A Search Engine Optimizer's New Year's Resolutions Written by Shawn Campbell
With ringing in of New Year, I resolve to become a better search engine optimizer (SEO). Below is a list of resolutions that I have made in order to make my clients' web sites absolute best on web.
- I will not use flash as text.
- Even though many search engines can now read some of text embedded in flash, flash sites do not perform as well in search engine results as non-flash sites. Flash should primarily be used to enhance sites; in same way one would use pictures to make site look better.
- I will not use images as text.
- Although I personally believe that text in images will be read by search engines by end of 2006, we are not there just yet. As it now stands, image text is invisible to search engines and therefore should not be used in that capacity.
- I will use good usability techniques.
- I will not use cloaking.
- Cloaking is frowned upon by search engines. Once they catch you, you will get penalized (or in some instances, banned).
- I will not use frames unless I have a REALLY good reason to.
- Frames complicate things for search engine. There are very few good reasons to use frames and thus they should be avoided whenever possible.
- I will use a catchy title with keyphrase in it.
- Marketing is what we are all about. A catchy title will bring in customers. A title containing target keyphrase will raise result in search engines. Put two together and you have a professional marketing title that works hard to bring in traffic.
- I will track return on investment (ROI).
- By tracking ROI, I will clearly see if site is making or losing money. To track ROI one needs to co-relate marketing dollars spent with revenue earned. This statistic is usually hindered by site's owner, who cannot (or does not) provide financial information, nor conversional statistics I need to track ROI.
- I will write an alt tag that clearly depicts what image is, for every image.
- This will help people without images on their screen know what image is about. Using keyphrase in alt tag is a bonus because it will help rankings slightly in search engine results, but it is most important to describe image as clearly as possible.
- I will use good informative content.
- Ah yes, "Content is King". All above resolutions are meaningless if I don't have good content. This is what will bring in search engines. This is what will bring in clients. And this is what will bring in dough.
- I will not stuff pages with keyphrases.
- Stuffing page with keyphrases goes against golden rule of good content. If you stuff pages with keyphrases, they will no longer read well, and readers won't like to read them. Consequently, people won't enjoy your site, and because search engines are designed to figure out what people like and then display it to them, search engines will eventually begin to disregard your site. Therefore, ALWAYS use keyphrases wisely.
Being a Swede can be a GOOD thing!Written by Torbjörn Reidarsson
In my work as a webmaster I have to consider search engine friendliness of sites I work on. Sometimes I feel lucky being a native swede, since competition for swedish words is a fraction compared to english. Recently I was updating a site that sells stamps. (The kind that goes ka-dang and makes an imprint on paper. Not small papers