are targeting
in your SEO efforts. Why would you ever want to help the competition?
Courtesy of the folks at Moz, here is an example of what a perfectly
optimized website page will look like for the keyword “chocolate donuts”:
Recommended Page Title: Chocolate Donuts | Mary’s Bakery
Recommended Meta Description: Mary’s Bakery’s chocolate donuts are
possibly the most delicious, perfectly formed, flawlessly chocolate donuts ever
Recommended Page URL: http://marysbakery.com/chocolate-donuts
Fill out the header, title, and meta tags properly and include keywords in the
content and image descriptions and your site will be ready to be found by the
When it comes to website development, there is an organization that sets
the standards for how websites are supposed to be structured. If you want to take
your website to the next level, you can consult with the World Wide Web
Consortium, or W3C (http://www.w3.org) as it is commonly referred to, in
order to ensure that you are meeting all the proper guidelines.
I also recommend that you implement Google Webmaster Tools, which
provides visibility into how your website is viewed by the search engines. Here’s
why it’s important to incorporate Google Webmaster Tools:
- Google will list all the pages on your site that it has indexed so that you
can ensure your website is being recognized by Google.
- Google employs a bot whose job it is to crawl your site and index you
according to what it finds. If your site doesn’t link everything clearly
(thus the recommendation for a sitemap), Google might miss a couple of
your pages and that would not be a good thing. By incorporating Google
Webmaster Tools, you’ll have the ability to tell Google where all of your
individual pages can be found.
- In the event that you have some pages you don’t want Google to find, you
will have the ability to tell them not to index you. With Google
Webmaster Tools, you can be sure that web pages that may be somewhat
embarrassing or not ready for prime time aren’t suddenly finding
themselves in the searches.
- While there are some other tools I recommend in this book to track your
incoming links, Google Webmaster Tools will allow you to see how many
links are being directed to your site that Google is able to identify. After
all, it can’t hurt to check this information directly from the source that
matters most given how important these links are to your overall potential
to rank in the search engines.
- You can use Webmaster Tools to get Google to index your images. If your
site has great images incorporated throughout, then you can use them to
enhance your search engine visibility. Just set up the enhanced image
search in Webmaster Tools and make sure you’ve included the image alt
tags with relevant descriptions and keywords.
- Another important feature of Webmaster Tools is a content analysis tool.
It will highlight any issues that may make it difficult for Google to crawl
and index your site. This can provide a very powerful to-do list when it
comes to improving your onsite optimizations.
There are other reasons to incorporate Google Webmaster Tools, but these
are some of the more important ones, and I think you get the point.
Now that we know why it’s a good idea to set up Google Webmaster Tools,
let’s move on to how one would actually go about setting up Google Webmaster
Tools. Here is a step-by-step breakdown:
Step 1 – If you don’t already have a Google account, such as Gmail, you will
need to create one here: https://accounts.google.com/NewAccount. If you do
already have a Gmail account, skip this step.
Step 2 – Go to https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools and register for a
Google Webmaster Tools account. Then sign in so that you can set it up.
Step 3 — Once signed in, you can add your website address and click the Add
Step 4 – After this, you will be asked to verify your site. Since you can only set
up websites on Google Webmaster Tools that you personally own, you will be
required to prove that you own the site before you can be fully up and running.
The most common form of verification is to download an HTML file that
Google provides to you and then upload the file onto your server. Once you
confirm that the file has been uploaded by clicking on the verify button, you are
good to go.
Now that you’re set up on Google Webmaster Tools, you’ll be able to see
all kinds of information about your site to ensure that Google is finding you in
the way that you intend.
To check on the overall effectiveness of your website for SEO purposes,
Moz has a useful tool as well.
When you log into Moz, you can go to the On-Page Grader tool to check
on the overall SEO effectiveness of your current website.
