Welcome to the final installment of “Improve Your SEO.” This topic has been spread over three posts, so if you haven’t already, check out part 1 and part 2 of the series. This final post will concentrate on the final touches of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which you can implement to improve the performance of your site. The topics have been broken down with examples to give you a better understanding of how you can implement the changes.
One of the fundamental aspects to good SEO is your ability to obtain backlinks. When Google ranks your website, part of their algorithm is to look at how many other websites link to you, this known as backlinking and is key to the success of your website.
There are many companies offering this as a service, however be careful how you approach getting backlinks. The best rules are: only backlink to relevant websites; and make sure that the link is a worthwhile one.
You can generate links by contacting other websites directly and offering to trade, commenting on blogs, or helping out in forums and including your website in your signature.
A splash page is in essence a gateway page found at the entrance to a website. User will hit this page and then be required to interact with a button or link in order to enter. Although, less common today than a few years ago, splash pages can still be found on websites both big and small.
This design plan probably stems from the designers parallel of written media such as book and magazine covers. But it is a fool who confuses the new media with old. The way we interact and search for information ont the Web is very different from that of print.
This mechanism simply acts as another step the user must take before they can get to where they are going. If you haven’t already guessed, the point I am making is “don’t splash.” It’s unnecessary and chances are you will lose traffic. You will create a far more user friendly experience by giving immediate access to a homepage with a good navigation and worth while content, not to mention Google will rank you higher.
Probably one of the most important aspects of search engine optimisation is the URL, as this is what a Googlebot will read when they search through websites. So it’s important that your URLs are as concise, readable and search friendly as possible. The key here is to remember that Googlebots are stupid, so don’t make them think. For example always end your URL with .html or .php so that bots know what language your web page is written in.
Directory structure is another important consideration, how you name your directories and sub directories can have a huge influence on how Google ranks your site. Make sure that they are descriptive and relate to the content on the page.
There are many who make the argument that shorter URL’s are much better than long ones. However there is no real evidence to support this. What is known is that anything after a ‘?’ will not be read by a Googlebot, so make sure that your URLs do not fall into this trap. For more help and advice on this check out .htaccess tutorials to show you how you can create search engine friendly URL’s
This series of tutorials should help arm you with the knowledge you need to improve traffic to your website, to get the right people looking in the right pages, but most importantly to improve the success of your web projects.