Basic SEO

  BlueTone Media

Basic SEOOne of the many hats that I wear here at BTM is an SEO hat;  I am constantly on the prowl for good Search Engine Optimization reference materials and keep a good list of “Do’s and Don’ts” handy at all times.  Recently we had a client contact us about getting his site ranked higher in search engines.  He was already showing up fairly well, but not as high as he would have liked to been.  Since I see so many sites out there that aren’t even taking the initial steps towards getting their site ranked, I thought I would give some examples and explain just a few tips for Basic SEO.  Often these sites are ones that have been around awhile, but it’s amazing how many in the Wilmington web design market aren’t doing them:

Google Ranking factors
  • CSS and Divs instead of Tables
  • Titles Headers URLS and Keywords
  • Content Content Content
  • Long Term Link Building

Here at BlueTone we try to design our sites search engine friendly.  We avoid using tables at all costs because browsers have to process tabular data twice; once to work out the structure and once to read the content. Doing this makes our pages load faster and our code cleaner for search engines, which results in a higher rankings. If you’re not already building sites using CSS instead of tables, then  it’s really time to rebuild; this one item can make the single biggest difference because it not only improves your ranking, but just your site over all by cutting the code down to just the content.

SEO for SalesSomething that should be fairly obvious but does require business owner/ content writers attention is determining your keywords before you build your content.  When you pick your keywords out before hand it helps a lot with plugging those into your site.  Be sure to pick just a few niche/specific keywords and phrases - too many and your site will just get lost in the mix. Your keywords should be the words you want people to use when trying to search your site on Google and Yahoo.  If you pick out two or three specific keywords, you should plug them into your site everywhere -  in the Title, Filename, and Header Tags - as long as it makes sense, use it.  You want to try to get 5 – 10 uses of each keyword for every 100 words on each page of your site.

About Keyword Density

Another big thing that search engines look at is the Quality of your content. How often your site content is updated and changed, how many people are linking to that page, and overall size are all scrutinized by the big search engines. When building sites, I force our guys here in the office to build them in such a way that the site in question can be edited easy by the site owner, because if it’s too complicated to edit, then the site owner isn’t going to make changes.  Luckily, the content management system (CMS) we built does this perfectly, so if a site owner ever needs a tweak to the way the CMS functions, we are always here , happy to oblige. So having keyword dense content that is well written with all of your images having alt tags and making sure to make your pages link to each other is where a site owner needs to focus; unless they want to pay us to do it  ;)

The last major thing you can do is to get people to link to your site.  One of the easiest things that site owners can do is just try to build a couple new links to their site every week.  Try to get the links to use your keywords and only pay for the link if it is with a site that ranks high in search engines themselves. But here is the kicker - you don’t want to do what is called link farming where you just pay and buy some nondescript set of sites to link to yours all at once.   If you’re caught doing this, Google will blacklist your site, making it so no one can find it – the exact opposite of what you want!
I know I might have been beating a dead horse here because all of these tips are old and fairly obvious, but there really isn’t any magic trick to SEO - just long term updating of your site.  Google and others are constantly updating their algorithms of how they rank sites to prevent SEO (for example meta tags use to be king, but now they don’t carry hardly any weight), so that you pay to use their own services, like AdWords – the search results that usually appear  on the side of search engine sites.  BlueTone Media is AdWord certified, and does believe this is a great, but potentially costly, way to promote your site.  We also see a lot of business owners getting their site and keep it static, like a newspaper or magazine ad, where they make it once and let it go.  If you go at it with that mindset, then you’re not going to do nearly as well with your site as someone who simply updates their site with new content on a regular basis.

---Jimmy

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