Search Engine Optimisation Tips

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Create as much content on your site as possible.

The more content, the better. Of course the content needs to be of good quality. Basically, a search engine will view a 50 page site to be more important than a 5 page site. Here are some ideas as to what can be used for additional content:

Educational Content

Adding useful information aimed at educating your visitors about your product and/or service can be extremely beneficial. Not only will search engines be happier, you’ll find that other web sites within your industry will be more likely to link to your site for the benefit of their own audience. If you know of a popular site in your industry that offers helpful links, try to think of what content you can create to inspire them to add a link to your site.

News

News articles are probably the most popular method of content creation, used by many of the major SEO companies today. All web sites should be able to create a news section filled with articles relevant to their industry. Articles can then be archived so that search engines can find them, even if they may seem out of date. Over time larger sites can accumulate 100′s of extra pages in their news section.

Expansion of Core Information

You may be able to expand the information that currently exists on your site. For example, you could create a separate page for each staff member in your business. Or you could offer a more in-depth explanation of your product or service. You may want to run a forum or a blog on your site that is focused on related topics to your web site.

Content must be applicable to your site

Keep in mind that all new content needs to be related to your web site. You will also need to think carefully about how you link all of the new information together. The basic rule of thumb is to minimise the amount of clicks a visitor needs to make from your home page to your new content. Also, make sure that you do not exceed 100 links per page.

Quality Relevant Link Establishment

Establish links from other quality web sites within your industry. The deciding factor in securing strong search results is the strength of your external link network. Building up quality links to your site is a very complicated process. Links need to be built to simulate a natural progression on a search engine, so you cannot build too fast. Links also need to be from relevant web sites with good PageRank. In building this network you will be communicating with hundreds, maybe thousands of webmasters. If you are planning to build links yourself, you will need to make sure that you have a good management system for following up and checking you link exchanges.

Here are the basic rules of good link building:

  • Site must be Relevant:

    Ensure all of the sites are related to you industry. Do not swap links with sites that are very general unless they are a major portal with high PageRank.

  • Link Page Needs to have a good PageRank:

    Source links from pages with at least a PR2. The higher the PageRank the better. Of course sometimes PR0 or PR1 links can be beneficial if the relevancy is very high. Ideally it is good to build up a network of PR4+ links.

  • Link Page should have less than 50 links listed:

    The fewer links on a link page the better. If you can imagine a links page having 100 search engine points. If 50 links appear on the page, each link could theoretically be worth 2 points. If 10 links appear, each link could be worth 5 points and so on.

  • Avoid Free For All Link Pages or any suspect sites:

    Google and other major search engines will penalise web sites that link with bad neighborhoods. These sites are usually very easy to spot. If you are ever unsure about a site – avoid it!

Things to avoid

Using the same colour text as your background

Even if you’re using an image background, this technique is heavily penalised and may result in your site being black listed.

Do not hide content by using layers

Some webmasters will hide search engine rich content behind a layer so that no visitor will be able to see the content. This technique is likely to result in a penalty. CSS layers seem to be OK. A general rule of thumb: keep your code as simple as possible.

Cloaking domain names

There was once a popular SEO technique that has now become very dangerous, which involved cloaking one domain name to another. The idea was that you could fill a page with very high quality search engine content, then redirect all visitors to that page over to another site without the user seeing any of the information. In most cases this technique is easily detected and therefore best left alone. If you’re unsure if your domains are being cloaked, contact your Web Hosting company or Web Designer.

Using link programs that establish large amounts of links quickly

There’s a number of linking programs that provide a large volume of links in a very short period. While this seems to be a great solution to link building, it can be extremely detrimental to your search engine results. Basically, linking too quickly is now penalised by engines like Google. Also make sure that if you are using a link management system, that your link building is customised and not just part of a link farm. A link farm is a group of web sites that are required to link to every other site in the group.

Change to a new domain!

We have occasionally seen instances where, against our recommendations, a client has completely moved or redirected to a new domain after having an already established, well ranking domain. Usually brought about by a re-branding campaign. With a re-direct please be aware that you may not see results drop straight away but from our experience it can have dire consequences.

Sign up for ‘free for all’ style linking strategies

These are very easy to obtain (for a reason). Google is well aware of them and they can certainly incur big penalties.

2 Comments

  1. Posted April 25, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    Be interesting to compare your tips with this article from 1999 (!) on building website content, which I always refer to.

    http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum3/2010.htm

    It doesnt seem to have changed much!

  2. Posted April 27, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Declan

    you are correct, the rules havent changed very much since 99, basically the rule is still create remarkable content, get inbound links and keep the site fresh.

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