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Web Site Content and SEO

Started by Dynaweb, March 11, 2006, 10:27:25 AM

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First and foremost, the content you have on your site is the most important and most crucial thing over anything else that you can do to your site. What I advise my clients to do is to actually THINK like a search engine or if that is too abstract, think like someone who speaks a different language.

Although search engines are getting much better at figuring out exactly what it is that is on the page, remember it is often impossible for them to decipher Java, Javascript, Flash, and other non-HTML components. This is NOT to say don't use them, just use them when they are to be used appropriately.

Because search engines ARE getting better at figuring out what is on a page, spelling and grammar are also very important. The rule of thumb is no more than three misspellings and no more than three gramatical errors on a page. Sentences should be of short to medium length and paragraphs should also be rather short.

DO NOT COPY OTHER PEOPLE'S WORK. The search engines can penalize a site heavily for plagiarism.


Title Tags -- The most important of all tags is the Title tag. This is what shows up on the bars on the bottom of your computer screen. Most people make the mistake of putting their company name in the Title Tag and that is the worst thing to do (other than putting no tag at all). A Title Tag should be short and to the point and tell what the page is about and if you want to add your company name then add it at the END of the title tag not at the beginning.

Meta Tags -- Meta tags were how search engines would know what was on a page... many years ago. However, with that said it is important that Meta tags are still added to your site and more importantly there are new meta tags (more than just description and keywords) that should be added to the web site such as content type and content language.

Meta Description -- Meta description should start out with the SAME thing your TITLE tag says and then go into more detail.

Meta Keywords -- Meta keywords are words used to describe what is in your page. First use keywords that are in the title and the description first. Then use keywords that are in the content of the page. DO NOT try to spam the search engines by using keywords that are not relevant to your content.

Alt Tags -- With the advent of XHTML, ALT tags for images are now REQUIRED. The Alt tag is used for people who have their images turned off so it is important to have in the alt tag exactly what the image is but also expand on what it is. An example would be a HOME button. Instead of just having HOME as the Alt Tag, use Home -- Site

I have noticed that search engines love geography and it is good to put that in there whenever appropriate. If your company is in Kansas City, MO then put those in the Content and in the Tags.


Having links that send people to sites relevant to your site is always a good practice. People ask me where I get links and how do I get people to link to my site. The answer is very simple. First I ask. I write e-mails (NOT SPAM) to sites asking if they wish to reciprocate links with me and I also have on some of my pages a "Link to this Page" button so that web site owners can do it on their own.

There is great debate as to whether links to other sites that are not of the same category help, hurt, or are indifferent. From my ten years experience I have found that appropriate links DO NOT hurt your web site and could very well help in some instances.


I won't go into much detail here but make sure you have one. So many people forget this and it is extremely important. You will NOT find a major web page that does not have a Privacy Policy attached to it.


Obviously the more traffic you have coming to your web site the better. Not only are web sites tracking how many people come to your site but where they go within your site and how long they stay on your site. Traffic sounds like a double-edged sword since this is probably what you are looking for to begin with, so use other techniques described above to start growing your traffic SLOWLY. Sites that have an immediate hit of high traffic are usually penalized because of fear the traffic is computer generated. Again don't spam your own site.


Advertising with Google Adwords, Yahoo, or other Ad Agencies (Burst!Media, FastClick, CJ, etc...) has shown to boost traffic (that you pay for obviously) but also has spiders (described later) come to your site more often. Advertising can be very difficult to manage and you may want someone who knows what they are doing to get the best ROI (Return on Investment) for your dollar.


Say you go to the mall and you buy a POLO shirt for $75 at a major department store. In the same mall in a small store there is the same shirt for $20 less. Why did you not buy from the small store? There are plenty of reasons but the MAJOR reason is that you didn't know it was there. The same with your web site. You must let the search engines know your site even exists. Using a free service like HTTPSEND (link below) is a great way to get search spiders to your site to start crawling the good work you have done.


Remember it will take up to a month or two to even be ranked by the search engines, three months for your results to show up when someone is looking for the content your site has and a year or more for your site to be ranked in the top ten -- and that is if everything is done correctly.

Be patient, do things properly and you will see results.

There are many more things about SEO that I cannot even go into at this time, but visiting many different SEO sites will help you along your journey. Remember though, not everything you read is true.