Archive for the ‘SEO’ Category
I recall a time perhaps ten years ago, when mobile phones were used to just make and receive calls. They were portable phones with no additional features. These phones although portable, were cumbersome with hardly any functionalities available. Over the past decade a huge number of features have been added. The entire look and feel of the device has undergone a makeover. Today, smartphones have become the ‘in-thing’. Apart from lots of features and functionalities, many services can also be accessed from these phones. One of the most important of these services is ‘Mobile Search’.
Since its launch about a year ago, Google Chrome has been in the limelight every now and then; and for good reasons too. The latest news has Chrome further zeroing in on its arch rival in a more creative fashion. On September 22, 2009, Google launched Google Chrome Frame “an open source plug-in that brings HTML5 and other open web technologies to Internet Explorer.”
According to Google, with GCF, you can: (more…)
Identifying the right keywords to use is very important for any website’s search engine optimization (SEO) campaign. It is good to know how to come up with keywords to consider in the first place. Here are a few tips that will prove useful.
- Make an initial list of all the keywords you think people might find your website with
These keywords should be a short list of what your website is trying to promote and other words related to your industry. You need to use your imagination and think of words which people will search to find your business online.
- Request your customers to make a list of all the keywords they would try to find you with
The keywords generated from the perspective of a customer may be totally surprising as very often an average customer does not speak the same language that we do.
- Yet another great way to gather keywords is to see what words are being used by competitors
Type one of your keywords into the search box of the search engine of your choice to determine the sites with the top search engine placement for this word. View the source code of your competitor’s page and check their Meta Keywords tag. It is probably best that you check out the top five search engine results.
- It would also be good to identify the keywords that people used in search engines to access your site
To do so, check out the “Entrance Keywords” report in Google Analytics. I find this report very useful as it shows the keywords used by users to come directly to that page from a search engine.
- Once you have prepared an initial list, you’ll want to scan through your site to see how it has used the keywords that you have already chosen
You might even find ideas for additional keywords this way. You must look for specialized words or “phrases” that will deliver qualified traffic.
- After accumulating enough words and phrases, you will need to find out the popularity of each potential keyword
There are three main tools available online to assist you in doing the keyword research, Wordtracker, Keyword Discovery and the Google Search Based Keyword Tool. To use these tools, type in the keyword that you want to research and the tools will display other relevant keywords. You can use these suggestions to add keywords to your list. Doubts prevail on the accuracy of the data presented by these tools. However the data it offers is better than having no data at all.
- From the list of possible keywords, you need to identify the relevant words to the site
You would not want to choose a keyword which not many people search for. However, at the same time, you would not want to choose a keyword which is too competitive.
It would be wiser to avoid the generic keywords since it is going to be extremely difficult to optimize for them. Try to pick keywords that are specific. For example if you are a freelancer based in New Orleans, your ideal keywords would be freelancer New Orleans or web development services New Orleans. Going for the generic freelancer or web development keywords is not going to be beneficial.
After you have gone through your list and taken off words that are not relevant or that your website does not have sufficient content for, you should have a shorter and more relevant list of keywords. Place the keywords strategically in the title, meta tags and content of your website.
Most of the people do not do much research when coining keywords for their website. So just by doing the necessary keyword research and getting some insight into what keywords are being used by people online will help you go a long way in choosing the right keywords and matching your content with what people are looking for. It gives you a very definite advantage over those websites that have not done any optimization.
For most of us finding information on the Internet is synonymous with going to Google.com, typing in a word or phrase and clicking search. In fact Google does account for a major share of the search engine market and with good reason too. check this out if you are still in doubt.
Thus despite new players coming up, Google still remains the leader in information search on the web. That is exactly why it makes sense to understand and develop efficient googling techniques. Mentioned below are few tips which, when practiced while searching the web using Google, will save time and improve search results. (more…)
While there is no doubt that good SEO consultants can help drive more traffic to your site, many small businesses cannot afford a good consultant. But you don’t need to despair if you can’t afford an expensive SEO consultant. If you are one of those DIY type business owners, this article will help you create a fairly decent search-engine optimized site. Even if you plan to use a web design/development agency and not do it yourself, you can demand that they create a site that complies with basic SEO tenets.