Enter your target search term along with your domain name. Once you
submit this information, you’ll be given a grade for how successfully your
website is optimized, along with areas of opportunity to better optimize your
You’ll be presented with a detailed page analysis and recommended fixes
for any issues that may exist. Some of the areas that this tool will evaluate on
your website include critical factors such as:
Accessibility to search engines
Keyword usage in document
Keyword usage in the page title
Other less critical factors that this tool will also analyze include:
Keyword usage in image alt attribute tags
Whether there are sufficient quantities of keywords in your content
Proper keyword usage in the URL
Keyword usage in your H1 Tag
Keyword usage in meta description
Appropriate URL lengths
If you’re not quite sure what some of this means, every recommendation
comes with a full explanation on what the recommendation means for your
If you’re looking for a free tool that can help you to evaluate your website,
you can check out WebSEO Analytics here:
Use the resources at your disposal to make sure proper tags and keywords
are being utilized and you will ensure that your site is in a strong position to be
found on the search engines for the search terms you are targeting.
Now that you have a good idea of how you can impact your ability to get
the search engines to discover your website, it will be very important to ensure
that you set up your website in a way that encourages a strong call to action. By
call to action, I am referring to the action you are attempting to get the visitor to
take when they come to your website.
The reality is that your website will most likely exist for a specific purpose.
While there are many types of websites out there with various intentions, every
website should strive to invoke some type of action from the visitor. If you’re
promoting a cause, you can collect e-mail addresses on your website to keep
people updated on the progress you’re making. If you’re promoting a service
business, you can prominently display your phone number and e-mail address
with the intention of getting individuals to contact you to schedule an
appointment. And if you’re selling a product on your site, you will want to make
it as easy as possible to buy from you because the easier it is for your customers
to buy, the more likely it is that they will buy.
Take a look at this website (www.medicalmarketinghelp.org) which was
set up to promote a marketing class:
It’s important to note that this website was set up with the intention of
getting visitors to provide their e-mail addresses to receive marketing lessons
delivered to their in-box every few days. With this purpose in mind, the website
was designed to show in a compelling way how these lessons can help users
reach their own goals, and to make it easy for visitors to discern what action the
website is attempting to get them to take (i.e., providing their e-mail addresses).
By offering a strong case for why visitors would want to provide their e-mail
address and making it extremely easy for them to do so, this website has
achieved a very strong conversion rate.
While there are many things that can impact a website’s overall ability to
turn a visitor into a customer, the main takeaway here is that you will want to
ensure that you are building a clean website that is easy to navigate and makes
the following details very clear:
What action you’re trying to get the visitor to take
What makes you the best option to help the visitor
What about your business differentiates your site
What specific services/products you are offering
When it comes to your website, there are two main things on which to focus
your efforts. The first is to get your website found by the major search engines
so that you can bring in as many visitors as possible who are interested in what
you have to offer. The second is to ensure that your website is in a strong
position to take meaningful advantage of this incoming traffic to help you
accomplish the overall goals you have set for your website. By combining your
focus in these two areas, you will ensure that you are in a great position to
experience success online.
SEO Challenge #2: Onsite Optimization
Install Google Webmaster Tools on your website. Then using the content
analysis tool, check your site for any errors. Were there more or less errors than
you had expected?
Tools And Tricks
Website Optimization Analysis
Receive graded on-page keyword targeting. Find out how well your pages are
optimized for target keywords, and improve your site for the best performance
possible with Moz’s On-Page Optimization Report.
WebSEO Analytics (http://www.webseoanalytics.com)
This tool produces a full SEO report for a particular page or website, analyzes
the most important SEO factors that are used by the major search engines and
offers detailed diagnostics with all the errors and warnings that were found
during the analysis.
Google Webmaster Tools
Receive detailed reports and information about your visibility on Google and
how well your website is doing when it comes to getting crawled and indexed by
the Google search engine.
Website Accessibility Reporting
World Wide Web Consortium (www.w3.org)
Learn about common protocols and standards that can impact the ability to get
your website noticed by the search engines.