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Help: Comprehensive SEO Guide

I have some links and some tips but no links to tidy articles, hope they're helpful:

Search Engine Optimization - Search Engine Guide Blog

Intro to Search Engine Optimization - Search Engine Watch (SEW)


It helps to spend lots of money - one client of ours spends £10k a year, another spends over a £100k a year But here are some tips I've picked up from working alongside an SEO company:

  • Use <h1>, <h2>, <h3>, etc tags properly
  • Dont use any hidden text, this can be heavily penalised, if using images for titles make sure to use alt in your img tag. It doesnt hurt to just check the site with W3C standards.
  • Have descriptive titles for each page not just [Company Name] - [Products], instead have [Some guff about what the company sells] - [Company Name] eg on one of our sites I would have just put 'mvision managed service' but the SEO company put 'managed video conferencing and virtual meeting room systems from mvision UK'. I think they are looking at the popular keywords and combining those with helpful descriptions of the products, thinking, I suppose, about what a human would ask
  • Have descriptive links at the bottom, so not just [contact us], etc - have something like: [contact for graphic design solutions ], also it is again down to the popular keywords to mix and match with helpful descriptions, which can be sourced from google and other similar sites. Don't be afraid to create a page that is built solely around a keyword or phrase, so if a lot of people are searching for things like 'why do bananas go brown' and you sell bananas create a page about this and include a footer link to it. It's about getting visitors to the site, the more visitors the better!
  • Have a section where you can update regularly news, blog, what ever, 3 times a week is recommended.
  • Try not to repeat stuff on each page, pages will be filtered out if text is repeated.
  • Google recommends that the best SEO is building your site for humans to read, that's how they rank sites apparently - on useability
  • Optimisation is a full time job so it helps to do a little each day, change content, promote popular content, demote pages not looked at.
  • Keep an eye on sites with google analytics, very helpful in determining keywords, phrases, popular pages, where people have come from etc, etc,
Pleasure, glad you found it useful:

Google keyword tool: Link
This is useful for setting up the descriptive footer links and extra pages I mentioned above,
it gives you an idea on what people are searching for helping you in deciding the content to include in your links and pages.
You can either enter your own keywords or the url of your site which it will scan and return with the relevant keywords/phrases.

Another thing I just thought of are 301 redirects.
When you or your client change their mind on a page's name, say they want to change 'green_cabbages.php' to 'blue-cabbages.php' or remove the extension so it looks tidy, or whatever, it is imperative that you set up a 301 redirect.

This tells search engines that the old page stored in their index exists at a new location and that they can delete the old link from their index.

This keeps all rankings—or whatever the search engine uses to rate your pages—intact.

It didn't occur to me at first but Google and other search engines keep all those old pages and old links stored unless told otherwise: the 301 redirect does this.

If like me you are messy you may leave old files on your server - those old files are still being indexed. When people click them - they may be served a page that is old, irrelevant or one that could even break your site in some way, leading to a big wtf? from the user and they may go and find an alternative site.
Use site:your_site.co.uk in the search input to see all the pages Google has indexed on your server.

  • Delete old, unused files from your server, remember that search engines will be indexing everything (unless specifically told not to);
  • If you have created an alternative page or changed site structure make sure to 301 redirect to the new page/directory;
  • Check all indexed files with site:your_site.co.uk in google and sort problems;
  • Check the status of your headers and verify that they are the correct ones: Link, 400s for client error, 500 for server errors 300s for redirects, 200s are okay.

If you are changing, improving or restructuring an existing site
Use 301 redirects from the old pages to the new pages to keep the old pages rankings/ratings. Even if a new page doesnt exist from the old structure redirect to something that's nearly relevant.

Plus another thing is adding a Google map to your site
Adding an interactive Google map in the contact page helps boost local search results too: Google Maps API - Google Code
This can get your site included in the local business results listings at the top of the results page.