SEO To Do List – Existing Site – Page 2

Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Optimization

80/20 To Do List™ – Existing Site

Continued from Page 1

  • You should find that the entire semantic search phrase and/or iterations of it are included in each of the three major page areas outlined above. Accurately record this data for each semantic search phrase.
    • An excellent utility to perform this task is to use a Keyword Density Analyzer. There are free Keyword Density Analyzers available on the Web – just type that phrase into Google and you’ll find one quickly.
    • NOTE: I am NOT recommending extensive use of the concept of Keyword Density Analysis – I am simply recommending the use of a Keyword Density Analyzer as an efficient method to perform this semantic search phrase analysis.
    • If you selected your semantic search phrases correctly, then you should also see some familiar “faces” in the high ranking returned results – direct competitors, non-competitive sites covering the same type of info as your site, etc.
    • If you do not see these type of sites, then you should re-evaluate the semantic search phrases you have chosen as representative of your site’s product, service and/or content.
  • Small Site: The overall effort with a small site should be to get the Home Page ranked in the top 10-30 search results in Google for one of the 3-5 key search phrases already researched.
    • Be sure that the Home Page’s 3 major components (title tag, meta description tag and first 250 visible words on the page) each contain the semantic search phrase at least once and several iterations of it as close to the beginning of each component as possible.
    • Also make sure that EVERY other page on your Web site links back to the Home Page using a link that has the semantic search phrase (or the major portion of it) as the VISIBLE text in the link (the text Web visitors actually see on each of your site’s Web pages).
    • The content of the Home page should align as closely as possible with the semantic search phrase chosen for the Home page.
  • Large Site with Multiple Sections: Follow the steps outlined above for optimizing your Web site’s Home Page, and then create a completely new Web page, an “Educational Conversation Web Page”, for each semantic search phrase. Be sure that each of this page’s 3 major components (title tag, meta description tag and first 250 visible words on the page) contain the semantic search phrase at least once and several iterations of it as close to the beginning of each component as possible.
    • The content of each of these pages should align as closely as possible with the semantic search phrase for that page and, ideally, the content is truly informational in nature. When the searcher lands on the optimized page after performing the search, s/he should immediately feel the information on that page is closely related to the underlying reason for performing that search.
      One of the easiest ways to accomplish this, especially if you are writing your own content, is to write about something that you are both knowledgeable and passionate about, and an “educational conversation page” is the perfect form for that type of content.
    • Also, when you read the section on Linking Strategies, you’ll see that in order to get other Web sites to link to yours, you must offer information that, in the opinion of other Web site owners, will be of value to their visitors.
  • Keep the structure of optimized Web pages as simple as possible. These pages should look and feel like other pages on your Web site, but, if possible, they should not contain long JavaScripts, etc. JavaScripts can prevent a Web page from being crawled efficiently by the search engine spiders.
    • Note: The best way to accomplish this is to turn the JavaScript code into a separate JavaScript file (a “.js” file), name the file, save it on your Web server, and then “call” that Javascript file whenever you need to run that script on any or all of your Web pages. Calling the file is done with one line of code on the Web page in a very similar way that a separate graphics or photo file is called to appear on a Web page.
  • The file name (the “URL”) of each optimized Web page should include as much of the semantic search phrase as possible. Use hyphens between the words in the phrase (ex. “used-buick-car-parts.html”).
    • For the “Home Page” of a “small” Web site, you can use the following strategy to name that page: on your Web site, create a sub-directory or a sub-domain that is named using the semantic search phrase for which you want to optimize that page (I suggest using hyphens as described above to name this sub-directory), then name the main or Home page for that sub-directory/sub-domain “index.hml” as you named the Home page for your overall Web site, and optimize the page for the semantic search phrase.
      Example: this “Web site”, the Digital Marketing Tutorial, is actually located on the Web site “” in the sub-directory “digital-marketing-tutorial”.
    • Note: There is no evidence that this page naming strategy improves the page’s ranking in the major search engines, but at a minimum, for long semantic search phrases, using hyphens helps the visitor easily read the keywords in the URL. And, if some Webmasters who you contact as part of your linking strategy link back to your site using the page URL in the visible text portion of the link instead of the semantic search phrase you asked them to use, then you still have your semantic search phrase where it can do the most good!
  • If possible, save the optimized Web pages as static Web pages. If they are served dynamically, be sure that the resulting URL (page file name) is identical each time the page is served and that it contains standard alphanumeric characters.
  • Integrate each of the optimized Web pages into your site as completely as possible. On a large Web site, each optimized “Educational Conversation Page” would fit into a different section of the Web site and act as the introduction to that section.
    • Existing product line introduction pages are usually very good candidates for becoming this type of optimized Educational Conversation page. They tend to be very specific and usually already contain at least one of the semantic search phrases for your site.
    • Be sure to include hyperlinks on these optimized Web pages that link to and from all of the most important pages on your site (Home Page, Site Map/Index, Contact Us, About Us, etc.). These links should be simple text-based hyperlinks, not JavaScript-only roll-over links or links embedded in an Image Map – these types of links can not be followed by crawler-based search engines.
  • You also need to add TWO “Site Map” pages to your Web site if you don’t have Site Map pages already. You will need to add a XML version for search engine crawlers and a HTML version for human visitors. HTML Site Maps contain a detailed outline of your site’s pages (similar to a Table of Contents) with a hyperlink to each major Web page on your site.
    • In order to maximize the positive impact of adding search engine-optimized Web pages to your site, it is critical that Site Map pages exist, that it be up-to-date and that there is a link to the Site Map page from each of the optimized pages. (See my Site Map Web page as an example.)
  • A word about your optimized Home Page: If you place a Flash “movie” introduction on your Home Page (the “index.html” or “default.html” page), make the flash movie an element of the Home Page accompanied by optimized visible text as described above. Search engine spiders do not understand Flash code and therefore can not “crawl” (index) a site whose Home Page only includes a Flash presentation.
  • Manually submit/re-submit your existing Web site pages as follows:
    • Submission to major search engines: If you have already signed up for the major search engine “Webmaster Tools” apps (Google now calls their app “Google Search Console”), log in and re-submit your updated XML site map URL. If not, go to each major search engine’s Web site and sign up for their Webmaster Tools app immediately.
  • You now must constantly monitor these search engines make sure that the pages submitted have been (a) indexed AND (b) rank in the top 30 results. Once per week is a reasonable frequency.
    • Products such as WebPosition can be used to automate this procedure. When using a product like this to determine page ranking, you must be VERY prudent in your use of it. Several of the engines  (Google, in particular) have asked that products like WebPosition NOT be pointed at their sites. Why? These products query the search engines just like regular users would, so they use up valuable search “bandwidth”. That in turn slows the engine queries made by actual visitors, thereby diminishing the quality of the search experience, particularly during peak use hours.
    • To be on the safe side, run WebPosition no more than once a week and schedule it to run when the engines are experiencing their lightest traffic (2:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. Eastern US time, for example).
  • Start an aggressive, targeted Linking Strategy campaign – this will ensure the long-term success of your Search Engine Optimization program.
  • It’s also time to get your site immediate attention on the search engines by doing some well-targeted Search Engine Advertising.

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