Welcome to Part 2 in our series detailing ways to improve your website’s SEO!
Again, SEO (or Search Engine Optimization) is any actions designed to improve your website’s search engine rankings.
This last half of our “99 Ways to Improve SEO” focuses on how to facilitate the indexing of your site, as well as the importance of link building and how to increase your likelihood of receiving backlinks to your website.
This collection of tips and tactics would not be possible without the generosity of Marc Ostrofsky, who advised that reproduction of the following list IS allowed, but must contain the following copyright information: “100+ Ways to Increase Your Search Engine Ranking, Copyright 2011 by Marc Ostrofsky, Author, Get Rich Click. The list appears in the book Get Rich Click and at GetRichClick.com. All rights reserved.”
We have made every effort to ensure that this updated list is relevant to you in 2017,
Given that we covered 1-45 in Part 1 of this series, we start right back into our list with #46…
More on Crawling, Indexing and Ranking in SEO
- If you create a link that is so small a visitor can’t even see it – for example, one pixel – you will be heavily penalized for trying to manipulate the search engines. When “Internet spiders” (or “Bots”) discover that you have created difficult or invisible text – text specially written for a spider and not a human – you can bet the search engines will penalize your site if not blacklist it! That’s right people, the “Spider Bots” see all (let that phrase haunt your dreams tonight…)
On an interesting sidenote:
In the early days of the Internet, some website coders wrote Keywords all over the first page of a website using WHITE text on a WHITE background. The human eye couldn’t see this “Keyword spamming” technique, and the computers indexing the site weren’t able to detect that these keywords were essentially spam. As a result, these sites were often indexed very high by the indexing bots. This trick was short lived, but those techies keep finding interesting ways to “beat the system.”
- “Cloaking” your pages, so that spiders see one optimized page and your visitors see a different version of that page, will get you blacklisted when caught.
- Creating “doorways,” or pages that are meant to trick spiders into thinking you have a relevant site, is another way to get blacklisted.
- Duplicate content can be a problem. You get a penalty for placing the same content on multiple pages on your site. Because article repositories and mirror sites have their advantages, when copies of your content appear on other sites, you may be penalized for duplicates. If you keep duplicate content on your own site, rewrite it. If you will have duplicate content residing on another site, make sure to publish it on your site first to identify yourself as the originator.
- If your hosting company is unreliable (down more than 2-3% of the time), you should find another firm to host your site. Spiders can’t crawl your site if it’s down, which essentially means you are “out of business” when this happens.
- Dynamic and overly long (more than 100-character) web addresses can be a problem. Spiders prefer static web addresses.
- If a search engine has banned part of your site, spiders won’t come as frequently to crawl the other parts of your site that isn’t banned.
- Be careful how you redirect traffic. Redirects can hurt, especially when the target page doesn’t open. When they immediately take a visitor to a different page, they can hurt you a lot.
- If you are using a test domain to test your site, keep it invisible using a robots.txt file; if it’s public, it will confuse the spiders.
Backlinks and SEO (The Important of Link Building)
- Build a network of quality inbound links. If the inbound link uses one of your Keyword phrases as an anchor, that’s even better.
- Cultivate links from sites similar to yours. These are high-quality votes for your site.
- High-ranking incoming links are the priority of any linking strategy. The goal is to link to good sites with good content.
- If the page that links to your site is a bigger site and has only a few outbound links overall, then the link they point to your site is given higher weighting. In this case, fewer is better for those that receive the outbound link.
- The age of your inbound links matters. Older links get better ratings; having lots of new links suggests you’ve simply purchased them.
- While this practice is now somewhat antiquated, inbound links from directories can still be beneficial, as long as the directory is reputable. You can also consider paid submissions to quality directories.
- The origin of your inbound links does make a difference; sites with higher page ranks are more reputable. Because it’s also harder to get inbound links from these sites, they influence your importance. Links from .edu and .gov sites generally give you a higher ranking than those from sites with other extensions. Quality should significantly outweigh quantity in your inbound linking strategy.
- Trade links. In a reciprocal link (“trading links”), you link to them and they link to you. Use caution when trading reciprocal links, however; trade on a small scale with relevant businesses and associates that can send you traffic. Avoid link trading hubs and networks.
- Search on Keywords related to your site. Find sites with high rankings, and target these high fliers for link-building.
- You can embed links in content anywhere. This includes online discussion forums. Signatures are great places to put your link. If you are offering a valuable contribution, you build your credibility and authority; people will read what you have to say, spread the word and link to you.
