Friday Quickies: A recipe for SEO
I have decided to start a little blog featured called Friday Quickies, where each Friday, I will post up a short blog post that is hopefully full of interesting info for you all.
Today, it is all about SEO. This is an area that confuses the heck out of some clients and even some designers and developers too – so let me give you my 2 pennies on what makes a great SEO pie!
Ok – for your recipe, you will ALWAYS need the following:
This is vital – don’t let anyone tell you that you can get away with sub-standard content and just use keyword stuffing techniques. The better and more relevant your content is, the more likely it is that you site will rank highly. And not only that – if you have relevant and well written content, you will definitely get more click throughs and conversions on your site. Simple.
Make sure your page title is relevant to your page – DO NOT keyword stuff your title tag. Google and Yahoo are really into relevance at the moment, so keeping everything simple is the way forwards.
Yes, these are highly important. But don’t go and try to buy them from a link farm or from some company offering you the earth. You need to get quality backlinks, not loads of rubbish ones. Target some niche sites within your industry (or surrounding industries that would make for a good inbound link) and request a subtle link exchange. Alternatively, try to get some good bloggers talking about you in their posts!
This has never been confirmed or denied by Google as far as I know, but a clean, valid code base will usually result in better search engine positions for your website – that is only through experience though. What I am saying is please please please don’t use Dreamweaver’s design view to build your site. Make sure your code is clean and you will surely reap the benefits!
This comes under coding practices a bit, but just ensure that your header tags are used properly in all cases. The H1 tag can be used to either represent the page main content, or the site main title – I don’t see there being a magic solution for this, just keep your header tags structured so that you don’t jump from H1 to H6 and back to H3 etc and you should be fine.
There are an assortment of other factors that affect your SEO, but in all honesty, the most important, by a country mile is your content. Invest in a good copywriter who knows all about writing for the web. This is worth it’s weight in gold. Good content is much more than just getting people to your site – any idiot can do that with a budget – if you want to triple your web traffic in the next month, no problem, let’s chat about your budget and it can be done – but what use is that if your site has a very low conversion rate.
I suppose what I am saying is that SEO is very very important – but you should concentrate on getting a high quality experience on your site for a smaller number of users, than a rubbish experience for thousands of users. Once you know your site is optimised with your customer in mind, then you can really start pumping the traffic to it.
Good luck and I hope you have enjoyed this quickie!