Quick List of SEO Tips

  • You must get indexed by the search engines, most offer a method to submit your site, however its FAR better to simply get a linkback from another website. Let them find you naturally.
  • Keep the text between the title tags under 60 chrs – This will help you get the most out of your keywords [Google tails off titles on the serps at about 60 chrs]
  • Avoid using dynamic URLs (eg: http://www.example.com/index.php?id=123) use static looking links instead (eg: http://www.example.com/example-articles.html) — Also avoid PHP session IDs and unnecessary variables.
  • If your site has multiple (sub)domains, and they have the same content, point them to one domain.
  • Register your domains for longer than a year – spammers usually only buy domains for 1 or 2 years.
  • Larger, older sites are better, as they score high in search engines.
  • In search engines “the-word” usually registers as “the word”, so where possible use – (dash) instead of _ (underscore) in your URLs
  • Choose a domain that will be most relevant to you, either your name (product, company, business, etc) or descriptive (eg: search-engine-optimisation-example.com)
  • Dashes in URL (eg: http://www.search-engine-optimisation-example.com/the-home-page.html) — stick to no more than 4 in a URL.
  • Keep your URLs short, less than 100 chrs is best.
  • Unique description meta tags per page – less than 200 chrs, although search engines don’t rely on this, it is often displayed
  • Unique keyword meta tags per page – less than 10 words, the keywords must appear on the body text of the page, no repeats
  • Make use of the header tags (H1, H2, H3) these will help identify what the page is and push your page further to the top
  • Place your keywords in your body text near the top, try and use b (bold), strong (bold) or em (italics) on them.
  • By internet standards all images must have alt text – Describe the image using short relevant text.
  • Use keywords for your link anchor text instead of using “click here” or such.
  • External links per page should be a limited to 100 where possible.
  • Choose your domain name TLD extension carefully, .edu and .org appear to get higher status than .com due to spam.
  • Size of pages should not be larger than 100K, its preferred that you have lots of smaller pages.
  • Search engines like updated pages, such as news pages, it also like additional pages, make sure you also keep your old static pages.
  • Site consistency — although its not proven to be a factor of SEO, it does help usability.
  • Search engines like blog sites as they bare lots of content and many external links, showing trends
  • Use text instead of images where possible. If you have to use images, use alt text. – Search engines don’t read text on images.
  • Get listed in directories such as DMOZ and Yahoo, avoid link farms and FFAs.
  • Avoid using meta redirect to redirect users to other pages.
  • Avoid excessive cross-linking to sites hosted on the same IP range (C class).
  • DO NOT copy your content. Not only does this violate copyright laws, search engines penalise you.
  • Search engines find it difficult to get relevant text from Flash if any at all, avoid constructing your page with flash, unless its for presentational purposes.
  • Search engines don’t follow links in forms, image mapping, javascript links, frames, very well, if not, not at all.
  • Avoid putting your email address in text form on a page, as this will appear in search engines and generate unwanted emails
  • Avoid any “black hat” SEO methods, they don’t work in the long run, stick at the real methods and you’ll get far better results than risk your site getting banned.
  • Use correct HTML markup where possible, although this doesn’t make much of a difference to the search engines, it will help you avoid other problems.
  • Don’t use gateway pages or intro pages, they are useless and tend to disappear from search engines, not only that but the main page gets pushed down. — This is also bad for usability as visitors aren’t interested in your gateway, just your website.
  • Try and get as many backlinks from as many reliant websites as possible. Avoid bad sites. — Anchor text on your links is important here, make sure you use a relevant keyword.
  • Try and get people to stay on your site, avoid annoying the user and provide them with reasons to stick around.
  • Suggest the user bookmarks your page or create pages that would be bookmark worthy.
  • Use a stable web server, there is nothing worse than having your site down.

Also see:

For more help with SEO, visit #SEO at EFnet

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6 Responses to “SEO Tips”

  1. Daniel Mcgonagle

    You have a very extensive SEO tips, seems like you have covered everything. This is a good resource for those who have been struggling with SEO and improving their site traffic. Good post.

  2. Rob Whistler

    Its a shame about the image maps not being followed. With a site with lots and lots of banner content, it would be much nice on the client and the proxy server if one image served an accumulation of those banners on the left hand side, for example, as one image linked with an image map, as opposed to the client and server having to serve up 10-12 individual graphics each with links. Any news on google changing this so image maps can be followed? Good post, really concise.

  3. GadgetViper

    Nice Post,

    I never knew that image maps were ignored, I’ve built a lot of my navigational around them, so I think I will need to go back to the drawing board and break the single image into individual images.

  4. Peter van der Gulden

    Act SEO friendly: use descriptive names for images and folders: “graphic-design/cut-out-models/imac.jpg” instead of “products/pictures/P1010049.jpg”.

  5. David Jenyns

    Another related SEO tip is for you to focus on one task at a time, especially if you are just doing all these things on your own. Value your time because that is also equivalent to money.

    But if you can, it is better to let professionals do it so you can have more time to come up with good strategies for your business while they are already working on your site.

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