Friday, October 30, 2009

More SEO Tips

I've recently been helping out a friend with his new small business selling golf training aids (check out his site: the Pure Contact Connection is a winner!) and have been reminded about some areas of basic SEO that need some close attention, no matter the size of your business (I've even noticed this with global enterprise companies that have been on my radar).

I've previously mentioned the three initial areas that any website should address with regards to SEO - meta tags for title, description and keywords. Although having quality in-bound links to your site are probably at the top of the list with respect to getting crawled and ranked organically, your title meta is important and does factor into how Google and others index and rank you. Remember that the title should contain the most important searchable keywords or #1 most common search phrase that people would use to find your type of solution. Remember not to exceed more than 60 characters total in the title as most search engines may only display that number of characters in their search results.

Your meta description tag should provide a full, coherent, keyword-laden description of what your company or product does -- it's value proposition if you will. As well it should not exceed 150 characters in total to ensure it's fully displayed in any search results (this includes characters and any spaces).

These two things most people are on top of... where I see some issues is in keywords and their importance to your SEO. Due to SEO analysts finding ways to stuff keywords into web pages and trying to game the system, search engines like Google have attached minimal importance to them in indexing and ranking your site.

However that is not to say they don't play a role. Where keywords help you is ensuring that they are reflected in your title and description metas, BUT ALSO IN YOUR WEB COPY. Google looks for relevance in web pages, where keyword terms and phrases are populated throughout the site content/copy. And weave the terms into your copy in a coherent, organized way, creating a strong and compelling narrative.

Also -- since (hopefully) most of your website pages are each a little different and describe different aspects of your company or products, so too should your meta tags reflect those differences. Try not to repeat the same metas on every page, it won't help your rankings and in fact could probably hurt your indexing. Any keyword exercise you do should be for each and every primary page that you have on your site. Obviously there will be overlap in terms from page to page, but try to create the most pertinent terms for the page content you have, then reflect those terms in title, description and keyword metas, AS WELL AS your page copy.

You should see improved rankings result from these simple steps.

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