TechTransform, 30 March 2005: Karina Kogan hasn't been with us long... and already she is contributing mightily!
Here is a first dispatch, with a few (but not all!) of her Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tips.
Thank you Karina!
Here are some tips though the world of SEO is endless….
Don’t overuse images, especially image based fonts. Crawlers can’t read images, so focus on system text as much as you can without compromising your design of course. When using images, using ALT tags to describe the image is useful for some search engines to read.
I wouldn’t do my homepage in flash like many brand-driven product and promotional sites (also ad agencies love flash!!!)
Links: create as many links as makes reasonable sense. This includes images; link them to other relevant pages. If it’s a product shot, link it to a product description, don’t just rely on the product name link you might put beside it. Make sure links don’t lead to dead ends. If you have partners, link to them. The more vast your connection to other pages and other websites on the internet, the better your SEO. This also means that if you try and put up static pages that don’t lead to other pages just for the sake of volume, this won't help you.
Invisible text is considered unethical too and many search engines can now detect it.
Keywords: to the extent that you can without compromising your content, try and use synonyms for important keywords. Ie: if you are a car insurance site, you would make sure to use “auto” “car” “vehicle” etc… Overture has a cool suggestion tool that you could use to find relevant keywords.
You could also consider a descriptive tagline w/ important keywords for your company name. Our SEO at Evite went up when we added taglines -- ie: Evite, Free Online Invitations. Taglines like "Nike, Just Do It" won’t do it.
Keeping a good press center with links to your editorial could help. So if CNET or MSNBC etc… reviewed your business, I would link to those stories, especially if they link back to you.
If you are affiliated w/ other businesses linking to them and them linking to you in a universal footer can help. If you look at a few IAC businesses you will see this (ie: evite has links in their footer to Citysearch, Expedia, Match etc… and visa versa)
The Microsoft small business center has some great tips here. I would read their advice on meta tags, headline tags, alt tags and title tags
And this page has some good info and tests you can do - though intermittently they do try and sell you their services…
Good luck! And let me know if I can help in any other way. Just click on my name to send me email!