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.

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For more help with SEO, visit #SEO at EFnet

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