Here is how to go about placing yourself on the right side of search engines:
- Keyword analysis – This should be done before you start building your site. If you already have a site, you may have to tweak your content based on the results of this analysis. Know what keywords are used by your customers to find you. This may not be industry jargon words. A good tool to start with is Google’s Keyword Tool. You need to identify the keywords or phrases that have high volume but less competition. Once you identify the keywords for a page, mention it a few times on that page. Do not over-stuff your page with keywords. Search engines penalize keyword stuffing. Write naturally, but don’t forget to repeat your keywords a few times.
- Make sure every page on your site has a proper title tag, meta keywords and meta descriptions. Again, there is no need to repeat your keywords too many times, but your keyword should be there on the title tag, as it’s the most important tag from a search-engine perspective.
- Search engine friendly URLs (SEF). You need to have meaningfully named URLs that accurately describe the page content. Example: www.example.com/camera/dslr/nikon/D5000 is better than www.example.com?product_id=123. Carefully choose your URL names and structure. Now, how do you create search-engine friendly URLs? You can provide URL rewriting rules in .htaccess if you are using Apache; but it is cumbersome to manage. Many content-management systems like Drupal and WordPress support SEF, so if you are using these, you’ve got yourself covered. Most web app development frameworks like Symfony also support SEF.
- Provide textual description for all non-text elements like images, audio and video. For example, use alt tag with images. This will help the search engine better understand your multi-media content. This has the added benefit of making your site accessible.
- Search engine bots should be able to spider all your content even if the content resides in a database and are dynamically displayed. For example, your products may be sitting in your product catalog table in a database, but should create a static looking page for each product.
- Make effective use of heading tags like h1 and h2 to showcase the relative importance of text. Your important text should be text and not images.
- Use ordered lists for creating menus rather than using tables.
- The anchor text (hyperlink to another page) should contain keywords that describe the target page. Instead of writing “Click here for D5000 details”, it’s better if you write “check out the D5000 digital SLR camera“.
- Avoid duplicate content issues. If example.com, www.example.com and www.example.com/index.php all point to the same page, you should consider one of them as the primary URL. If you designate www.example.com as your primary or canonical URL, then the other URLs should be permanently redirected to the canonical URL. You can redirect by using the HTTP 301 code. Also consider storing the session id or affiliate parameter in a cookie and then redirect the URL with parameters to the canonical version.
- Never copy-and-paste content from other sites. You may be violating copyright laws and incurring duplicate content penalty. Likewise, if you are getting your content from a syndication service, check that the same content is not syndicated to other sites. Do a Google search on your content and if you find that your content has been copied by someone else, file a DMCA request with Google.
- What if you have multiple top-level domains? Like example.com and example.net? If you plan to have identical content on all these sites, do a permanent redirect to your primary domain.
- Multiple language versions of your site – I would say use a different sub-domain for each language. Example: fr.example.com for French and de.example.com for German. Using the same URL for different language versions is not a good idea.
- Block search engines from seeing admin panels, HTTPS content etc by using the robots exclusion protocol. Password protect those pages you don’t want the outside world to see.
- How do you know if Google has indexed all your pages? Search for site:example.com on Google. It will return the number of pages indexed.
- Follow XHTML 1.0 strict standard.
- Reduce the amount of code in your page, and maintain a good content-to-code ratio.
- Speed is important. Your pages should load fast and should not timeout.
- Use microformats to describe your data.
- Last but not the least, build quality in-bound links.
Some of the above items need further explanation. However, there is a wealth of information available in blogs and online articles. So start digging and learn more on this interesting topic.
The new avatar of Microsoft’s latest search engine, Bing, is here. An updated version of Microsoft’s former search engines, namely Live Search, Windows Live Search and MSN Search, Bing.com went fully online on June 3, 2009.
Here’s a quick look at some features of Bing that could give other search engines such as Google and Yahoo a run for their money (although it would be a while before Google can be, if ever they are, outsmarted!).
Do note that some of these features are available in the United States version only. You can change your country settings using the toolbar at the top right hand side of the Bing site.
- The background image changes daily. They are mostly striking images of noteworthy places in the world. You can hover over the images to see interesting facts about them. (more…)