Planning on-page SEO is a detailed process. For that reason many people get to this point and get scared. They paid someone to host and build their website or may have even built it themselves with WordPress but, now they realize they don’t know what they are doing. Here is where many people fail – they panic, but my goal is to not let that happen to you. You thought that this was all going to be easy, but now you are nervous because someone told you that you needed a sitemap and that just sounded like it would be expensive… What’s a sitemap? What are Meta Tags? Do I need an XML site map? What do I do with it when I get it? Fear no more I am going to walk you through all the basics and give you a resource to fall back on when you don’t know what to do.
So… in the last blog we covered the basics, setting up a few SEO sources linking back to you like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Now let’s start thinking about how to get the search engines to index and follow you. Your keywords, META Tags and site-map will help with this and make you look like a pro to the search engines.
I know this next part gets techie, but trust me it will be very helpful for a new website and trust me I have found an easy way for you to do all of these steps. Here’s your SEO tip – Your new favorite new word is going to be “generator” and below you will find links to your new favorite generators.
When you need HTML code written and don’t know how HTML code works it can be a bit confusing. So, I have created this post to solve a few of your website or blog problems. Here’s how you start. Look up the HTML or Meta Tag word you need in Google and put the word “generator” next to it. For instance try – robot text file generator or sitemap generator (Google requires this for indexing your site) or XML sitemap generator, or even Meta Tag generator. All of these searches will take you to tools that will generate your code for your Meta Tags, site-map and any other basics you need for your website. All you need now is to learn how to write the quick simple content that will be copied and pasted into these generators.
Follow these steps to look like a HTML pro without ever learning a lick of code.
Before I get into the steps required to create Meta Tags for your website, let me say, that if you have used WordPress you will not need to follow the links below, you can just read the instructions. Instead You will want to install a plugin called Platinum SEO Pack from WordPress. It will give you everything you need for your blog.
Step #1 Let’s start by generating some keywords.
These are the words you want your customers to look up in the search engines to find you. The best tool I know of is the Google Keywords Generator. Start by search for the broadest term you can related to your business like “baby blankets” and let the generator show you the rest. It will put out a large list of words and you will want to choose 5-10 words that will fit your topic but are not the ones with the greatest number of hits. These words will be too competitive to fight for so you will likely want to pick some of the less popular words that still get good traffic.
Step#2 Now your website needs META Tags and here are my favorite generators from www.scrubtheweb.com.
You will find many resources here, but let’s first look at the generator here for META Tags. META Tags are becoming less popular for some search engines like Google, but are still important for other search engines. So let’s cover all the bases and make sure you can be found by al the search engines. Below are the basic Tags you will need and there are a few others you may consider adding that may not be as important.
a. META Title Tag – this must be the first tag that shows in your websites HTML code. The best way to write this is – “Your Most important keyword to find your website” followed by the pipe symbol | (you can find this symbol by holding the shift key and hitting the back-slash key just above the enter key) and then your business name.
i.e. Search Engine Marketing | semtrak
b. META Description – Your title tag should be approximately 150 characters in length and be full of the keywords that describe your business and is written in a sentence format. This is the description that will show in Google searches for your website in all your organic listings.
c. META keywords – these are your words that you will soon start optimizing for in the search engines. These should be identical to the keywords you chose in step number one and should be in order of most importance. The first word is your most important word and last is least important.
Step#3 XML Site Map Generator and WordPress Site Map Generator
This piece is very important to Google and other Search Engines. This file will be stored on you servers and tells the search engines how to index your page when the web spiders crawl your site. This is not a page that will be visible to your visitors but it will tell the spiders where your web pages are and how to link to them in the future.
Step#4 The no follow Meta Tag or Robot text file.
This file will tell the spiders to either crawl all of your pages and links or not to crawl certain portions of your pages. This can be important for people that have secure information on their site and don’t want it to show up in the search engines general content. I will post more information on this later.
Step#5 Submit your website to the Search Engines or many of you may want to ping your blog using Ping-o-Matic.
This last step is actually the first step in optimizing your website for the search engines. So far you have worked on making your website look good to the search engines so that you they want to send you traffic. Now it’s time to get traffic. This quick and simple process will guarantee that your pages will be indexed by the search engines and that you start getting traffic from organic searches on the web outside of your first links that we set up from LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and your Blog.
And remember, when you set up your submissioninformation to use the exact same information as your META tags you set up for Title, Description and Keywords. This is very important so that Google see relevancy in your submissions and listings.
Here is my favorite tool to submit to the search engines. It is an automated service that automatically submits your website every month for just a few bucks and I get it free with my web host. Finally, if you are a local business with a physical address you will also want to set up your most basic local listing on Google Local, Yahoo Local and Bing (the new MSN). These listings should be set up just like the other above and I will cover this in my next blog post.