Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) refers to techniques used to improve a web page’s ranking as an organic search result. Any other way of making a page appear high up on the results page will be a “Sponsored Link” or paid advertising through Google Adwords, commonly referred to as Search Engine Marketing (SEM).
There are many intricate modifications that can be made to a web page to improve its SEO. Consulting a professional before the launch of a new site or during a site redesign is always a good idea but there are some things to look out for before doing so.
“Adding description meta tags to each of your pages is always a good practice in case Google cannot find a good selection of text to use in the snippet.”
“Research shows that shorter, more descriptive URLs have higher click-through rates on search engine results pages, contributing to an increase in your search referral traffic.”[ii]
“Breadcrumbs are a great way for engines to understand how your site is structured and to pass link juice logically and evenly to the places you want it. For bigger sites especially I really wouldn’t advise not using breadcrumbs.”[iii]
Search engines will crawl through this content as well, but submitting an XML Sitemap to Google’s Webmaster tools will ensure the site will be easily found.
http://www.brandonsbaseballcards.com/news/ daily 0.8 http://www.brandonsbaseballcards.com/news/2008/ http://www.brandonsbaseballcards.com/news/2009/ http://www.brandonsbaseballcards.com/news/2010/
“A good custom 404 page will help people find the information they’re looking for, as well as providing other helpful content and encouraging them to explore your site further.”
The 404 page should have a link back to the home page and be consistent with the design of the rest of the site. Google’s Webmaster Tools provides a widget that adds a search box and helpful alternatives to incorrect URLs.
Top Ten Rarest Baseball CardsUsing the alt attribute with images works similarly to anchor text. These image filenames should not be generic (eg. “image1.jpg”) and should be short and descriptive for Google Images to easily understand. This will improve the site for the user, as this text will be displayed when the image cannot and Google Image Search will also find and understand the images better. Supplying an image sitemap will also achieve this.
User-agent: * Disallow: /images/ Disallow: /search/
(1) All compliant search engine bots (denoted by the wildcard * symbol) shouldn’t access and crawl the content under /images/ or any URL whose path begins with /search.
According to Google:
“Avoid allowing search result-like pages to be crawled – users dislike leaving one search result page and landing on another search result page that doesn’t add significant value for them.”
(1) If you or your site’s users link to a site that you don’t trust and/or you don’t want to pass your site’s reputation, use nofollow.
Nowadays it is more important than ever that sites can be easily browsed on mobile devices.
SetEnvIf User-Agent "Googlebot-Mobile" allow_ua SetEnvIf User-Agent "Android" allow_ua SetEnvIf User-Agent "BlackBerry" allow_ua SetEnvIf User-Agent "iPhone" allow_ua SetEnvIf User-Agent "NetFront" allow_ua SetEnvIf User-Agent "Symbian OS" allow_ua SetEnvIf User-Agent "Windows Phone" allow_ua Order deny,allow deny from all allow from env=allow_ua
(2) An example of a mobile site restricting any access from non-mobile devices. Please remember to allow access from user agents including “Googlebot-Mobile”
[i] Google. (2010). Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide.
[ii] Sherk, A. (2008). 10 practical tips for SEO success. Publishing Executive, http://www.pubexec.com/article/10-practical-tips-seo-success-401360/1
[iii] Maclean, A. (2013). Do we need breadcrumbs? Pro Q&A Forum. http://www.seomoz.org/q/do-we-need-breadcrumbs
[iv] Coleman, B. (2013). Content isn’t King, Trust is King. The Daily SEO Blog. http://www.seomoz.org/blog/content-isnt-king-trust-is-king
[v] Publishing Executive. (2011). Study: Sites With Tweet Buttons Drive More Mentions. http://www.pubexec.com/article/study-sites-with-tweet-buttons-drive-more-mentions/1