SEO in a nutshell
My apologies for not blogging recently.
Working for a giant corp like Johncom can be a burden on one’s blogging/social life.
Apart from being involved in another massive project, recovering from bronchitis and attending courses my life hasn’thad much thrown at me that I can blog about.
Having said that, a week ago a friend of mine asked me how he could get started with SEO.
The reply I gave him was pretty much worthy of being added to this blog, and I’ll share it with everyone.
as a starting point… there isnt really a starting point because there are just so many things to take into consideration but here are the best tips I can give you.
My top 25 or so tips
1 .Make sure you have a site map
2. Make sure your code and css are valid (xhtml transitional or nothing)
3. Make sure your site is hosted on a fast server (surprisingly, hardware & bandwidth plays a huge role in ranking, if your site is slow and the hosting server is taking strain, the search engine spiders will report back to the search engines that your site is sow to respond and will will give your site negative rankings)
4. Keep your pages small in size, use small , optimized images
5. Dont try any smart “black hat” techniques like doorway pages
6. Make sure all your links are valid
7. Keep incoming links high and outgoing links low
8. get links from sites that are associated with your site , a link from a baby food comany’s site wont help your car website
9. make sure ALL pages are linked to each other through a daisy chain effort, 1 links to 2 , 2 links to 3 and so on.
11. create “clusters” of pages that all link to your central home page with relevant information on each page with emphasis on 1 particular keyword or phrase. for instance. you have a site thats dedicated to sweets. have your main home page optimized for a theme : “sweets”, you need to mention the word sweet and synonyms a few times.
Then create sub pages, LINKED TO from your home page . each sub page should then be optimized for “specific” keywords relating to your central theme. Hard boiled sweets, toffee sweets, choclates, makes of choclates, brands etc
the more specific you get the better for your ranking.
this means creating literally DOZENS of pages.
12. your keywords need to appear in the meta tags for both description and keywords as well as in the page title and a h1 header. a lot of people neglect to add a h1 because it is big. Use css to resize it smaller, have at least 1 h2 and 1 h3 . They need to be nested correctly
h3 under h2 under h1
13. do a search for the keyword thats relevant to you, take the top 5 sites and check each site’s code and copy it as best you can.
14. you cant get marked as a spammer if you submit your sites as often as you like to search engines. This is a common myth. If that was the case, your competition would spam the search engines daily with your sites address.
15. DO NOT USE AJAX
on pages that you want to submit
16. submit individual pages as well as your home page to search engines.
17. friendly urls !!! make sure you get this :
into this :
18. avoid using more than 2 dashes in domain names and urls
ie www.my-totally-freekin-hot-site-rocks.com is a huge no no
19. Avoid using subdomains. http://sweets.mysite.com <– rather not.
instead use directories
www.mysite.com/sweets <– much better
20. spend 2 hours a day reading the sites mentioned above.
21 You need a blog associated with your site. ( www.mysite.com/blog )
You need to link from the blog back to your main site and you need to update the blog at least once a day, Content is King.
This will help the search engines spider your site more often.
22.you also need a video on youtube with links back to your site and links from your site back to the video.
you also need a map and phone numbers
If you see Google’s new SERPS when searching for anything imaginable, you’ll see sites with assocaited videos are starting to come up in the rankings
for instance do a google for “Shakira” 4th result is a video
23. You also need an image gallery, same reason as above.
24. dont bother trying to optimize for yahoo, ask msn or any other Search engine, concentrate on Google alone and the rest will follow, although DO submit your site to as many other search engines as possible.
25. Get listed on the Yahoo directory (not the search engine) as well as on DMOZ.org
it’ll take time but they count as some seriously important links.
26. dont call your home page “home” in your menu and use the anchor tag “home page” or “home”
if you have to, use a small image of a house and change the anchor text and URL to “sweet fantasy” or something thats relevant. linking to home page is not gonna help you.
and avoid using “click here” with a hyperlink on it , instead use something meaningful like “more information on SWEETS”
because why ?
because the search term “click here” JUST happens to point to adobe’s website.
any idea why ?
because 8 gazzilion people all pointed their sites to adobe’s web site with the following text
“click here to download adobe acrobat reader”
27. Make sure your hosting server is not in a “bad” neighborhood. Effectively, a bad neighborhood is one where associated sites that are hosted on the same ip range are link farms/ spam sites.
there are plenty more small tips and tricks but I’m tired and my head hurts.
oh yeah, make use of rel=”no follow” on outgoing links.
another thing with regard to rel = “nofollow”
( you write a url like such <a href=”http://www.link.com” rel=”nofollow”>anchor text</a> )
if you are creating “clusters” of pages
lets say you have 4 sections which are clusters around a central theme of sweets, you need to create a “pyramid” of pages working down, linking down
A = chocolates
B = boiled sweets
C = toffees
A1 = dark chocolates
A2 = belgium choclate
B1 = flavoured boiled sweets
B2 = plain boiled sweets
you get the idea?
when linking to a senior page, like the top page of a category from anywhere dont use rel = no follow
say for instance you are linking from B2 to A, or A1 to A or B3 to B or C4 to A then dont use rel = nofollow
but if linking from A2 to B1 then DO use rel = nofollow
you wanna preserve the pagerank within a cluster and only reserve it for outgoing links to top hirearchial pages.
And that my friends, is it.
Please let me know if this was useful to you.