- Write articles and circulate eBooks with embedded links in the content.
- Trade articles with other quality websites.
- Look into syndicating articles at EzineArticles and GoArticles (and the many others that have come up over the years). Article sites actually rank highly and tend to send highly qualified traffic. You can also submit articles to industry news sites and to companies with “in the news” pages.
- Send out well-crafted press releases. In addition to submitting to PRWeb and PRLeap, e-mail them to selected journalists and bloggers. Pay attention to who picks up your articles and press releases so you can offer them exclusives.
- Publish interviews of important people in your industry.
- Comment on blogs that are related to your industry to encourage direct traffic and establish your credibility.
- People love to link to tips lists and these lists can become documents of authority in your industry. Publish lists and articles to your blog or include them in customer-oriented content.
- Publish a list of specialists and experts in your industry.
- Encourage your visitors to link to you; simply ask them. If they like what they see on your site, your humbly worded request might convince them.
- Approach your manufacturers, retailers or other business partners and ask if they will link to you.
- Produce a topical directory about your field of interest; link to your own important content where possible.
- Pay attention to sites like Twitter, Digg, Del.icio.us and so forth. Tag and submit stories. This can lead readers to your blog and encourage linking that transfers some authority to your page.
- Provide RSS feeds to your content so readers can syndicate you. If you provide great information, they may link back to you.
- Join your local Better Business Bureau and look into your Chamber of Commerce. If it makes sense, submit your link to associated state and federal resource agencies. See whether your local libraries will list your site on theirs.
- Leverage offline and online relationships with non-competing businesses in your industry.
- Get social, and you might just be rewarded with free links back to your site. Go to various Google Groups, Quora, Yahoo Answers or better yet, an active blog about your area of expertise. Get involved and help people get answers to their questions and put a link into your answer that points back to your website.
- Set up a page on HubPages (formerly Squidoo). Develop quality content in the area of your expertise and link to useful information (as well as back to your site).
- Consider whether it might make sense to create an article about your company for Wikipedia or some of the topic-focused wikis.
- Write thoughtful reviews of products you offer on your site. Review content generally ranks well for those sites that have established authority.
- Participate in Amazon’s community. Create a list of top related products – when you mention your background, include your link. Reviewing related products on Amazon can also direct traffic and get you some links.
- You can contribute reviews for related products to a number of respected sites. Target shopping search engines, like ePinions. This helps build your authority in your industry and increases your exposure.
- Review related sites on Alexa to draw in relevant traffic streams.
- Research blog directories, choose the ones that seem advantageous and submit your blog to their listings.
- You can even rent links. Text Link Ads still has a relatively good reputation as a link broker. You can also ask a site directly, even though it may not be in the business of renting links.
- Get involved in charities. Many charities link back to their sponsors. If you donate a portion of your eBay profit to charity, for example, charities often link to both you and your auctions.
- Get involved in conferences. Conference sites link back to their participants and sponsors. Conferences, seminars and workshops are also great ways to build your offline relationships, which you can translate to online influence.
- Have a contest (contests are great “link bait”). A tool like KingSumo can help facilitate the contest and encourages participants share, increasing the virality of your campaign.
- Encourage feedback by offering free samples.
- Build a cool online tool people will want to link to – dashboards and calculators have lots of appeal.
- Design and offer open-source templates for document preparation, web design, blogs and such. Be sure to include a “Designed by You” link in the template.
- Produce a plug-in for Firefox or the like. Include a download and support page for the plug-in on your site.
- If it’s appropriate, include a picture gallery on your site where you tell stories about important people in your industry and display pictures (make sure you have the person’s permission to use his or her image).
- Google has made a website’s “speed” a factor in search engine rankings. They want to “return faster sites” to the user – “but not at the expense of relevance of the data on the page.” There are two parts to this section of the Google Algorithm puzzle. First, “how fast a page responds to Googlebot.” Second would be “the speed of the ‘load time’ as measured by the Google Toolbar.”
The crazy part is that these 99 SEO tactics are really just the beginning. The search engines’ algorithms and what works (or what doesn’t) changes regularly and rapidly.
If all of this seems over-whelming, outsource your website’s SEO to someone who lives and breathes this game. Fiverr, for example, has well over 6,000 freelancers ready and willing to help you rank higher.
One more time, for good measure… the above list was prepared in large part thanks to the following source:
“100+ Ways to Increase Your Search Engine Ranking, Copyright 2011 by Marc Ostrofsky, Author, Get Rich Click. The list appears in the book Get Rich Click and at GetRichClick.com. All rights reserved.”