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S.E.O. Tips and Tricks

Written by Alcides Fonseca at 2007/06/17

Introduction


A few small companies have been asking me how to increase their website visits, so I decided to write something explaining the basics of SEO and some tricks I use.



Where do visitors come from?



This is an easy one! They usually mostly from three sources:

# Advertising ( Paper flyers, Outdoors, Contact cards, emails, sms’s, etc )

# Links from other websites, usually from the same area

# Search Engines



What can I do to make people navigate to my website?


If people arrive you page through those different sources, you should explore each one the most you can.



Advertising


This one is obvious, you should make sure your site address is written (and correct!) on each paper your company prints. Even on receipts or invoices, you should print it on a side or footer. Most of the times the best form to display it it’s just www.company.com, because for non-geeks the http:// is not useful and often confuses people.



Links


Contact companies you work with, or websites with content related to yours, and ask if they can include your site in their link area. Offer yourself to do the same as a reward, or even a small banner on your page. It will prove to be one of the best solutions for you to get some guests on your page.



Other viable option is adwords, system where pages with google ads and content related to you, show your link. This will make the work by itself in most cases. Just find out if the prices are affordable to you.



SEO?


Search Engine Ratings

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it refers to the art of making you website more visible to the public, and the one that matters most to you.



As you can see by looking at the pie, google is the search engine most used, and that’s the one you should worry the most, although most of the browsers work almost the same way. If your business is local, then you should check for the most used search engine in your area.



How do Search Engine Work?


First thing in the SEO, is to know how search engine works. Search Engine Companies have webcrawlers running in their servers. These are programs that navigate through websites and add each link they found to their database to check later. They usually save other information we will discuss later.



How does the Search Engine know what my content is? Does it know how to read?


Well, for now the short answer is no. But you can teach him what your content are. First of all, make sure your code validates, this will make sure the crawler reads you page. Now, the page should have some special information in it’s head tag. You can change this using a text editor or the code tab from your WYSIWYG editor. First, you should choose a title, that describes in a short way your page, so people will click it when seeing it as a result from their search.




<title>Article about Search Engine Optimization</title>


Then, define the language your page is written in:




<meta http-equiv="content-language" content="en-US" />


Afterwards, you should make sure you define the keywords and description you want search engines to associate to your page:




<meta name="keywords" content="search engine optimization google keywords links first result adwords adsense tips tricks" />

<meta name="description" content="An article about how search engine works and how can you benefict from it" />


For last, there are some instructions you can give to the crawlers. INDEX means the robot should add the current page to it’s database and FOLLOW says he should follow the links in that page. Here are some examples for you to understand. Notice that the first is probably the one you should want.




<meta name="robots" content="index,follow">

<meta name="robots" content="noindex,follow">

<meta name="robots" content="index,nofollow">

<meta name="robots" content="noindex,nofollow">


Why my website isn’t shown first when searching for some keyword?


Google works with a PageRank algorithm. Each link to a website increases by one the rank of the linked page. The page better ranked with that keywords is shown first in the results page. In order to be the first result, your page has to be linked from a lot of other pages. This is why the Links section we saw above is so important.



Some tips and tricks


Usually, webdesigners are the ones looking for this information, and there are a few tips for them:



Have a development blog!

This is important since when you post about a website of yours, you add one link to it, increasing the page rank we talked about early. In addiction you can provide some information to another developers and this will be useful to the community.



Create a web of links

Imagine you have 3 clients. If you added in each one, two links for the others. This will also increase each one page rank. But if their contente is not related? Doesn’t matter, just add the style “display:none;” and visitors won’t see it while crawlers will. Now imagine this with a hundreds of websites, this would increase each one page rank in hundreds minus one. In this case I suggest you to use some server-side scripting to get the link list from your central page (PHP, ASP.NET, Python, Ruby, Perl, etc) I might post a code example regarding this later.



Conclusion


Well I think that’s it. Hope this suits you and help you page to be number one in the search engine result :) If you have any suggestion or doubt, just comment below ;)