Best tips for SEO

Hi there,

I’m working for a site and they want to compete for better search engine rankings for their commerce site. They don’t score that highly compared to competitors in google, although the competitor’s sites are pretty rough.

I was wondering what are the most effective things I can do to build up their credibility in search engines? It’s a small modelshop that’s been around for 60+ years, and they compete with other small model shops in the auckland area.

The site is

I initially changed their title tag to include the word Model many times, and also listed their main categories in the title. I added some meta tags and description too. People told me these are outdated and search engines ignore them, but a few months after doing this the site now comes up on the first page of google when you search for things like “modelair” “model shop auckland” etc which is GREAT.

So what I’m after is some other high-impact changes I can make. I’m thinking of making all the mark-up semantic html, as it’s currently tables. Then I’ll be able to have h1 titles for product names to increase ranking for searches of particular models.

I’m also thinking of doing url rewriting so the name of the product is in the address bar, also increasing the chance that their site will show up for a product search.

What are your thoughts? How do I even identify which keywords to target? most resources are around targeting for once you know your keywords.


Normally I don’t really give site-specific SEO advice but there are a few quick wins here. Before I start I can tell you that you can leave converting from table-based layout till when you redesign - Search Engines don’t car about constructive HTML.

Semantic mark-up is slightly different, but don’t get hung-up on just adding H1 tags. Think about using emphasis (<strong>, <em>) on keywords (sparingly).

Here are my quick win tips:

  1. Be keyword specific on each page. That means don’t flood each page with all of the keywords you want to rank for the entire site.
  2. Look at your URLs (as you suggested). Having a single category/product/tag for your product pages in the URL will assist. index.php?ID=51 doesn’t really help any body.
  3. Revisit ALL of your page titles. Are they specifically unique and targeted to each individual page (my answer is no).
  4. For each keyword (e.g.) ensure you’ve thought about other combinations and similarly searched words (do research).
  5. Build a HTML site-map of all your main sections/categories/pages and ensure it’s linked to from every page.
  6. Build an XML site-map to ensure all your product URLs get indexed
  7. Fix your canonicalization issues (read this if you need more information)

Here’s the big one:
Optimize locally.
Claim the local listings on all the local search directories that uses. Fill out as much detail as possible on,, etc etc

Contact all of the model suppliers, parts suppliers etc etc and have them link to your site as an outlet/distributor/whate-ever.

Then you can start worrying about getting your code perfect.

Good luck.

Wow, thanks for the great tips! I can’t wait to implement these! I already knew about and and know Google is using these to index, how do I find out about the others? Is there a list somewhere or does Google let you know? These seem to bring in a lot of traffic.

Thanks again :slight_smile:

"7. Fix your canonicalization issues "

I fixed that, but still my site not get better traffic

a regular update of your site/blog is very important

You should also ensure your site is being linked to by reputable sources. Search engines track the sites which appear to be experts in their field and one factor they take into account is how many external links the site has coming to it. When thinking about links make the anchor text matches the keyword you want to optimize your site for.

All good advice here…

I would say…

#1 Do research on keywords in your niche. Use keywords that get searched frequently on Google. Then I would do research on your direct competitors. If they have URL’s that are aged and they have a high PR with tons of backlinks, I would suggest you find long tail keywords that are related. You will have a much better chance of being ranked higher in Google in much less time.
#2. Provide your site with lots of useful content. Make sure you use good grammar. I would also update your content frequently.
#3. Start a blog using anchor keyword text links that are linked to your websites sub pages. I would suggest using Wordpress with an autoblog add-on. Make sure your blog is relevant.
#4. I would give quality answers to people on yahoo answers.
#5. Submit articles and press releases.