Hi there I've been asked to assist with some helpful tips referring to SEO optimisation for a family newspaper online. I have some information written down and I will step the client through site statistics and how they work, but some extra knowledge on SEO tips would be greatly appreciated.
To avoid time wasting, things I am aware of are using the keyword content in:
Metadata, use of heading tags,
keywords in body content and
navigation content, ul, li etc.
Google refers to each page as a
separate document therefore requires unique keywording for each page. I
think this is correct.
HI Felicia. I'm certainly no SEO specialist, but I have a general tips you may find useful:
It's my understanding that search engines put much less emphasis on META tags these days. In fact, many resources will say they matter very little in today's world of SEO. However, many will still recommend including them for the time being. The reason less emphasis is put on META tags is because...
...content is king. What people are typically searching for when using Google, MSN, Yahoo and other engines is great relevant content. As such, search engines need to understand content as a typical human would -- and, we don't typically read that behind-the-scenes stuff (like META tags). If your pages are packed with good content, you're well on your way to having a site search engines will love.
Give consideration to a "link strategy" -- as in how can you get links to your content from other sites? Remember that search engines use spiders to "crawl" the web. It's believed the more inbound links you have the more spiders will crawl your site. And, last I read, the more relevant the content on those other sites the better.
This one is probably obvious: Avoid "black hat" tactics such as hiding key words in your code that don't actually appear in the page content. It's pretty easy to hide content using CSS, or simply placing it in funky places in your code. It's a bad bad idea. There was a recent story of a politician in Texas who got caught doing this.
Hopefully some of that was helpful. There are some great books out there on SEO. One I've enjoyed is Search Engine Visibility by Shari Thurow.
Best of luck!
The keywords meta tag isn't really used by search engines anymore as far as I know. The best SEO practice is useful, semantically-marked-up content. Make sure that what the page is about is indicated in both the <title> and <h1> tags for each individual page. Then go from there, emphasizing key sections with other header tags or <em> or <strong> for key words/phrases, depending on the context.
If you're looking for a strong keyword or phrase match, you can edit your content using analytics or adwords recommendations, but keyword-packing can cause real trouble if done incorrectly.
Also, be careful with affiliate links. A few links from reputable sites connected to your content will pay off more in the long run than directory-jamming.
There's quite a bite more to SEO than just keywords. Off the top of my head:
- Canonicalization. Make sure if you have more than one domain that they all resolve to one single domain. This helps when other people link to you too. Use server redirects for this purpose.
- Content. Gotta have great, meaningful, relevant content. It should contain keywords but not too many or it could be considered spammy. Also avoid duplicate content.
- Linking. Try to link consistently. You don't want to have search engines to index 2 or more URLs for the same page.
- Site structure. Make your file names/paths meaningful. Try to think ahead and reinforce your key ideas, keywords, etc. Every little thing helps.
- Geography. There's an increasing emphasis on local results. Try to include geographical information in your content or on your site in general.
- Headings. Use them correctly. H1 is the most important, then H2 and so on. Try to nest them at least sort of correctly.
- Alt text. Include meaningful descriptions for your images.
- Plain HTML with CSS. Generally text is easier for search engines to understand than anything else. You can do a lot with CSS as far as visuals are concerned.
There's a lot more information out there too. Check out seomoz.org for example.
Search engines also like fresh content. This is why blogs do so well in searches results. If it's a family newspaper, then a relevant news feed of some kind will be helpful to keep the content an ever-changing feast for search engines.
As Brad mentioned above, H1 tag content is very important, so instead of coding things strictly with DIVs, use H1, H2 and H3 tags with relevant keywords when you can.
If you are using some of kind of content management system, such as Joomla or Wordpress, then it will be useful for you to Google SEO optimization for that respective system. Each CMS has different tweaks you can do to make SEO more effective.
http://blog.themeforest.net/resources/20-seo-tips-that-every-web-developer-should-follow/ is a very good resource for SEO tips
It has more details of below points
- Write Semantic and Valid Markup
- Optimize your Title and Meta Tags the Correct Way
- Always Use alt and title Attributes
- Use Google Webmasters Tools
- Keep your HTML Simple
- Avoid Frames
- Be Careful When Using Flash
- Create a sitemap.xml file for Google
- Make a Site Map
- Add a robots.txt File to Your Root Directory
- Check for Broken Links and Images
- Avoid Duplicate Content
- Create an Informative Error Page
- Keep a Flat Structure Directory
- Use Search Engine Friendly url Names
- Design an Effective Footer
- Use Breadcrumb Navigation
- Write Good Content
eeek, maybe this question won't get asked on a web designer forum site only. However, will give it a go. :-)
Thanks very much everyone. Fantastic support and answers. Very very much appreciate it. :-)
On Design: Think about how the page lays out sans CSS (there's plenty of FireFox add ons that can disable stylesheets, etc). This can be really helpful understanding the semantic mark up of the page.
On Content: Remember that the writing needs to remain for humans, not the Search Engines. It's a slippery slope to start creating content that starts off as legit, gets tweaked a little here and there and, before you know it, the content is garbage.
On Metatags: The title tag is important. Keep it concise.