Welcome!


SEO Optimization (part 2)

 Offer quality content and services

Interesting sites will increase their recognition on their own

Creating compelling and useful content will likely influence your website more than any of the other factors discussed here (1). Users know good content when they see it and will likely want to direct other users to it. This could be through blog posts, social media services, email, forums, or other means. Organic or word-of-mouth buzz is what helps build your site’s reputation with both users and Google, and it rarely comes without quality content.

Anticipate differences in users’ understanding of your topic and offer unique, exclusive content.

Think about the words that a user might search for to find a piece of your content. Users who know a lot about the topic might use different keywords in their search queries than someone who is new to the topic. For example, a long-time baseball fan might search for [nlcs], an acronym for the National League Championship Series, while a new fan might use a more general query like [baseball playoffs]. Anticipating these differences in search behavior and accounting for them while writing your content (using a good mix of keyword phrases) could produce positive results. Discover new keyword variations and see the approximate search volume for each keyword.  Consider creating a new, useful service that no other site offers. You could also write an original piece of research, break an exciting news story, or leverage your unique user base. Other sites may lack the resources or expertise to do these things.

Write easy-to-read text

Stay organized around the topic

Create fresh, unique content

Suitable anchor text makes it easy to convey the contents linked

Optimize your use of images

Image-related information can be provided for by using the “alt” attribute Glossary Store files in specialized directories and manage them using common file formats (1) Our image wasn’t displayed to the user for some reason, but at least the alt text was. (2) It is easier to find the paths to images if they are stored in one directory. (root) images about articles news 2006 Images may seem like a straightforward component of your site, but you can optimize your use of them. All images can have a distinct filename and “alt” attribute, both of which you should take advantage of. The “alt” attribute allows you to specify alternative text for the image if it cannot be displayed for some reason (1). Why use this attribute? If a user is viewing your site on a browser that doesn’t support images, or is using alternative technologies, such as a screen reader, the contents of the alt attribute provide information about the picture. Another reason is that if you’re using an image as a link, the alt text for that image will be treated similarly to the anchor text of a text link. However, we don’t recommend using too many images for links in your site’s navigation when text links could serve the same purpose.

Use brief, but descriptive filenames and alt text

Supply alt text when using images as links

Promote your website in the right ways

About increasing backlinks with an intention to increase the value of the site Master making announcements via blogs and being recognized online My blog Website Product page Glossary (2) By having your business registered for Google Places, you can promote your site through Google Maps and Web searches. News: “I have a new card!” User’s blogs Social media service Newsletter, DM, Posters, etc. Online Offline (1) Promoting your site and having quality links could lead to increasing your site’s reputation. While most of the links to your site will be gained gradually, as people discover your content through search or other ways and link to it, Google understands that you’d like to let others know about the hard work you’ve put into your content. Effectively promoting your new content will lead to faster discovery by those who are interested in the same subject (1). As with most points covered in this document, taking these recommendations to an extreme could actually harm the reputation of your site

USE social media sites

Reach out to those in your site’s related community

Make use of free webmaster tools


Do You Need Google Analytics?

Most likely you could benefit from  Google Analytics. Here are just a few of the many questions about your website that you can answer using Google Analytics.

  • How many people visit my website?
  • Where do my visitors live?
  • Do I need a mobile-friendly website?
  • What websites send traffic to my website?
  • What marketing tactics drive the most traffic to my website?
  • Which pages on my website are the most popular?
  • How many visitors have I converted into leads or customers?
  • Where did my converting visitors come from and go on my website?
  • How can I improve my website’s speed?
  • What blog content do my visitors like the most?

Browser Compatibility

Users typically view your website using a browser. Each browser interprets your website code in a slightly different manner, which means that it may appear differently to visitors using different browsers. In general, you should avoid relying on browser specific behavior, such as relying on a browser to correctly detect a content-type or encoding when you did not specify one. In addition, there are some steps you can take to make sure your site doesn’t behave in unexpected ways.
Test your site in as many browsers as possible
Once you’ve created your web design, you should review your site’s appearance and functionality on multiple browsers to make sure that all your visitors are getting the experience you worked so hard to design. Ideally, you should start testing as early in your site development process as possible. Different browsers – and even different versions of the same browser – can see your site differently.


Why Responsive Design?

