SEO

SEO (39)

Friday, 28 November 2014 00:00

Languages

Certain languages obviously target certain audience. To use an extreme example, a site written entirely in Japanese would almost certainly be targeting a Japanese audience. However, there are other elements to be taken into consideration here. You could for example place links in an index page to may other similar pages that are simply translations of the main page in question.

There are also other, less obvious subtleties. Such as use of American terminology for targeting an American audience. Use of technical terminology for targeting a more technical audience.

Friday, 28 November 2014 00:00

Robots

When we say "Robots" file we don't literally mean a robot. "Robots" is a term reserved for a file that resides in the root of your website and effectively tells search engines which files to look at. Or more accurately, which files NOT to look at.

For example, if you have a folder on your web called "Clients" and you do not want these pages to be indexed, or spidered, you can use the robots file effectively to hide these pages from prospective browsers.

The structure and content of this file is not discussed in any detail here as although it should be borne in mind it does not directly relate to optimising a page for a search engine's index.

Friday, 28 November 2014 00:00

Images

Images come in many shapes and sizes. They can be transparent, semi transparent, many different colours and shapes, but some things they all have in common and two of those things are a file name and an "Alt" tag.

ALT Tags

The alt tag itself is the alternative text that should be displayed if the image is not available to the browser if for example the browser has images disabled.

Friday, 28 November 2014 00:00

Header Tags

You might think that just one header is enough. Well, depending on the product or service it may be. However, if the service in question is divided and then sub-divided it might be better not just from a layout point of view but also from an aesthetic point of view to do this. Programmatically it makes more sense also. Again, if you have different headers that contain your keywords for that page in question you might find that your page ranks more highly than a competitor's.

There are any number of header tags you can use ranging from h1 to h6. However, keeping it to 3 or maybe even 6 tags maximum would be recommended. This is simply your way of laying out the content much more neatly but behind the scenes search engines will enjoy a layout like this as it indicates the importance of various sections of a page.

Also, ensure each page only has one "H1" header tag.

Friday, 28 November 2014 00:00

Page Content

You may have noticed we covered three other elements before even discussing content...

Content comprises many elements, text, images, headers and each of these elements themselves can be manipulated in many different ways to optimise your web page in question.

Content should contain the keywords you chose. These keywords should appear frequently but not too frequently, this is referred to as Keyword saturation. They should also be emphasised in some way; as a header, bold, italicised maybe or even a different colour. How much importance you place on these words on your site reflects how much importance the search engine in-turn places on these words. Paragraphs should be clearly tagged also, something as simple as a closing paragraph tag can actually help a search engine decipher and cache your page.

IMPORTANT! : Pages without text like splash pages, graphics-only pages and flash pages cannot be indexed very well by search engine spiders. Although there are several workarounds for Flash and graphics-only pages, the best way is to add content to the page. Do this by placing a title (between heading tags) followed by keyword rich text (your description) just after your Body Tag.

Friday, 28 November 2014 00:00

Keywords

This is probably the most important of these meta tags as this is where you will be placing keywords that you would like search engines to use when users punch in these words when looking for a product or service.

For example, you provide brown paper bags at wholesale prices. A user is looking for "brown paper bags". If you place these keywords at the beginning of your keywords, at the beginning of your description and the title of the page and if you also place emphasis on these words in your content there is a stronger likelihood that your page will be presented to the user in question. However, meta tags and content alone do not guarantee this. All elements of SEO have to work together seamlessly in order to make your site more effective.

Now you want to tell the search engines what keywords you would like to be found under. Current thinking is that when it comes to meta tags, less is more. Overloading your keyword meta tag with a diverse collection of keywords only waters down their impact on your rankings. Try using only 2 to 5 top keywords / phrases on each page, but use different ones on different pages. Use phrases rather then separate words. The Keywords Meta Tag isn't any longer as important as it was in the past. Even Altavista doesn't read this particular meta tag any more. Repeat a few keyword phrases you have used in your title and description.

Friday, 28 November 2014 00:00

Description Meta Tag

The description meta tag seems pretty obvious. It should simply be a brief (about 20 - 25 words) description of your website and the services and/or products you offer.

Give the search engines that use meta tags the description of the page that you want to have displayed when your page comes up in a search. Don't make it too long, as the engines will only give a limited amount of text. Use your keywords to help make a description.

Friday, 28 November 2014 00:00

Title Meta Tag

Let's take each in turn. Firstly Title. How important is it…? Well, the title meta tag is what is displayed in your browser window's title bar. For example, the title tag "Buy a Car Today" would mean that the browser title bar would display that text, exactly as it appears in the meta tag. The title meta tag should also contain your business and/or your domain name. It will also be the name under which that page is saved in favourites unless the user chooses to change it.

Most search engines give more weight to words found in the Title, especially if those words are also found in the text (page content). So, use the best keywords to make your Title as descriptive as possible. Let's say you have a music site with the URL "searchsheetmusic.com" Don't put "searchsheetmusic.com" in the title. A better Title might be: "Search Sheet Music: The Free Sheet Music Search Engine". This is much more informative and likely to generate better keyword phrases in the search engines: sheet music, free sheet music, sheet music search, music search, music search engine, sheet music search engine, search sheet music.

Friday, 28 November 2014 00:00

Meta Data

Meta data or meta tags may or may not be a term you are familiar with. For those who are uninitiated, meta tags are a series of hidden tags or elements that sit in a web document in the "header" section. Invisible to the viewer of the website but seen and used by search engines.

They generally comprise the following elements:

  • Title
  • Description
  • Keywords
  • Page Content

You can have additional meta tags such as "Copyright" etc. but the ones identified above should be in every web page you develop and should also be unique to that page alone.

Friday, 28 November 2014 00:00

Domain Name

What's in a domain name…?

Well. You could just as easily say "What's in a name…?" it's an identity, pure and simple. It does have an importance with regards to SEO but that importance is not independent of all the other elements of SEO. For example, you wouldn't use the domain name "buyahouse.com" to sell poodle accessories. The domain name must reflect your business in some way. If not, this will not only spell disaster for your business but will probably lead to search engines blacklisting your site.

Also, a domain name uniquely identifies your company on the web. No other company may share your domain name. It's yours and yours alone. Others may have similar domain names, may even try to imitate your domain name but this then becomes the subject (in the UK) of copyright infringement and is not covered here in any detail.

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