22 Jun

The Super Skinny on SEO

  1. The Super Skinny SEO Summary
  2. The 5 Most Common Reasons Web Sites don’t come up on Search Engines
  3. The Importance of Inbound Linking
  4. Don’t Do These
  5. How Long Should it Take to come Up on Search Engines?
  6. Paul Boag’s SEO Summary

The Super Skinny SEO Summary

The 3 Pillars of SEO

To get SEO working on your website, you need to focus on three legs of the stool:

  • Onsite SEO: Creating valuable, useful and optimised content that helps search engines see your website as a valuable resource that people want to find.
  • Technical SEO: Paying attention to site speed (test your site’s speed here), mobile friendliness and linking structure to ensure your site is as crawlable and indexable as possible.
  • Offsite SEO: Attracting high-quality backlinks (links from other people’s site back to yours) to build your website’s reputation and authority. Great content is the driving factor for attracting natural links to your site.

The 5 Most Common Reasons Web Sites don’t come up on Search Engines

  1. Too little content. There is not enough plain text available for the search engines to really infer anything about the site.
  2. Unfocused content. Not enough thought has been given to what keyword phrases the site should be built around. This should be known before a single stroke of code is written. Your site has to be demonstrative; it has to really be clear what the topic is.
  3. No backlinks. The site lacks quality in bound links. The inbound links should be themed, and not from random sources.
  4. No attempt to link out. The site does not demonstrate an effort to link out to other web sites i.e. the site does not add value to your visitor’s experience by recommending other sites.
  5. Just plain old. Newer technologies are better understood by Google eg. WordPress is very well indexed by Google. Old sites often have old code structures that hold a site back e.g frames, iframes, Flash, slicing, cloaking and redirects.

The Importance of Inbound Linking

  1. Try to get a minimum of 75 in-bound links from sites with relevant content to your user group. Try to develop a theme with your inbound links so a search engines is in no doubt what industry group you belong to.
  2. Look for inbound links with high PageRank™. Links from pages with zero or low PR may hold you back.
  3. Try to “theme” your in-bound links.
  4. Use your keywords in your in-bound link labels i.e. the text that the link is under on the referring site.
  5. Link out to important and busy resources, try to think of what outbound links will add value to your visitor’s experience of your website.
  6. Avoid FFA (“free for all”) link directories as your may be penalised for listing on some of them. They can look like spam to Google.
  7. Don’t spam guestbooks or comments boxes (a technique that dynamically inserts links on web pages with a comments section or guestbook).
  8. Use keywords in your link labels, not “click here” or “more”.

Don’t Do These

  1. No tricks (bogus links pages, text the same colour as the background, doorway pages, many urls that forward into your site)
  2. Frames sites do not work – avoid frames, or bury them in the 2nd level of your site
  3. Flash sites do not work. Macromedia has a tool from converting a flash animation/presentation to a an HTML document… not sure exactly what you would do with it after that…
  4. Use cloaking (serving one page to a Search Engine and another to a user)
  5. Have Java navigation. Java is difficult to index and links may not be followed. Also, maybe be difficult to use on a tablet or mobile phone.
  6. Put text content in jpegs or gifs because it looks better. Text that is part of a picture can not be read by Google.

How Long Should it Take to Come Up on Search Engines?

Well, if your site only has a little text and is poorly constructed, it will simply not happen. If you site is a Flash animation… ditto. If your site is in frames… ditto.

If your site has good text, the domain name has been around a while, the site is linked well, it’s content changed or improved frequently… about 4 days… but unlikely to come up on the first page of search results.

Substantial revisions to your site may improve its ranking almost straight away. The Google bot does after all come by every 3 to 5 days.

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