Optimise your Website for Search Engines

A search engine is typically in the form of a web site that provides the visitor with an HTML form to fill out, which then searches the search engine's database of content.
Search engines, all work in the same way. A search engine company operates what is called a "spider" - an automated program that "crawls" the Internet looking for websites. The spider then reads the content on those web pages it finds, and classifies it and assigns value to that page in terms of backlinks. In Google's case, it assigns what's called a PageRank.
Basic search engine optimization (SEO) is fundamental. And essential. SEO will help you position your website properly to be found at the most critical points in the buying process or when people need your site.

Great content (the longer, the better)

Great content is now a requirement to rank well. Search engines rank pages with bad grammar and spelling lower. This means that sites with well-written content are finally starting to get the ranking they deserve.
“How long should my content be?” is a question many people ask. While there really isn’t an exact answer, most people agree that 500 words is a good minimum length for your normal blog post.
It’s also a good idea to mix in longer authority posts. Research has shown that longer posts (over 1,000 words) tend to rank better-keep in mind, Google really likes authoritative posts with 2,000+ words.

What Search Engines Are Looking For

Search engines want to do their jobs as best as possible by referring users to websites and content that is the most relevant to what the user is looking for. So how is relevancy determined.

    a.Content: Is determined by the theme that is being given, the text on the page, and the titles and descriptions that are given.
    b.Performance: How fast is your site and does it work properly.
    c.Authority: Does your site have good enough content to link to or do other authoritative sites use your website as a reference or cite the information that's available.
    d.User Experience: How does the site look. Is it easy to navigate around. Does it look safe. Does it have a high bounce rate.

Be Consistent With Domain Names

Domain naming is so important to your overall foundation, so as a best practice you're better off using sub-directory root domains (website.com/awesome) versus sub-domains (awesome.website.com). Some other best practices with domain names are:

    a. Consistent Domains: If you type in www.example.com, but then your type in just example.com and the "www" does not redirect to www.example.com, that means the search engines are seeing two different sites. This isn't effective for your overall SEO efforts as it will dilute your inbound links, as external sites will be linking to www.example.com and example.com.
   b. Keep it Old School: Old domains are better than new ones, but if you're buying an old domain, make sure that the previous owner didn't do anything shady to cause the domain to get penalized.
    c. Keywords in URL: Having keywords you're trying to rank for in your domain will only help your overall efforts.

Focus on Your Meta Data Too

Your content on your site should have title tags and meta descriptions.

    a.Meta keywords are pretty much ignored by search engines nowadays, but if you still use them, make sure it talks specifically to that page and that it is also formatted correctly.
    b.Your meta description should be unique and also speak to that specific page. Duplicate meta descriptions from page to page will not get you anywhere.

Title tags should also be unique. Think your title as a 4-8 word ad, so do your best to entice the reader so they want to click and read more.

Create unique, accurate page titles

Page title contents are displayed in search results.
The title of the homepage for our hokey card site, which lists the business name and three main focus areas.

A relevant, deeper page (its title is unique to the content of the page) on our site appears as a result. A title tag tells both users and search engines what the topic of a particular page is.
tag of the HTML document (1). Ideally, you should create a unique title for each page on your site.

Create unique title tags for each page

Each of your pages should ideally have a unique title tag, which helps Google know how the page is
distinct from the others on your site.

Use unique descriptions for each page
Having a different description meta tag for each page helps both users and Google, especially in
searches where users may bring up multiple pages on your domain (e.g. searches using the
site: operator). If your site has thousands or even millions of pages, hand-crafting description meta tags probably isn't feasible. In this case, you could automatically generate description meta tags based on each page's content.

Navigation is very important for search engines

Make your site easier to navigate Improving Site Structure
The navigation of a website is important in helping visitors quickly find the content they want
It can also help search engines understand what content the webmaster thinks is important.
Although Google's search results are provided at a page level, Google also likes to have a sense of what role a page plays in the bigger picture of the site.

Page load time

When Google added page speed into their algorithm, sites that had slow load times saw a drop in traffic from Google. Page load speed is a ranking factor for Google.

In order to fix page load speed problems:

    1.Measure how long a page takes to load.
    2.Optimize your website to improve performance.
    3.If you are using a shared hosting server, you can try switching to a different hosting provider to see if it makes a positive difference.
    4.After making changes, measure performance again.

If you use WordPress, make sure you keep plugins to a minimum, as they will only bog down your site if there are too many. Also, stick with a lean code (such as Thesis and Genesis) or a website builder (here is a good list for those) that allows you to customize and tweak the code. This doesn’t necessarily help page speed, but it keeps your blog from looking cookie-cutter and generic.

Common search engine optimisation mistakes

If your website is not built in such a way that search engines can index the content you may as well forget about SEO. Common reasons for websites not being 'search engine friendly' are:

    a.The website uses frames.
    b.Javascript menus - search engines cannot follow these.
    c.Graphical menus rather than text - the search engines cannot get clues from text within the link.
    d.Bloated HTML code.
    e.Stylesheets and scripts included within the page rather than as separate files.
    f.Errors in the HTML code.
    g.Important keywords rendered as an image rather than text (search engines cannot 'see' images.
    h.Styling headings using HTML tags other than the HTML H1, H2 .. tags.
    i.Database-driven pages.
    k.Content generated by scripts.

One of the biggest factors used to determine the rank of a website is the age of a domain. It makes sense that older websites will have more “experience” to boost their credibility, in the same way that domains which are registered for more than a year lend more confidence to the stability of their website. In the eyes of a search engine, domain age matters.
You should always keep SEO in the forefront of your mind, and always follow best practices. Skipping the basics of SEO will only leave your site's foundation a mess and prevent you from fully maximizing revenue opportunities.