We recommend using responsive web design because it:

  • Makes it easier for users to share and link to your content with a single URL.
  • Helps Google’s algorithms accurately assign indexing properties to the page rather than needing to signal the existence of corresponding desktop/mobile pages.
  • Requires less engineering time to maintain multiple pages for the same content.
  • Reduces the possibility of the common mistakes that affect mobile sites.
  • Requires no redirection for users to have a device-optimized view, which reduces load time. Also, user agent-based redirection is error-prone and can degrade your site’s user experience.
  • Saves resources when Googlebot crawls your site. For responsive web design pages, a single Googlebot user agent only needs to crawl your page once, rather than crawling multiple times with different Googlebot user agents to retrieve all versions of the content. This improvement in crawling efficiency can indirectly help Google index more of your site’s content and keep it appropriately fresh.

Responsive Web Design

Responsive web design (RWD) is a setup where the server always sends the same HTML code to all devices and CSS is used to alter the rendering of the page on the device.

Google’s algorithms should be able to automatically detect this setup if all Googlebot user agents are allowed to crawl the page and its assets (CSS, JavaScript, and images).

Responsive design serves all devices with the same code that adjusts for screen size.

Pages optimized for a variety of devices must include a meta viewport element in the head of the document. A meta viewport tag gives the browser instructions on how to control the page’s dimensions and scaling.

The meta viewport tag gives the browser instructions on how to adjust the dimensions and scaling of the page to the width of the device. When the meta viewport element is absent, mobile browsers default to rendering the page at a desktop screen width (usually about 980px, though this varies across devices). Mobile browsers then try to make the content look better by increasing font sizes and either scaling the content to fit the screen or showing only the part of the content that fits within the screen.


SEO Optimization

Best practices: Whitehat SEO

These techniques aim to improve a site by focusing on the visitors instead of on ranking higher. Examples of good, whitehat techniques include creating organic, high-quality content and adding good descriptive tags covered in the previous module. They adhere to Webmaster Guidelines, which your site should follow to rank well and organically in Google Search. If you’re looking to hire a SEO, make sure the SEO does not use blackhat techniques. Not even the most experienced SEO can guarantee a certain rank for your site. Establish upfront your goals, how the SEO will reach the goals, and metrics used to evaluate success of the goals.

Accurately describe the page’s content Choose a title that effectively communicates the topic of the page’s content.

AVOID choosing a title that has no relation to the content on the page

using default or vague titles like “Untitled” or “New Page 1”

Create unique title tags for each page

Each of your pages should ideally have a unique title tag, which helps Google know how the page is distinct from the others on your site

AVOID using a single title tag across all of your site’s pages or a large group of pages

Use brief, but descriptive titles

Titles can be both short and informative. If the title is too long, Google will show only a portion of it in the search result.

AVOID using extremely lengthy titles that are unhelpful to users

stuffing unneeded keywords in your title tags

Accurately summarize the page’s content

Writing a description meta tag that has no relation to the content on the page using generic descriptions like “This is a web page” or “Page about baseball cards” filling the description with only keywords copying and pasting the entire content of the document into the description meta tag Avoid: Write a description that would both inform and interest users if they saw your description meta tag as a snippet in a search result.

Use unique descriptions for each page

Using a single description meta tag across all of your site’s pages or a large group of pages Avoid: Having a different description meta tag for each page helps both users and Google, especially in searches where users may bring up multiple pages on your domain (e.g. searches using the site: operator). If your site has thousands or even millions of pages, hand-crafting description meta tags probably isn’t feasible. In this case, you could automatically generate description meta tags based on each page’s content.

Improve the structure of your URLs

Simple-to-understand URLs will convey content information easily

URLs are displayed in search results

Use words in URLs

Using lengthy URLs with unnecessary parameters and session IDs choosing generic page names like “page1.html” using excessive keywords like”baseball-cards-baseball-cards-baseballcards.htm”

Avoid: URLs with words that are relevant to your site’s content and structure are friendlier for visitors navigating your site. Visitors remember them better and might be more willing to link to them.

Create a simple directory structure

Use a directory structure that organizes your content well and makes it easy for visitors to know where they’re at on your site. Try using your directory structure to indicate the type of content found at that URL

Provide one version of a URL to reach a document

Make your site easier to navigate

The navigation of a website is important in helping visitors quickly find the content they want. It can also help search engines understand what content the webmaster thinks is important. Although Google’s search results are provided at a page level, Google also likes to have a sense of what role a page plays in the bigger picture of the site.

