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SEO Benefits of CSS Part 1

Jul 82008

published by Dan in SEO with No comments

Lots of web design clients nowadays prefer web designers to use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) mostly because a website designed using CSS is really easy to maintain. CSS allows content and design elements to be kept separate so that anytime the client wants new content to be added or old one to be replaced it can be done without affecting the site design, making updating the site virtually hassle-free. Even when it comes to changing some factors like the font color or type size of a certain paragraph or heading thanks to CSS it can be done super fast so that in a few seconds or minutes you’ll be done with the changes.

What many clients do not realise though is that CSS can also be advantageous in terms of SEO. Some of the reasons why CSS can benefit your SEO efforts include:

  • Less code - Less code means greater readability of the content, at least for the spiders, since it makes for a more efficient crawling of the files. For users this is also good news because less code means smaller file sizes, which in turn means faster loading time of pages.
  • Ability to move important content - Move where? To the top of the HTML file. Since it is on top of the HTML file it will be deemed as more important (remember placement makes a difference) by spiders. It will also ensure that soon as the HTML file is crawled then that important content will be indexed. Some files a cropped so it is imperative to get the important ones on the top.

to be continued…

Popularity: 39% [?]

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Quick SEO Review: SEO Tips Part 5

Jul 62008

published by Dan in SEO Basics | Social Media with No comments

  1. Use the power of blogs - This means both starting your own blog (remember to your blog under the domain you want to optimise!) and also reading and participating in blogs that has similar theme as your site. The benefits from this tactic is numerous (not just restricted to SEO) including…
    • having a venue to provide fresh content more frequently without having to tweak the content of the other pages in your site,
    • being able to insert more keywords/phrases via the blog posts,
    • helping establishing your online reputation (note this only works if your blog is sensible and you make smart and relevant comments on other people’s blogs),
    • generating more traffic for your site (if your blog becomes popular or at the least by baiting other commenters of blogs you participate in to check you out), and
    • getting more links (from those who like or even sometimes dislike a particular post).
  2. Use social media marketing - Once you have finished with the technical aspects of optimising your site (adding tags, using keywords, cleaning up the code, etc.) concentrate on building up your online network. A well managed social media marketing campaign will result not only widen your online network but also help in reputation building as well as in your link building campaign. Just make sure that you use this strategy wisely or it might backfire on you (READ: Do not spam people in social media sites!).

Popularity: 46% [?]

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Quick SEO Review: SEO Tips Part 4

Jul 42008

published by Dan in SEO Basics with No comments

  1. Don’t forget the importance of relevance - Search engines rank pages not only based on the the amount of links pointing towards the site but also on the relevance of the page’s content relative to the user’s search term. Because of this it is important that you…
    • make sure that the site has pages with a containing cohesive content - Unless your site is an encyclopedia, new site, classifieds, or something similar wherein you really will have a very large scope of topics you should only have pages that tackle different aspects of the same theme. This is important because it will be easier to optimise your site for that certain theme.
    • get relevant inbound links - Instead of aiming to get hundreds of links from non-related sites 10 to 20 links from similarly themed sites will provide more value. Of course if you can get hundreds of links from relevant sites then so much the better!
  2. Understand how layout affects SEO - This will affect keyword placement as well as the concentration of keywords in different parts of the web page. To understand more do read Hannah’s post on “How Your Layout Affects Your SEO”
  3. Use web analytics - From the very start you should have this in place. If you still do not it isn’t too late. Web analytics are great not only for keeping track of statistics but more importantly for helping set goals and see how well you are doing and which aspects/pages in the site needs improvement.

to be continued…

Popularity: 22% [?]

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Quick SEO Review: SEO Tips Part 3

Jul 22008

published by Dan in SEO Basics with No comments

  1. Make sure your site and all the pages in it gets indexed ASAP by…
    • informing search engines about your new website(s) - While you can wait for search engines to find your new website you can make it quicker by submitting your URL to search engines. You can submit your URL for free to Google, Yahoo, and MSN Live. If you want extra fast inclusion you pay to be included in Yahoo’s index within 48 hours by submitting via Search Submit.
    • creating and submitting a sitemap - I’ve done several posts on this already. Reminder the sitemap I am referring to is the XML sitemap that is to be submitted to search engines. You can also indicate pages you DO NOT want to be crawled/indexed by explicitly stating it in the sitemap.
    • making sure that all the content in the pages you want to be seen are accessible - Please refer to #1 of the previous post.
  2. Pay attention to formatting - By this I mean emphasising the important keywords/phrases. I’ve mentioned keyword placement in SEO Tips Part 1 but note that should provide a way for search engines to know that the keywords are extra important not only by the placement by also by using heading tags when appropriate (for heading of course!) and bold <b> </b> tags for those you want emphasised but are not main headings

to be continued…

Popularity: 19% [?]

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Quick SEO Review: SEO Tips Part 2

Jun 72008

published by Dan in SEO Basics with No comments

  1. Make content accessible to search engine spiders - Make sure all content that you want to be searchable can be found by search engines. Remember that certain formats like Flash pages and Java script drop down menus can not be crawled by search engines. Do not forget to provide a way for search engines to know the content of those pages/elements.
  2. Make sure your site’s server is clean - This is very important for those using shared servers. If you happen to be sharing a proxy server with a banned/flagged site this could affect your ranking.
  3. Provide fresh content - Sites that rarely update their content can do this by publishing RSS/News feeds or by adding a blog. The blog need not be updated daily but posting a couple of times or a bit more per week is recommended.
  4. Settle canonicalisation issues - Figure out which URL you want to be the primary URL (with www. or without the www) and 301 redirect the other URL to the primary URL.
  5. Look at your SERPs standing and not on page rank - While a higher page rank should make you happy the true test of whether your SEO efforts is paying off or not is your placement in SERPs for the keywords you are targeting. A high page rank does help but there are lots of instances wherein pages with a lower page rank out do ones with higher page ranks in SERPs.

to be continued…

Popularity: 24% [?]

