Search Engine Optimization (SEO) An Introduction
Search Engine Optimization • Search Engine Optimization is a technique used in web publishing to increase a webpages visibility and traffic, which results in a higher ranking in search engines and more readers.
Page Titles • Create unique, accurate page titles (brief, but descriptive) • <title>Brandon’s Baseball Cards – Buy Cards, Baseball News, Card Prices</title> • Create unique titles for each page • The title for your homepage can list the name of your website/ business and could include other bits of important information like the physical location of the business or maybe a few of its main focuses or offerings
Description meta tag • Make use of the “description” meta tag • <meta name=“description” content=“Brandon's Baseball Cards provides a large selection of vintage and modern baseball cards for sale. We also offer daily baseball news and events.”> • A page's description meta tag gives Google and other search engines a summary of what the page is about • Accurately summarize the page's content • Use unique descriptions for each page
Keyword meta tag • Not every search engine uses key words • Google and other SE will punish a page for key word abuse • Key words should be relevant, and not repeated in the meta tag • <meta name=“keywords” content=“news, journalism, current, events, nation, national, world, weather, sports” />
URLS (Page Names) • Use words in URLs • Create a simple directory structure Poor: Good:
Navigation • Make the site easy to navigate • Use “breadcrumb” indicators • Allow for the possibility of a part of the URL being removed • Create an HTML site map for users • Create an XML site map for crawlers • http://code.google.com/p/googlesitemapgenerator/
Offer quality content and services • Interesting sites will increase their recognition on their own • Create fresh, unique content • Write easy-to-read text • Create content primarily for your users, not search engines
Write better anchor text • Anchor text is the clickable text that users will see as a result of a link, and is placed within the anchor tag <a href="..."></a>. • Choose descriptive text (not “click here” for example) • Write concise text • Format links so they're easy to spot
Optimize your use of images • Image-related information can be provided for by using the “alt” attribute • Store files in specialized directories (for example: an ‘image’ folder) and manage them using common file formats (jpg, gif, png) • Create an XML image site map
Use heading tags appropriately • Use heading tags to emphasize important text • Imagine you're writing an outline • Use headings sparingly across the page
Writing good headings • Use the right keywords in the headline • Search engines use words in headings as keywords • Use simple, descriptive headlines • Put relevant words at the beginning of the heading • Locations and names are commonly searched—put them first • “Obama: Congress must act soon” as opposed to “Congress must act soon, says Obama”
Limiting crawling • Restrict crawling where it's not needed • You can use a meta tag on a page: • <meta name="robots" content="noindex"> • Or, Google Webmaster Tools has a friendly robots.txtgenerator: • http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2008/03/speaking-language-of-robots.html
Mobile sites • While many mobile sites were designed with mobile viewing in mind, they weren’t designed to be search friendly. • Notify Google, et al. of mobile sites (using Google Webmaster Tools for example) • https://support.google.com/webmasters/ • Or, create a single responsive site!
Promote your Website the right ways • Promote through social media • Network with other (trusted) Webmasters • Traditional promotion (direct mail, newsletters, etc.) • QR codes on print pieces • Pay for promotion (ads)