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 Wednesday, 22 October 2008

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can be difficult for the newcomers in this field but it’s certainly no voodoo magic.  In fact there are a lot of easy-to-implement tips to help drive traffic from search engines to your site.  Here are my favourites:

 

1. <title> tags:

This is maybe the most easy to implement.  <title> tags are used by all search engines to discover what your site is about.  Check your own site right now for that if your title reads “MyCompany”, then you can easily improve your results with search engines. You should rename your title tags to something looking like “MyCompany – Proviging Search Engine Optimization to small businesses”.  This more descriptive title will help search engine categorize better your website and this will give you a higher rank in searches.

 

2. <h1> tags:

Almost as important as <title> tags, <h1> tags are one of the primary source of context for search engines. You should have <h1> tags that are descriptive of your business. For example, if you have a software business but all your <h1> tags are used to display your political views, search engines will think something fishy is going on and you will get lower results.  Your h1 tags should not only be present, but also be descriptive of your business.

 

3. URL naming:

URLs are another source of information on the subject of a particular page.  If your urls contains only a GUID or a productID, your won’t get the benefits from this aspect of SEO.  URLs should be as descriptive as you can make them.  For example, this is a awful URL for SEO :

http://www.bestbuy.ca/catalog/proddetail.asp?sku_id=0926INGFS10110236

This is a much better URL for the same product

http://www.amazon.com/Guitar-Hero-III-Legends-Wireless-Bundle/dp/B000TG531G

 

4. Don’t be too hungry:

Don’t try to put irrelevant keywords on your site in the hope of getting better search results. This is called "Keyword stuffing" and “refers to the practice of loading a webpage with keywords in an attempt to manipulate a site's ranking in search engine results”. Filling pages with keywords results in a negative user experience, and can harm your site's ranking.

 

5. Links to your site:

Inbound links are also a big part of website ranking (the famous Google’s pagerank algorithm uses inbound links to rate websites).  The theory is that if a website is a reference in a particular domain, then lots of other websites will link to that particular website.

Beware of businesses that tells you that they will get you a higher pagerank by adding link to your website on sites that have a high pagerank.  That practice is called Link Farming and it may in fact LOWER your rank as this is considered bad practice.

 

6. Create value:

You need to create unique, relevant content that can quickly gain popularity in the Internet community. The more useful content you have, the greater the chances someone else will find that content valuable to their readers and link to it. Before making any single decision, you should ask yourself the question: Is this going to be beneficial for my page's visitors?

Examples of content that generates links:

  • Free white papers related to your industry
  • Free code snippets / downloadable source code
  • Free solutions to existing problems your customers may have
  • Free tools

In fact, people loves free stuff, so providing them with some quality (and free) content will get you lots of quality links.

 

7. Avoid having an all flash/javascript sites:

Search engines can’t read javascript and/or flash code.  So, if your site contains only flash, it won’t be indexed by search engines.

 

8. Use descriptive alt text for images:

Search engines also can’t see your images.  So, for your images to appear high in image searches, you must give them descriptive alt text.

 

Other relevant posts:

What are your customers saying about you online?

Tools for Web developers

Wednesday, 22 October 2008 12:37:51 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Business | Marketing | SEO
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The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.

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Stanislas Biron
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