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Nov
14

SEO

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While I personally feel that a lot of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is hogwash, there are basic tenets to building well indexed sites.

The usual common sense ones apply –

  • Making sure Page Titles are clear.
    Don’t forget to add relevant page descriptions to each page.
  • Making sure that content is relevant.
    Lack of content is the number one issue most clients have.  They want to score highly in search engines, but they don’t have any relevant content.  This one is easy to solve, although it takes some time. Identify keywords that you want to be found by, and create content that includes those words.

    I also advise clients to take a look at their competition, and see who scores highly for the words that they want to be found under.

    Analyse the competition, or high ranking sites and see why they score highly.  This is the one thing that will improve your search relevance dramatically.

  • Making sure Page names and navigation folders are human friendly
    eg – on our Computer Solutions site, we have file/folder names like:
    http://www.computersolutions.cn/en/Support/Mail Settings.html

    These are both search engine and human friendly.

    Bad Examples of this are things like:
    http://www.somebadexample.com/index.php?id=1&section=2

  • Add SiteMaps for search Engines, and submit those to the Search Engineseg – on all our Sites we have a /sitemap.xml which lists all the pages in the sites, as well as dates on which they were last updated.  The CMS software we use makes these automatically everytime a page is updated.
  • Using Flash in moderation, and making sure that site navigation is available via standard links if navigation is via a flash component.Flash sites are generally not indexable by the major search engines.
    Flash sites also take interminably long times to load.  They look cool, but potential clients aren’t necessarily interested in waiting for them to load.
  • Don’t go too far
    Quite a lot of SEO is bleeding edge, and short term.  It may get you high rankings for a while, but in the long term if you use shortcuts to gip the system, you’ll get burned (and your SEO ranking will drop).

While all the sites we create are pretty SEO friendly (and follow my general guidelines above), its good to have advice to give to clients, and potential clients.

While I’ve outlined the basics above, Google has made a free PDF file which talks about this in more detail, with things I mentioned above, as well as a few more that you may not know about.

Click here to download the Google SEO PDF