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ABCs of Search Engine Optimization
ABCs of SEO
By Sharon Housley
Follow the ABC's of search engine optimization:
A - Alt Tags
All images should include ALT tags. The ALT attribute
in HTML is used for three main reasons: the ALT tag
provides further details about an image or hyperlinked
graphic, the ALT Tags enhances web access for individuals
with vision impairments. The ALT tags will also help
search engines discern what an image represents.
B - Bandwidth
Compress images and use a mixture of text with images
to conserve bandwidth and help your webpages load quickly.
Use good design techniques to reduce bandwidth and maintain
a fast loading website. This will save both storage
space and data transfer allowances.
C - Content Management System
Many businesses have adopted CMS systems for web design.
Unfortunately these systems are not always designed
to be search friendly.
D - Description
Each page of a website should contain a unique, and
relevant description. The description should make use
of relevant keywords and keyword phrases.
E - Error Page (404)
Use a custom 404 page to capture any traffic from mistyped
URLs or abandoned web pages. Sometimes it takes a while
for the search engines to catch up to abandoned pages,
so they may send traffic to a web page that no longer
exists. Using a custom 404 web page in order that you
capture the traffic and provide visitors navigation
F - Fresh Content
Fresh content is the corner stone of search engine optimization.
New content shows that a website is updated on a regular
basis. Content is a critical part of search engine optimization.
A website must contain both unique and fresh content
to rank well.
G - Google
Google dominates other search engines, so it is important
for webmasters to optimize pages in a way that will
help the web page perform well in a Google search.
H - Header Tags / H1
Use H1 Tags in the HTML to emphasize keywords or sub-headings
on a webpage.
I - Image Optimization
Images should be optimized for web pages. Use standard
web formats and compress the images without compromising
quality. It is important to specify the width and the
height of your images in the HTML code. If the height
and width of the image is not specified, the web browser
will have to reposition the text once the pictures load,
consuming more time.
K - Keywords
Keywords are the hallmark of search engine optimization.
Keywords should be integrated into the body of the website
and the meta tags of the web page.
L -Link Building
Link building is an important aspect of SEO. In order
for a website to generate organic ranking. Submit the
website to large directories and niche portals to generate
M - Meta Tags
Meta tags should be defined and included in all of the
web page's HTML header information. Each web page on
a website should contain unique meta tags.
N - Navigation
Not only is it important to have a clear navigational
structure for human visitors, but also one for search
engine spiders which follow a website's links to index
the web page's contents. Have a navigation structure
that is viewable by both web visitors and search spiders.
O - Optimize
Optimization is a continuous process. Optimize the website
and monitor web logs to determine the effectiveness
of the changes that you have made.
P - PageRank
PageRank is one of the methods Google uses to determine
the relevance or importance of a web page. PageRank
is a vote, by all the other web pages on the Internet,
about how important a Web page is. To raise PageRank,
one must have a large number of incoming links from
Q - Quality Link
There is more to linking than just getting a large number
of incoming links. The quality of the incoming links
is important as well.
R - Robots.txt
Robots.txt files should be used to tell search engines
what web pages should and should not be spidered.
S - Social Bookmarks and Social Networks
Social bookmarks and social networks can be using to
build incoming link structure.
T - Title
All web pages within a website should contain unique
title tags. Titles should include keywords and be descriptive
U - URLs
URLs are also part of search engine optimization. Using
hyphenated keywords to name the sub-pages of a website
has been known to play a role in search engine ranking.
V - Viral Marketing
Viral marketing is a marketing strategy that encourages
people to pass along messages to others in order to
generate added exposure. The viral piece is a self-propagating
practice or pattern of Internet use that moves from
person to person.
W - Web Design
Web design should not focus solely on aesthetics. The
design should be done with search engine optimization
in mind. X - XML XML is eXtensible Markup Language it
is used as a standard to transfer data.
Y - Yahoo
Yahoo still has one of the best web directories. Be
sure to manually submit your website to the Yahoo Directory.
Z - ZeeEnd
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com
software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds
and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for
audio recording and editing software.
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