Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tips and Techniques: Part 3
Danielle Rosato on Thursday, August 9, 2012
To wrap up the basics of SEO series, I will provide a few more tips and techniques to enhance your SEO plans. While there are many ways to generate views to your websites, using the tools I have provided in the previous blogs, Part 1 and Part 2, you will be well on your way to increase your SEO efficiency and understand the concepts that go into this strategy. Below identifies a few additional SEO techniques:
Meta tags (define title and keyword tags):
The keyword meta-tags are something you write into the html header of the document, and are not seen by humans. Although they are not as important as they once were, they still carry some minor ranking value to some search engines. Many sites make the mistake of using the same set of meta-tags for every page on their website. Each page should be unique to the content of that page. Meta tags include a description of the page, a page title, and a list of keywords that are relevant to that page rather than the site as a whole. They are an often missed, yet easy to implement and you should make sure that every page of your site has them. Also, keep in mind that some search engines actually use the description meta tag to describe your site in their search engine results. So use plain English, but make sure your keywords are mentioned.
Arguably as important as developing solid new content for your site; is the amount of sites, and the quality of those sites, that hyperlink to you. Don’t fall for any of those companies out there that help you build “reciprocal linking”, Google doesn’t pay their efforts much attention, and may actual penalize you for having links to your site from websites that are not similar or complimentary in nature. In simple terms, get as many related quality websites as you can to hyperlink to you. It’s not near as easy as it sounds, and takes a lot of time. Therefore, any company that is promising you “top ranking in Google” within a couple of days, is simply put “full of it”.
So getting people to link to me is not easy to do, so where do I get started? Well, you can start by leveraging links from social media sites. However keep in mind that many of these links are not permanent (tweets disappear) and are often not ranked as high as links from static websites. Also make sure that any links you create are relevant, not just spammed comments to blogs.
Distributing information via social media can multiply the number of visitors that will view your sites. Social media and networking is a great way to increase brand recognition and connect with new audiences. Re-distributing blogs and content can be as easy as tweeting the links, as well as connecting all accounts such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Make sure that your viewers are also able to instantly share a link from your page. Create your own blog, or ask to post guest topics on some of your industry’s more recognized blogs, many will allow this as long as your form of payment is just a hyperlink to your website. Join LinkedIn groups and help further the conversations that are happening in your industry. Make sure all of your web social profiles have links back to your site.
When getting links to your site posted on other sites and domains, don’t always just link to your home page or url. Try to link to different, more relevant pages within your site. Even better, if you have hash tags (anchors) in your larger pages, link to them.
Don’t forget the image descriptions: If you have images on your website with relevant information, you must remember that images are not searchable in the traditional sense. In other words, most search engines don’t know that a picture of an Eagle is different than a picture of a car. Adding descriptive captions to your images is very important, but also make sure to fill out BOTH the alt and title tags of the image, which are not typically seen by the end users. As an added benefit, web users that have vision impairment will be able to now understand what a picture was meant to be on your web page.
Easy to Read URLs. Be sure to use keywords in your URLs and file names. Having easy to understand and read URLs can not only help the search engine find your page but also be evident for users to see, and is easy for people to remember. For instance: http://www.sourceoneinc.com/strategic_sourcing.html
Do not copy content from other sources: This is one of the most important tactics to avoid while developing your site. Copying your content from other sources will not only ruin your reputation but is also illegal! Your content should be unique and original. Similarly, you should periodically use tools such as copyscape.com to look for sites that are ripping you off and take corrective action to get their content removed.
We’ve really just begun to scratch the surface of SEO in our series. However, I hope we have you enough information to understand that there really is a lot to it, and that it can be time consuming. The rewards are huge though, as inbound sales calls are often the best sales calls. If nothing else, we hope that we demonstrated just a little bit about the complexity of SEO and that any company that blindly PROMISES you that they can get you number one or number two ranking is generally not trustworthy. More importantly, SEO takes times. The changes you implement today can take weeks or months to start to affect your results in search engines. Now that you have a basis of understanding of a few important tips and techniques of SEO, it is time to put your hard work to the test and apply these tactics to your own sites.