Saturday, June 22, 2024

Tips & Tricks for Search Engine Optimization

Introduction


In Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
Getting Started
we explored the basic concepts of search
engine optimization. We’ll now take the next step and look
at some of the best tips and tricks to improve your rankings
even more. If you are new to search engine optimization we
encourage you to read Part 1 in order to familiarize
yourself with the meta tags, titles, keywords and
descriptions before delving into these topics.


More is not always better


If you’ve done any kind of search engine optimization
you’ve probably had the “What if…” conversation with
yourself. For example, “What if I repeat my page description
using my important keywords in different ways?” This results
in descriptions like “Curious about search engine
optimization (SE0)? We are all about search engine
optimization (SE0). We give you search engine optimization
(SE0) ideas. We also have search engine optimization (SE0)
tricks. We know about search engine optimization (SE0).”
Lovely to read and incredibly informative isn’t it?


The fact is that this type of mind numbing repetition
will probably not improve your rankings one bit. When
optimizing there is one cardinal rule:

  1. 1. Never try to “trick” a search engine because it’s
    probably already been tried.

Search engines employ thousands of brilliant minds and
they know how to filter out the tricks. In fact, using
little tricks can often lower your rank or in some cases get
you banned completely. The bottom line is that it is just
not worth the effort or the risk


The power of the link


We’ve all done it – “Click here for
details
“. It works and if the viewer reads the preceding
content it makes perfect sense. However, from a search
engine’s perspective it makes no sense at all. The search
engine ties the words “click” and “here” to the content of
the destination page instead of relevant keywords that
pertain to the destination page.


When creating anchor links always try to compose the
wording in the anchor to contain keywords relevant to the
destination page. A well constructed anchor to this article
would look something like:




<a href=”thisPage.html”>Learn more about Search Engine Optimization</a>


The <H1> factor


It may sound outdated but <H1> tags still have some
relevance when it comes to search engine optimization. The
simple logic, according to search engines, is that if the
words are bigger they must be more important. This is
basically a holdover from the early days of the internet and
internet search engines. With the now widespread use of CSS
(Cascading Style Sheets) it seems like this type of
optimization would have been phased out long ago but it
still has relevance with most search engines.


Now, does that mean I should use <H1> tags around
all my body content and define H1 in my style sheet as
content sized text? Absolutely not. Again, that is one of
those tricks that search engines have already thought of and
this type of practice will not benefit you in the least.
Your best bet is to use <H1> tags logically on your
page and define the style as larger text within your style
theme.


For some of you this will mean redefining your styles and
page content to use the H1 style defnition instead of a
custom style like “ContentHeader” that you have already
defined and implemented. If you have a large site to
optimize this can seem like a daunting task. In those cases
I suggest you simply duplicate your custom style with a H1
style definition and then slowly change your content over
time as it makes sense with your optimization goals.


Now, your next question is likely to be “Is this worth
the effort?” That’s the big question. As I have stated
before, all search engines give different weight to
different factors and no two engines are exactly the same.
It’s up to you to determine if the reward is worth the
effort. My suggestion is that you set up an H1 style and
test it out on about 10 pages then see how much it makes a
difference before committing to a complete overhaul of your
website.

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