Search Engine Optimisation – SEO

SEO – Search Engine Optimization

Make the site easy enough to find the useful information that a user would seek. Try it by yourself by navigating through the site contents. SEO is not a step-by-step method to follow. It’s an ongoing activity.
SEO - Search Engine Optimization

All the pages within your site, should be reachable by a static link. However, make sure that you don’t just put all the (100s of) links on pages for this reason.

Use simple and short keywords. Keep 2-3 phrases for keywords. Longer phrases are sometimes ignored by the crawlers. The phrases can be made simpler by deciding the common keywords that the users could put in the search string. The set of keywords on each page should be unique. DON’T use words like www, com, a, the, an, etc these keywords are ignored by the crawlers.

The elements like title and alt attributes for images should be used appropriately. They should be descriptive and properly phrased. The <title>, for example, summarises the content on your page. Similarly, the alt tag should have the proper image description. Put your main keywords in the title, hence making the room in the keywords list for other keywords.

Example –

<img src="search-engines.jpg" alt="search engines" />

Use the heading tags to put the headings on your page. The heading tags are emphasised by the crawlers more than other tags. If the heading is put in the div or span tags, the crawler would treat them as normal text. Imagine yourself reading a book, the first thing you do is you scan through headings rather than reading the text under it.

Clear all the broken links from the site. Create a permamnent redirect for these broken links. You may use htaccess to allow the crawlers understand this.

Make your pages valid. Make sure no tags are missing their end tags, in other words, make sure the tags are properly closed. Crawlers do not consider such pages even if browsers display them properly. Validate your website against w3c standards with the help of online tools such as http://validator.w3.org/.

Not all crawlers crawl dynamic pages. When your page has some parameters passed in it, it should be rewritten to some proper/sensible URL. For example, http://tipscow.com/browse/buying-new-mobile should have been re-written to something like http://tipscow.com/pages/buying-new-mobile.html. This makes the crawler treat this a static page.

Keep the link names consistent throughout the site.

You may use the top-level domains for bilingual site content. The chances of finding your hindi language website would be easier by making it http://tipscow.in rather than http://tipscow.com/in/

Use robots.txt file to help or prevent the crawlers crawl your website. Major search engines use this text file as a guide while crawling the website.

Example:

Allow all crawlers crawl complete website:

User-agent: * 
Disallow:

Do not allow crawlers crawl / keep them away:

User-agent: * 
Disallow: /

Disallow select directories from your website:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /admin/ 
Disallow: /private/

To help crawlers get the links within your site easily, create a sitemap and submit it to search engines. Have a look at this sitemap:
http://tipscow.com/sitemap.xml

You may use the following link to generate the sitemap and make your job easy.
Google Sitemap Generator

Submitting your site to as many as possible search engines is a good idea. Alexa is another site that you must concentrate on. Check on how to increase alexa rank

There are various online sitemap generators, validators, etc. This helps in assuring that your sitemap is valid and would not be ignored by the search engines. Similarly, robots file can also be generated and validated. Get more information on how to increase organic traffic.

Avoid redirecting links in your website using Javascripts. Crawlers avoid javascripts. Hence it would not know the redirections in your website properly.

If you are rewriting URLs like http://tipscow.com/unwanted-characters-on-website-page.html to http://tipscow.com/unwanted-characters-on-website-page, Make sure that crawler is informed that this is a permanent or temporary redirect, otherwise it will be treated as duplicate URLs and you might loose the page ranking.

Avoid the duplicate content strictly. Crawlers and users are confused by this. Instead of making altogether a different page for the printer friendly version of your page, create a different CSS that may be applied when user would like to print the page. Another example is instead of putting the disclaimer text on the bottom of every page, create a different page and put a link to that page on the pages you would like the disclaimer to have. This would help avoid the duplicate content on your site.

Hosting companies can also affect your page ranking. If the same hosting server hosts some ‘bad hats’ also called as spammers, pornographers, etc, your site ranking may also be banned. The crawlers treat them as the same kind of site as they all share the IP address of your hosting server.

The IP address of your website should not continuously keep changing. Such websites are avoided by the search engines’ crawlers.

Try to make your site interactive. The more the site is interactive the more chances are that users or site visitors visit your site again and again. Keeping the forums, news, etc or such dynamic content will keep the users visiting site again and again. Give your users a reason to visit the page or website back again. You visit your email expecting that some new emails or new replies may have arrived. Same is the case with visitors visiting your site. They should expect something new, may it be reply or some answers to their questions or comments.

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About the Author

aditya bajaj
Music and Blogging get my love.