Plan out your navigation based on your homepage

All sites have a home or “root” page, which is usually the most frequented page on the site and the starting place of navigation for many visitors. Unless your site has only a handful of pages, you should think about how visitors will go from a general page (your root page) to a page containing more specific content. Do you have enough pages around a specific topic area that it would make sense to create a page describing these related pages (e.g. root page -> related topic listing -> specific topic)? Do you have hundreds of different products that need to be classified under multiple category and subcategory pages?

Ensure more convenience for users by using ‘breadcrumb lists’

A breadcrumb is a row of internal links at the top or bottom of the page that allows visitors to quickly navigate back to a previous section or the root page (1). Many breadcrumbs have the most general page (usually the root page) as the first, left-most link and list the more specific sections out to the right.

Allow for the possibility of a part of the URL being removed

Prepare two sitemaps: one for users, one for search engines

Create a naturally flowing hierarchy creating complex webs of navigation links, e.g. linking every page on your site to every other page going overboard with slicing and dicing your content (so that it takes twenty clicks) Avoid: Make it as easy as possible for users to go from general content to the more specific content they want on your site. Add navigation pages when it makes sense and effectively work these into your internal link structure.

 

 


Design and Content Guidelines

It’s good practice to use text instead of images to display important names, content, or links on your site. Google and other search engines focus on text that can be found and read on pages. The words on a page help search engines understand what a page is about and the context in which it might be useful to a potential searcher. If you use images for textual content, consider using the “alt” attribute to include a few words of descriptive text since Googlebot doesn’t recognize text contained in images. Also think about the words users would type to find your pages and make sure that your site actually includes those words. As always, check for broken links and correct HTML. Broken links or pages that don’t show up correctly can frustrate visitors to your site.

Make pages for users, not for search engines: When you make changes to your site, make sure you’re doing so to enhance the user experience, not to try to rank better in search results. A useful question is, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”

Create high quality and original content

Technical guidelines

  • Make reasonable efforts to ensure that advertisements do not affect search engine rankings. For example, Google’s AdSense ads and DoubleClick links are blocked from being crawled by a robots.txt file.
  • If your company buys a content management system, make sure that the system creates pages and links that search engines can crawl.
  • Use robots.txt to prevent crawling of search results pages or other auto-generated pages that don’t add much value for users coming from search engines.
  • Test your site to make sure that it appears correctly in different browsers.
  • Monitor your site’s performance and optimize load times. Google’s goal is to provide users with the most relevant results and a great user experience. Fast sites increase user satisfaction and improve the overall quality of the web (especially for those users with slow Internet connections), and we hope that as webmasters improve their sites, the overall speed of the web will improve.

 


Meta Descriptions

Write good meta descriptions

The meta description is generally used by search engines to show a descriptive snippet of your site to users in search results. Unlike a title, which should be concise, a good meta description can be a couple sentences long. The sentences should accurately summarize a page’s content. They should not be generic, filled with keywords, or contain an entire page’s content. If Google thinks the meta description of your page is relevant, it will often use it as the search result description found below the title.


Describing Content On Your Site

Write unique and descriptive titles

Titles affect how your pages are displayed and whether a user wants to click on your site in search results. Compare them to titles of a book or chapter. They should be descriptive and concise. Long titles can confuse people and may not fully display in search results. Generic titles like “Home” don’t describe a page’s content either. Its important to learn how to create descriptive page titles since is one of the main signals Google uses to determine the title of a page in search results.

Write different titles for different pages on your site to help users and search engines know which page would be the most useful for a particular search query. Example: BASEBALL CARD …is a generic query, so Google shows the homepage as a search result. The RAREST BASEBALL CARD example is a more specific query, so Google shows a deeper page that’s relevant to the query. These titles are unique to their pages.

 

 


Organize Your Site Structure

You want your users to quickly and easily navigate your site to find the content they are looking for. You also want search engines to easily crawl your site and understand the content that you consider important.
Its important to create a clear and logical structure using a navigation bar.

All sites have a home or “root” page. It’s usually the most visited page on a site and the starting place of navigation for visitors. From the home page, help visitors will find other pages on your site by creating a navigation bar. A good navigation bar calls out important sections of your site, is clear about where it’ll take visitors, and follows a logical structure. Intuitive and organized navigational categories include ‘Home’, ‘News’, and ‘Contact Us.’ You can place the navigation bar on the top or side of each page for easy access.

Use informative URLs
When users search for a term or phrase, the URL (also called the web address) can help them determine if there is relevant content on that particular page. Which URL do you find more informative?

http://www.onadivabaseballcards.com/article210.htm

vs

http://www.onadivabaseballcards.com/articles/ten-rarest-baseball-cards.htm (…more informative)