What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it's the process of getting more traffic from search engine listings.

This page provides a checklist of methods you can employ to effectively optimize your website for better search engine listings.

Home Page Links

Ok. I admit it. One of my pet peeves as a designer is to see a beautiful entrance or home page destroyed by dozens of advertising banners or off-site links.

I realize many escort directory web sites require a front page link, but before you submit to this demand - ask yourself the following:

What do I get?

Sure, you get a free listing on their web site - but how much traffic from your target market is actually coming from that web site? What is the page rank of that web site? Are they being penalized by Google for being a linking farm? If so, putting a link to them on your home page can actually hurt your page rank.

Where is my backlink?

Where is your reciprocal link located on their web site? If it is several levels deep from their home page, the value of that back link to you is very low. Even more so if your link is on the same page as dozens of other escort links.

Do I really need this?

With the above considerations in mind, try to identify where most of your patrons are coming from. If you aren't getting any business from a particular directory or web site, why make your entrance page look like a giant advertisement just so you can maintain a free listing that isn't even doing you any good? Many of these web sites require their link to be placed on your home page because that is where it would score highest for improving their page rank, yet rarely do they return the favor.

#1: Keywords in Page Content

Your site copy is most important in terms of targeting keywords for search engines.
When adding content to your web site, ensure it contains the groups of keywords that you want people to find you by. Identify the most important three to four keywords for your market and location, then focus on those as opposed to trying encompass a wider range of search phrases. Target these keywords by making them into text links or emphasize them with text formatting such as bold, italics, underline or a larger font. Don't forget to have your location listed prominently on the site so visitors know which city you're based out of. This is very, very important. 

Use keywords that are most likely to be used by potential visitors.
Grouping a range of keywords together is better than individual words. Avoid common words like 'or', 'and', 'with'...etc, as these are ignored by search engines. Keywords placed at the top of the page are scored higher than lower down. Update your content regularly to ensure they're crawled more often by search engines. Your home page (the first page someone sees when they go to your domain) is the most important of your site. This is why photo-only entrance pages are a BAD IDEA, as they don't provide the amount of content exposure you would get with a regular content page. Every page of your web site should contain a link back to your home page.

#2: Domain Name Considerations

Domain names that contain one of your target keywords will impact SEO.
Domains that are registered for multiple years or have been registered for at least two years will score better than a newly registered domain that is set to expire in one year. Try to choose a domain that is short and easy for visitors to remember.

#3: Meta Tags

Ensure you have filled out your Title, Description and Keyword meta tags.
Although site copy is most important, search engines still reference your meta tags. They should not only identify your target market, but also include information relevant to that page. Your title tag is the most important. Keep it short (below 60 characters) and prioritize keyword placement in the order of importance.  Your 'Description' meta tag is also important and should be kept under 256 characters. The 'Keyword' tag is the least important and isn't even used by major search engines anymore.

#4: Internal Links

Use descriptive text when linking to another area of your website.
Avoid using words like 'Click here', as these don't identify anything about the page you're linking to. You should always link text that identify keywords or phrases you are trying to target for search engines. Also be sure to check regularly for broken or dead links.

#5: External / Outbound Links

Linking to quality web sites will score higher than those with lower rankings.
This does not mean you should only exchange links with high ranking sites, as most backlinks (regardless of ranking) will provide some benefit. However, be aware that linking to linking farms or web sites blacklisted for spam/malware can actually devalue your seo score, so be sure to research the sites you're exchanging links with. It's also important to inspect outbound links regularly to ensure none are broken or dead. Try not to have more than 100 links on a single page to avoid being flagged as a linking farm.

#6: Inbound Links (backlinks)

Try to obtain quality backlinks with websites relevant to your target market.
As with outbound links, those web sites with higher page ranks will give you a higher score than if a lower-ranked or link farm site were to link to you. Increase your backlinks gradually over time. A sudden high increase of backlinks all at once has the potential to flag your web site for spam. Aged backlinks (those established for longer than 1-3 months) will improve your ranking more than new or temporary backlinks.

#7: Final Considerations

Ensure your site is coded to standards and understandable to browsers.
Avoid using flash or frames for major content. Many search engines can't or won't read either. Never copy content from another person's website. A search engine will pick up on large blocks of duplicate content and put the oldest web site first. Don't try to trick search engines by hiding dozens of keywords between comment tags in your source code. They aren't stupid. Most search engines will consider this SPAM and penalize you for it. Text is preferred over images to display content. A search engine cannot crawl an image and the image 'alt' tag is scored lower than text would be.

And finally, try not to spam your web site with an over-indulgence of search engine optimizations techniques all at once. Doing so may result in an Over optimization penalty (2) (OOP). Be honest, be patient, maintain your content regularly, market your web site and exchange links with other quality web sites. Be less concerned about drastically improving your page rank and, instead, just focus on providing a quality service and maintaining your web site content effectively.