SEO and Links

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the talk of the town these days. SEO essentially consists of a few attributes applied to building websites.   Here are a few things that should be considered when building a site:

  • Page titles using keywords (this goes in the HTML title tag)
  • Meta Tags for keywords and descriptions should be included in the <head> tags of your HTML page.
  • Heading tags (h1, h2, etc.. HTML tags) should be used and should have relevant keywords included in the headings.
  • A navigation system that search engines can follow.   The days of fancy navigation buttons that hop, skip, and jump are long gone.   These days, a bulleted list is the way to go.   You can then use CSS to style the navigation and make it appear lots of different ways, including drop down or fly out menu’s.
  • Linking text within your page content to other pages on your site is also helpful.
  • Your page content should also be keyword rich, yet be legible and useful to your readers.
  • Web pages should be coded with HTML (or XHTML) and CSS coding techniques should be used to style the page.   Previously, tables were used to organize content and images. Tables are much harder for search engines to follow and they are also much more difficult to make edits to.       You can check this on your web page by going “View Souce” or “View Page Source” (in Internet Explorer and Firefox you can right click on the mouse for this option) and then looking in the HTML code.   If you see a bunch of code below the <body> tag that looks like <div>, </div>, <div class=”header”> then it’s likely you site was created this way.   If you see a bunch of tags like <table>, <tr>, <td> then you are looking at code for tables.
  • Include alt text descriptions for your images.
  • Linking to other sites that have helpful and relevant content is a good thing.
  • Having other sites link to you is even more useful.   That tells the search engines that you have useful content on your web site.   Search engines also put importance on link/site popularity.
  • Creating a Robots.txt file to hide coding and pages you don’t want to have the search engines seeing is a good step to take.
  • Creating a sitemap.xml file to show search engines what pages are on your site.

Search Engine Optimization is just the begining of getting your site indexed and on top of the search results.   This is however, an important first step in getting there.

Here is an article about this topic for further reading.
The New SEO – Let’s Get Real