Ranking, Ranking, Ranking. These words are the “holies of all holies” among Web Designers. Obtaining a high ranking among the top search engines has always been the main goal of a well-written eCommerce site. For without a high ranking, there is probably no reason to even have a website!
Most top search engines, such as MSN, Yahoo, and AltaVista are relatively easy to get listed on. Engines such as Google and their dependency search engines are becoming more and more difficult. However, not all is lost. If you can achieve a reasonably high rank in Google, their dependency engines will follow suit.
Below is a checklist of things I have done to ensure high rankings, some of which many of us already know, but may not do. The best part is that all of these steps can be achieved with nothing but your time.
a) Ensure that your Meta description and keywords tags coincide with your site content. Ensure that the percentage of your keyword is around 15% or more of the content of your pages. Use this Keyword Density Tool to check your pages.
b) Utilize as many page links as possible. Make sure to Include outbound and inbound links. Use this Links Validation Tool to check your pages.
c) Use alt tags whenever possible. Try to include your keywords in these descriptions.
d) Fresh content is paramount. Update your pages as often as possible!
e) Employ images, which require the least amount of memory. These are usually in the .gif format. However, sometimes the .jpg format is smaller. So compare them both!
g) Make use of the Meta robots tag. You can customize this tag for Google and others. An example would be: “META NAME=”Googlebot” CONTENT=”ALL,INDEX,FOLLOW””
h) Submit a sitemap.xml file to Google Sitemaps. This will aid in your site being listed on Google. However, be patient, it will take a few weeks to see the difference. Download this Sitemap Tool to create your Google acceptable site map. Join Google Sitemaps HERE.
i) It is Imperative that your robots.txt file is correct! Without this, some engines will not even attempt to spider your site. Use this Robots.txt Tool to check your pages.
j) It is also Imperative that your pages are W3C compliant. If they are not Google will not index your site, not now not ever! Use this W3C Validation Tool to check ALL of your pages.
k) Finally, once you have completed the previous steps, you can check all of your indexed Google pages on ALL of their servers HERE.
I’ve attempted to make this as straightforward and simple as I can. Although you can utilize blogs, message boards, RSS feeds, and such, they will definitely help but are not required. If you follow ALL of these steps, you should not only be listed well on Google, but your rankings should increase on all search engines! Especially the ones that depend on Google for their search engines code like AOL and many more. If you have any questions, comments, or even gripes, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org