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Quick SEO Review: SEO Tips Part 1

Jun 52008

published by Dan in SEO Basics with 1 comment

  1. Incorporate your SEO campaign into your overall website strategy - See previous post on reasons for SEO.
  2. Do exhaustive keyword research before selecting keywords to optimise for - A cursory keyword research will still get you results but you can almost be sure that you’ll either miss some very important keywords that will result in higher conversion rates or that you’ll end up optimising for some keywords that will not yield that much results. Either way it will result in wasted resources.
  3. Make sure you provide quality content - Content is and always will be king. There’s no point optimising for a site that doesn’t have something of real value to offer. When it comes to keywords in the site’s text make sure that they can be found there and that variations of the keywords/phrases pepper the pages. However, make sure that the content still sounds natural and that the content doesn’t look spammy. Keyword stuffing is a big no since it makes for substandard content.
  4. Keyword placement - I’ve posted on this several times. Make sure keywords are placed where it counts (title tags, anchor texts, ALT tags, etc.).
  5. Focus on link building - Get as much relevant links as possible. Non-relevant links are okay as long as they’re not from link spammers and as long as you get more relevant links than non-relevant ones.

to be continued…

Popularity: 27% [?]

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Quick SEO Review: SEO Facts

Jun 32008

published by Dan in SEO | SEO Basics with No comments

  • SEO does not guarantee results overnight - Patience is one of the virtues SEOs must develop!
  • SEO will get you the traffic but won’t guarantee conversions - You still need good content and a good website design to convince the traffic sent by search engines to take the action you want them to.
  • SEO is hinged on keyword selection - If you want a successful SEO campaign you need to make sure that you select the most important/relevant keywords/ke phrases to target.
  • SEO is a continuous effort - Search engines are very dynamic. To keep up with the changes in search engine algorithms you should make sure that you keep an eye on your site’s optimisation efforts. SEO is definitely NOT a one-time thing. You also need to regularly look at your keywords to see if you should be targeting new ones.
  • SEO starts with website debugging - Time and again I have emphasised the importance of checking bugs, both critical and trivial, before doing SEO. You can not optimise a broken site!
  • SEO service providers are not equal - Make sure you hire the services of a good/experienced SEO service provider if you want to get real results. Stay away from SEOs that promise results overnight. Chances are they will employ black hat tactics to show you “results”, which in the end will endanger more than benefit your website.

Popularity: 27% [?]

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Quick SEO Review: Reasons for SEO

Jun 12008

published by Dan in SEO | SEO Basics with 1 comment

I firmly believe that every now and then it is important that we review SEO basics to make sure that we do not neglect anything. The good thing about reviewing SEO basics is that you get to check whether you are losing sight of the reason why you are doing SEO.

  • To get traffic from search engines - The primary purpose of SEO is NOT to be number in SERPs but to get as much traffic as from search engines as possible! This distinction is important because though you might rank better than before your SEO efforts still can’t be considered a success if you don’t reach the number of traffic you need/want from search engines.
  • To get interested visitors from search engines - This pertains to relevance. You want the traffic you get to be interested in the content of your website. If you get a very high bounce rate then you need to take a close look at your keywords and start targeting search terms that are more relevant to your site’s actual content.

These are the two most basic reasons for SEO, however, if you look at the bigger picture you will see that even the above reasons exist to support the primary goal of your site (market your products online, educate people about your field, etc.). Hence, always remember that SEO is just a tool to help you reach your website’s aim. If you want to do effective SEO then do not lose sight of your goals.

Popularity: 33% [?]

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Achieving Domain Authority: Taking Advantage of Trusted Sites

May 302008

published by Dan in SEO | SEO Strategy with No comments

5. Take advantage of trusted sites

There’s no doubt about it the fastest way to get traffic is not via organic SEO. However, while waiting to become achieve domain authority what you can do is to take advantage of the sites that have already achieved this. To do this the solution is still to somehow get linked to by a trusted site.

Spammers take advantage of sites with authoritative domains by inserting hidden links on the site. What you can do without resorting to spam tactics is to:

  • advertise on the site;
  • rent a page on the site (some sites allow this);
  • get yourself on the site’s blogroll/listings;
  • contribute content to the site and link to your site as resource site; and
  • use other white hat link building tactics you know.

Note that by getting links from trusted sites will benefit you more than one way. The link will add to your site’s authority (not applicable for ad links that since the nofollow attribute is used in such cases), you’ll get more visibility for your site, and you’ll get traffic referred by the site.

Popularity: 23% [?]

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Achieving Domain Authority: Domain Age and .EDU Pages

May 282008

published by Dan in SEO | SEO Strategy with No comments

3. Be age concious

This tip is fairly old since we all know that domain age is a factor search engines consider when ranking webpages. If you plan on buying an old domain make sure that it is AT LEAST 5 YEARS OLD. According to randfish the top 100 domains for any type of domain ending (.com, .biz, .net, .info, etc) are mostly older than five years.

4. Get links from .EDU pages

If you look at Google’s SERPs you will find that not all .EDU pages rank well, however, even then .EDU pages (even those that don’t rank that well) are still considered to authority/trusted sites. Because of this you would do well to get links from these pages. Of course links from .GOV are great too but it is harder to get links from government sites so you might as well focus on getting a link or two from a .EDU page. Again this doesn’t guarantee automatic authority for your page but it will still help boost your site’s authority.

Popularity: 22% [?]

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