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SEO Tips and Best Practices

13 Aug

The What and Why

Every business or professional who has ever done print /media advertising has done some form of demographic research. This will help you in your Search Engine Optimization (SEO), as it incorporates everything you have already found out and much more. You will need to be more open minded, do more digging and you will need to weigh the cost/effort verses the results you can achieve. Everyone wants to be #1 when someone Google’s your product or service, and here are some “Best” practices to help move up the ladder of results returned to the user.

Search engine use programs called “Spiders” to crawl your site, or follow all the links. The best way to be found is to have links from another website to yours. Make sure this is a legitimate link and not a link farm.

Do These

  • Make sure EVERY picture in your website has an Alternative Text description. Try to use keywords to describe it, but make sure not to just cram them in if they do not describe the image.
  • Make sure that your <title> tags are filled out on every page.
  • Make sure to try to use Keywords in your content Header tags. <H1><H2>, etc.
  • Make sure that every page in your site is linked to by at least 1 other page.
  • Use a Site Map – XML-Sitemaps.com
  • Try to use text instead of images to display important names, content, or links. The Google crawler doesn’t recognize text contained in images. If you must use images for textual content, consider using the “ALT” attribute to include a few words of descriptive text.
  • Make use of the robots.txt file on your web server. This file tells crawlers which directories can or cannot be crawled. Make sure it’s current for your site so that you don’t accidentally block the Googlebot crawler. Visit RobotstTXT.org/faq.html to learn how to instruct robots when they visit your site. You can test your robots.txt file to make sure you’re using it correctly with the robots.txt analysis tool available in Google Webmaster Tools.

Avoid These

  • Try to Avoid using JavaScript or Flash for your menu navigation. It makes it a lot harder for search engine spiders to crawl your site.
  • Don’t go overboard with the Keyword placement. keep the ratio to between 6-9% of keywords to overall content.
  • Avoid hidden text or hidden links and do not make them the same color as the background. You will get banned for this.
  • Don’t use cloaking or sneaky redirects. Search engines will figure it out and your will be unlisted.
  • Don’t load pages with irrelevant keywords. Google and other pride themselves on providing relevant results. If they find you cramming your content unrelated wording, not only will you be unlisted for those pages, but your whole site may get banned.
  • Don’t create multiple pages, sub domains, or domains with substantially duplicate content.
  • Don’t create pages with malicious behavior, such as phishing or installing Viruses, Trojans, or other malware.
  • Avoid “doorway” pages created just for search engines, or other “cookie cutter” approaches such as affiliate programs with little or no original content.

Written By: Chuck Dowe (@chuckdowe)

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