Part I – SEO Friendly Websites made simple and…friendly
On every blog, website, IT newsletter there’s a common theme. We hear it from the experts, the newbies, the salted programmers… it’s everywhere, and it’s called Search Engine Optimization, but friends call it SEO. So what’s that all about and how can it work for you? Well, breaking it down, there are three things that you need to remember about it: it’s about content that can be crawled and indexed by search engines, it’s about links with a correctly flowed PageRank that’s directed to the big people’s pages, and it’s about keywords in key places for key players to see.
Broken down like that, it seems simpler, but there has to be more to it! And there is: the elements above need to be in a perfect symbiosis so that they all work together, as a well-oiled machine. Crawling you site is about making sure that engines can find your pages and easily download their content. In order to do that, remember: simplicity is the answer. Keep your content and links in HTML, make sure that all of them are correct, prioritize through meta no-index tag to assure the presence of the truly important pages in searches and don’t be afraid of maps… HTML and XML sitemaps that is!
Search engines are not embarrassed by asking for directions! Make sure your site gives them the right ones. Don’t send them chasing after wild horses, but chose your keywords wisely and in accordance to the content of your website. After choosing them, group them so that they send the right message. Your homepage is also your home base: each page should be linked to it in a thorough and consistent way. For the best results, each page should have its own keyword that should appear in the title tag. Please be original and creative when doing this… Search engines get bored too!
Other than this, we have a few more pointers for you, and then we’ll let you work the magic: if you are a local business, you should cover geographic markers; your titles should be clear and expressed in less than 65 words; h1 tags should be no more than 1 per page and, if possible, should be complimented by h2 and h3 tags for subheadings; lists, bolding and italics are your friends when appropriate; don’t let out your Alt Text; and…try to enjoy it! With the right techniques, SEO will be friendly not only towards your page, but also towards you!
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