Seven Often-Missed SEO Opportunities By Donald Nelson

SEO Optimazation

If you have good content and present it in a reasonable way, then you have an excellent chance of achieving good positions in search engine queries for your main keywords and keyword phrases. You don’t have to resort to any trickery to get your site noticed. However, many web designers and web masters fail to take advantage of opportunities to get high search engine rankings by mishandling a few crucial components of their web pages. Here is a list of the seven most frequently missed search engine optimization opportunities:

1. You’ve Got to Display Your Text as Text!

This sounds elementary, but it is not. Many designers want their site to look good and replace headlines with gif images. The headlines (or headers) are one of the most important elements on any printed page. If you want to know what a magazine article is all about, then you just have to glance at the headline and the sub-headings to get a good idea. Similarly, search engines place great importance on headers, which are usually marked with the html codes < H1 > < H2 > or < H3 >. If you are selling blue widgets and want to be found in the search engines by people who make the query “blue widgets” then you should put these words in a text headline, properly marked, at the top of your page. Some website building programs often render entire paragraphs of text as images. A person viewing such a page will be able to read it, but a search engine’s robot will not see the text. So, check your web pages, and if vital text is being replaced by graphic images, then it is better to substitute the images with text.

2. Put a Good Amount of Text on Your Pages

It’s not just headlines that count, body text is also needed. It’s true that a picture is often worth 1000 words, but following this strategy is not good when it comes to search engine optimization. If your page is about blue widgets, then an opening headline saying “Get the Best Blue Widgets from the ACME Widget Company” is a good start, and a picture of a blue widget would be OK, but why stop there?

People come to the web looking for information. They come to find a solution to their problem or to find something that will benefit them in some way. If it takes you a few paragraphs or even a whole page to explain all the benefits that your widgets offer, then by all means add that text to your page. It will help your users, and in the process you will be repeating your keywords and phrases again which in turn will tell the search engines that this page is truly about blue widgets. So, more text is good for search engine recognition and for the end users alike.

3. Don’t Use the Same Title Tags on All the Pages

Title tags are even more important than headlines in letting the search engines understand what your web page is all about. The title tag is displayed as the first line of text in the blue row at the top of the browsing window. The code for the tag is in the section of the html document and is labeled .

Normally you will want your site to rank well for a variety of phrases and keywords. You can’t stuff all of these keywords and search phrases in one headline or in one title tag. It will cause “indigestion” for both your viewers and for the search engines. A better strategy is to organize your website into different pages, with each page emphasizing a certain aspect of your activity.

In fact, most websites are built this way. But the problem is that instead of emphasizing the unique aspect of each particular page with a properly crafted title tag, many websites repeat the same tag on all the inner pages. This is truly a missed opportuníty to get ranking for a large number of different keyword phrases. So, don’t miss this one: make a separate title tag for each of your pages.

4. Don’t Try to Do Your Branding in the Title Tag

Unless you are already well known it makes no sense to overly emphasize your company name in the title tag. People are not searching for the XYWZ MP3 Player Company. They are searching for MP3 players. The first words in a title tag are the most important. If you are Coca-Cola, then maybe it makes sense to have these as the first words, but if you are yet-to-be-famous then it makes more sense to put your most important keywords and keyword phrases in the forefront of your title tags. Your company’s logo at the top of the pages can do the branding for you, but leave the title tag for the more important task of being found in search engine queries. You can consult my previous article “How to Write Title Tags”, for more suggestions.

5. Your Link Structure Should Be Easy for Search Engines to Follow

Even if you have great text and well-written headlines and a unique title tag on each of your pages, it will not do you that much good if all of your pages are not indexed by the search engines. Normally a search engine robot will visit one of your pages and then look for more links and if it finds those links it will visit those pages and add them to the search engine’s data base or index. If your links are easy to follow then all of your inner pages will end up in the search engine index and will be displayed when they match queries made by searchers.

Some site navigation structures are not search-engine friendly. Links found in java-script, which is used in many drop-down menus, may not be followed by the robots. Similarly, links on image maps (particular segments of graphic images) may also be missed by the robots.

The best way to make sure that your links are followed by the robots is to make a simple text navigation menu at the bottom of your pages. This kind of navigation bar can supplement your drop down menu or other navigation system and it has multiple benefits. It helps the search engines follow the links, and it reminds your users, as they reach the bottom of the page, where they can go next. On top of that, it helps you with opportuníty number 6.

6. Use Your Site’s “Anchor” Text to Your Advantage

Just as the title tags and headlines give a good indication about the content of your pages, so do the descriptive words in the internal links on your website. The clickable portion of a site’s text links are known as “anchor text.” Instead of having all of your anchor text read “Clíck Here,” find a way to put the words “mp3 Player,” “Blue Widgets,” “Illinois Real Estate” or whatever your keywords are in the text links of your site.

Once again this works to the advantage of your readers as well as giving the search engines better information about the content of your pages. The more descriptive your text links are, the better they are for your users. In fact, one of the best methods of site navigation is to refer to the relevant pages of your site from within the text on your page, linking to the pages using descriptive keywords.

7. Use Keywords in Your File Names

Instead of naming your files as if they didn’t matter, such as page1.html, page2.html, put your keywords and keyword phrases in your file names. If you do a search on Google for any particular item, you will see that wherever your search keyword appears it is listed in the Google results in bold text. Usually you will see this bold text in the title that is displayed, and in the descriptive text that Google displays underneath the title. You will also see it in the URL. If you already have some of your keywords in your domain name, then that is helpful. But even if you don’t, you can still make file names such as www.xyzwcompany/blue-widgets.html .

Do the keywords have to be separated by hyphens? Once again if you look at Google results you will see keywords in file names are displayed as bold text even if they are part of a longer stream of text. This is a process known as stemming, where the search engine can recognize keywords within longer text blocks. Still, I personally like to use hyphens just to make sure!

So, check your web pages and do whatever you can to help both search engines and your end users enjoy and benefit from their contact with your web pages. Take advantage of these seven SEO opportunities to improve your site’s perförmance.

Source : SEO-News

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