This is Part 3 of “Search Engine Optimization – Do It Yourself!” series of articles I wrote to share my experience about SEO.

  1. Search Engine Optimization – Getting Started
  2. Webmaster Tools
  3. SEO Content Optimization
  4. Duplicated Content
  5. Friendly URL for SEO (Permalinks)

Content Really Matters!

Yes, it is true! Your website content is really matters and it matters the most. If you want to raise positions of your website in Google, provide your visitors with the quality content and Google will “pay you back”.

Content tips

I will be talking about some of the main points, how you should optimize your website content. Of course there are a lot more, however I am sure, that if at least you follow all the steps below you will be happy with the results.

Preferred Domain with www. or without it

I have described in my previous article “Webmaster Tools” how to setup preferred domain.

Page Title

Make sure every page of your website has an individual title. The title helps search engines assess page relevance and provides a description for search results. Create a unique title tag for each page of your site briefly describing that page’s content.
It might be hard to check 100s of pages, making sure they have no duplicated titles,  just use Google’s Webmaster Tools from time to time (it might not index all of your pages yet right now).

If you are using a WordPress, make sure you have this plugin installed, it will let seamlessly change your website titles and descriptions:
http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/seo-ultimate/

Page Heading <H1>

Search engines use target keywords in  H1 tag to determine a page’s relevance and rankings. Make sure the heading uses natural and grammatical wording.

Examples of really bad headings:

  • log in
  • forgot username?
  • forgot password?
  • search
  • top categories
  • recent searches

Try to have H1 tag heading appear only once within a page, you can use H2, H3 for other headings if needed.

Duplicated Homepage

Multiple versions of a homepage can be a problem if search engines index them all. Your site should contain one version of your home page with a single URL. Use either a 301 redirect or a canonical rel=” ” attribute to eliminate duplicates.

Examples:

  • http://www.website.com
  • http://www.website.com/index.htm
  • http://www.website.com/index.html
  • http://www.website.com/index.php

To read more about it please refer to my next article “Duplicated Content

No Flash

You have to make sure you have an indexable content on your website. NO FLASH! Flash is in the past and its not indexable by Google. If your website still in Flash or parts of it, such as navigation or content blocks, I think its time to design a new one.

Sitelinks via Top Level navigation

At the beginning it might sound like a small and not important thing to have. I would insist it is important. Have a good, clean top level navigation with descriptive anchor text is a MUST thing to have! So if you have “Contact” or “About” anchors in website navigation you might want to think again.

Below is a simple example how your website will look like in when it gets to the top of Google results if you have a properly built main navigation. Also Google will use your navigation as a sitemap to index other pages.


How to check if you have your navigation built properly ?
In Chrome or IE (Firefox, if you have Firebug plugin installed) press F12. Inside the opened console pick “Element selector” button and mouse over to the top of your main website navigation, click to fix the position.

<a href="/signup/">Sign Up</a> - This is Perfect!
<a onclick="gotoPage('signup')">Sign Up</a> - Not Good!

Continue with Duplicated Content

Dima Svirid

Software architect, JAVA, Spring, Hibernate, AngularJs, Backbone, MongoDB, Oracle. CTO and Co-Founder of Homeadnet.com

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