7.20.2008

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Best Practices

After many years managing search engine results pages for Altavista, Infospace, AOL Search and others, online marketers ask me pretty much everyday what they need to do to get indexed and rank well to drive quality organic traffic to their Web sites. I find myself repeating the same fundamental rules - do what's right for your users-, and consistently ending with ... and everything changes all the time. So I started a search engine optimization (SEO) best practices checklist to point them to. Check it out for accuracy and keep updating.
I am also keeping a tab of search engine optimization (SEO) best practices on Search is the Internet OS.

Title tag

  1. Title each page with a unique name
  2. Avoid repeating keywords
  3. Place targeted keywords towards the beginning
  4. 60 characters in length
  5. Between 6-12 words
  6. Must make sense grammatically
  7. Summarize what the page is about

Description Tag
  1. Should contain all the keywords used in the Title Tag
  2. Between 12 and 24 words in length, 150 character limit - Google displays 145-155 characters, around 130 without spaces
  3. Unique for every page
  4. Keywords towards the beginning of the Description Tag
  5. Repeat keywords a maximum of two times
  6. An opportunity to expand on the point in your title tag
  7. It doesn't matter where your meta description tag resides in your code, provided that it's in your tags
  8. Compelling sentence or two that reinforces the content of the page.


Keywords Tag
  1. 256 characters
  2. 48 words, list of phrases
  3. Place the longest keyword phrase first in alphabetical order
  4. Capitalize the first letter of each keyword
  5. Separate them with commas
  6. Should be unique to each page
  7. Should not be repeat more then 3 times

Image optimization - IMG ALT Tag
  1. Should contain 4 or fewer keywords
  2. Image file name
  3. Text immediately surrounding the image
  4. The overall content of the page the image is on

Linking
  1. Intégrer la première mention du mot-clé sous forme de anchor text, pointer vers une page interne de votre site parlant du même sujet
  2. Quality is much more important than quantity

Site content
  1. 2 ou 3 expressions-clés par page maximum o Ne mentionnez chaque mot-clé plus de 4 fois par page
  2. Some primary keywords intags
  3. Mot-clé 2 fois dans le premier paragraphe, et 1 fois dans le dernier pour cohérence d’ensemble
  4. Density for a single keyword between 1% and 7%
  5. Total keyword density (all keywords) around 15% to 20%, anything less than 5% unlikely to yield results
  6. Aim for approx 5% with the primary keyword and 3% with secondary and subsequent keywords
  7. Optimize for long tail keywords
  8. Pour chaque mot-clé, environ 150 à 250 mots
  9. Compelling and Unique content on focused semantic theme
  10. Press release optimization with keyword-rich text links
  11. Fresh content to increase crawling rates
  12. About page, Terms of Services, Contact Us, Trust logos

Site map
  1. HTML sitemap
  2. Brief explanations after each page listing, using Description tag
  3. Use the Title tag for the hyperlink listing of each page
  4. XML sitemap for Google

Domain names
  1. 301 permanent redirect all the domain names you own

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