June 17, 2011 — Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the management of website content so that search engines will access it often, accurately, and consider it of interest. Meta content (the hidden data to describe your website to search engine) is only the beginning.
Search Engines display page results based on the search terms given, the meta data, content of webpages, sitemaps, URLs, and original page content. Several items from this Top 5 will offer an explanation, tools, hints, and an examples of good SEO practices.
The meta title shows up primarily in three places, the link for a search engine result to the page, the tab of a user's browser window that is viewing the page and as the default bookmark name. Each serves the purpose of telling the user what the subject matter of the page is. A meta title should be succinct, and include a keyword or two. Do not use the full comapny name at the beginning (describe the page, not the website).
Keywords should be written as a list of words or phrases separated by commas that are found in the body of the content. Because of abuse (keyword stuffing) Google no longer uses meta keywords as a part of it's ranking algorithm. For example this page list the following keywords: search engine optimization, SEO company, SEO, google, google SEO, ranking, meta title, search engines, keywords, meta content, good SEO practices, title tag length, description length, description, meta tags. You will note that all of these keywords can be found on this page
A meta description is merely a description of the current page it can also be thought of a a summary. It is also the text found under the links in search engine results from Google, Yahoo, Bing, and more. It can also be scanned by search engines to determine the relevance of a page to a user's search. Our this page uses the following meta description:
There is not trick to Search Engine Optimization. SEO is a simple a matter of good practice. If a website is well formed, easy to navigate and contains unique content you will see positive results on Google. If you're paying an SEO company to perform these services you're paying too much. Follow these top 5 tips and watch your rankings soar.
Search engine's limit the length of the meta content they display in results, so you should be sure that what you want to be seen, gets seen. Character counts used by popular search engines are Meta Title: 65 characters and Meta Description† :260 characters
† If a description is not supplied, or deemed inadequate by a search engine, a snippet of text form the page content may be used. This snippet can be around 300 characters.
All of the above mentioned SEO practices can be abused. This abuse worked well before search engines caught on to the tricks. Google, especially, is now well-trained to sport SEO abuse, and give your page a lower rank because of it. Avoid abusive SEO practices.
There are several other "methods" for fast SEO page-ranking. A good rule of thumb is that if it sounds tricky, don't do it.
Visitors can more quickly find the information they want if the website navigation is clear and organized. Search engines can also benefit from the organization, by understanding what pages are important or relevant. This can be achieved through breadcrumbs, sitemaps, menus, internal links, and SEO-friendly URLS.
The structure of your website should be neat, and easy to understand. See the following example:
Both kinds of sitemaps should be available on your website. The XML sitemap will improve navigation for search engines, while the other improves navigation for users and serves as an excellent internal linking page.
Pages that link to another page within your site are an excellent way to show search engines that your website has related content (a website should be a collection of related webpages). It can also increase the value of webpages not yet considered important to search engines. If your website's pages are well-linked in a coherent manner, the website in general can appear earlier in search results.
A URL is the website address for a webpage. An SEO-friendly is a URL that can be read and understood easily. Compare the following:
Simply by looking at the second link you immediately know what the page is about. Users may be more inclined to rememebr or share your webpage URLs, and any keyword that appears is also beneficial for search engine ranking.
Organized navigation, breadcrumbs, a legible page directory, and even SEO-friendly URLs can also all use the same structure, making a website's navigation not only user-friendly, but uniform as well.
What use are any good SEO practices, if you can't analyze the results? Google provides a superb system for seeing the results of your hard work, learning your mistakes, and knowing what to do next. Simply search for "Webmaster Tools" in Google, and follow the instructions. It's very easy, and worth becoming familiar with, because it is the most handy SEO utility.
Google Webmaster Tools is not only an SEO godsend, it's also great for analyzing other aspects of your website such as page speed, and links to your website from other pages.
The number one way to improve ranking in search engines is quality original content. Offering new content on a regular basis will also help.
How well your content is written will also improve your ranking.
Most important is update your website with new content.
Your website can climb the ranks with those five steps. Ensure your website has accurate meta content, honest SEO practices, good navigation, webmaster tools, and most importantly: Regular, Updated, Original Content. Everyone has heard "Content is King". This is your key to a top position on Google.
As a Shenzhen, China web design company we make it a point to interact with development community as much as possible. If you have more questions about Search Engine Optimization, leave us a comment or send us an email and we'll be happy to answer it for you.
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