Saturday, May 11, 2013

Search Engine Optimization - Best Practices Part 3

Offering quality and useful content in any blog / site is an important technique to drive traffic. Writing better Anchor Text and Optimizing the use of Images is very important in this manner. This post brings you some regular practices to increase your site's traffic.

Offer quality content and services in your site / blog:
Best Practices:
 Write easy-to-read text:
  • Users enjoy content that is well written and easy to follow.
Try to avoid:
  • Writing sloppy text with many spelling and grammatical mistakes
  • Embedding text in images for textual content - users may want to copy and paste the text and search engines can't read it.
Stay organized around the topic:
  • It's always beneficial to organize your content so that visitors have a good sense of where one content topic begins and another ends. Breaking your content up into logical chunks or divisions helps users find the content they want faster.
Try to avoid:
  • Dumping large amounts of text on varying topics onto a page without paragraph, subheading, or layout separation.
Create fresh, unique content:
  • New content will not only keep your existing visitor base coming back, but also bring in new visitors. Rehashing (or even copying) existing content that will bring little extra value to users having duplicate or near-duplicate versions of your content across your site
Try to avoid:
  • Rehashing (or even copying) existing content that will bring little extra value to users
  • Having duplicate or near-duplicate versions of your content across your site - more on duplicate content.
Create content primarily for your users, not search engines:
  • Designing your site around your visitors' needs while making sure your site is easily accessible to search engines usually produces positive results.
Try to avoid:
  • Inserting numerous unnecessary keywords aimed at search engines but are annoying or nonsensical to users.
  • Having blocks of text like "frequent misspellings used to reach this page" that add little value for users.
  • Deceptively hiding text from users, but displaying it to search engines.

Write better anchor text in your Blog / Website:
Best Practices:

Choose descriptive text:
  • The anchor text you use for a link should provide at least a basic idea of what the page linked to is about.
Try to avoid:
  • Writing generic anchor text like "page", "article", or "click here"
  • Using text that is off-topic or has no relation to the content of the page linked to
  • Using the page's URL as the anchor text in most cases - although there are certainly legitimate uses of this, such as promoting or referencing a new website's address.
Write concise text:
  • Aim for short but descriptive text-usually a few words or a short phrase.
Try to avoid:
  • Writing long anchor text, such as a lengthy sentence or short paragraph of text.
Format links so they're easy to spot:
  • Make it easy for users to distinguish between regular text and the anchor text of your links. Your content becomes less useful if users miss the links or accidentally click them.
Try to avoid:
  • Using CSS or text styling that make links look just like regular text
Think about anchor text for internal links too:
  • You may usually think about linking in terms of pointing to outside websites, but paying more attention to the anchor text used for internal links can help users and Google navigate your site better.
Try to avoid:
  • Using excessively keyword-filled or lengthy anchor text just for search engines
  • Creating unnecessary links that don't help with the user's navigation of the site.

Optimize the use of Images in your site:
Best Practices:

Use brief, but descriptive file names and alt text:
  • Like many of the other parts of the page targeted for optimization, filenames and alt text (for ASCII languages) are best when they're short, but descriptive.
Try to avoid:
  • Using generic file_names like "image1.jpg", "pic.gif", "1.jpg" when possible- some sites with thousands of images might consider automating the naming of images.
  • Writing extremely lengthy file names.
  • Stuffing keywords into alt text or copying and pasting entire sentences.
Supply alt text when using images as links:
  • If you do decide to use an image as a link, filling out its alt text helps Google understand more about the page you're linking to. Imagine that you're writing anchor text for a text link.
Try to avoid:
  • Writing excessively long alt text that would be considered spammy.
  • Using only image links for your site's navigation.
Supply an Image Sitemap file:
  • An Image Sitemap file can provide Googlebot with more information about the images found on your site. Its structure is similar to the XML Sitemap file for your web pages.
Thanks a lot for reading this post. You can download the Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide from Google.

Other related posts in this blog:
SEO Tips - Best Practices Part 5
SEO Best Practices - Part 4
Best Practices for SEO - Part 2 
Best Practices for SEO - Part 1
SEO Tips - use Google Webmaster Tools
SEO in my Blogs
On-Page Search Engine Optimization

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