Blogs, Accessibility, and SEO: Dispelling the Myths
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Blogs, Accessibility, and SEO: Dispelling the Myths

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Why do we blog? We blog for fun. We blog to help others. We blog for personal accountability. We blog for money. We blog to be fit. Ultimately, we blog to be found. ...

Why do we blog? We blog for fun. We blog to help others. We blog for personal accountability. We blog for money. We blog to be fit. Ultimately, we blog to be found.

So, we want to be found. How can I do that? What can I do to make my site available to the widest audience and be found?

We do this with Accessibility and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). During the presentation, we will demonstrate some actionable items to implement on your websites to be both more accessible and visible to search engines.

During the "Blogs, Accessibility, and SEO: Dispelling the Myths" presentation, the following will be covered:

What does it mean to be accessible?
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Doesn’t my blogging software do that for me?
Dispelling the myths of SEO and accessibility:
Wait, Wait…This is no ordinary lamp.
For only three installments of only $19.99.
Do I need 76 trombones.
Yeah, you need a test.
What practical actions can we take to improve my accessibility and search engine visibility?

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  • Introductions: Who Am I? Why are you here? Why am I here?
  • Section 508 is a government law that states that government IT Applications much be accessible.
  • Maybe, maybe not. It depends.
  • When we work with our clients, this is the process we recommend: Use the keyword in the title tag at least once, and possibly twice (or as a variation) if it makes sense and sounds good (this is subjective, but necessary). Try to keep the keyword as close to the beginning of the title tag as possible.  More detail on title tags follows later in this section. Once in the H1 header tag of the page. At least 3X in the body copy on the page (sometimes a few more times if there's a lot of text content). You may find additional value in adding the keyword more than 3X, but in our experience, adding more instances of a term or phrase tends to have little to no impact on rankings.  At least once in bold. You can use either the or tag, as search engines consider them equivalent (note: at this time we've only actually tested Google for the vs. equivalency). At least once in the alt attribute of an image on the page. This not only helps with web search, but also image search, which can sometimes bring valuable traffic. Once in the URL. Additional rules for URLs and keywords are discussed later on in this section. At least once (sometimes 2X when it makes sense) in the meta description tag. Note that the meta description tag does NOT get used by the engines for rankings, but rather helps to attract clicks by searchers from the results page (as it is the "snippet" of text used by the search engines).  Generally not in link anchor text on the page itself that points to other pages on your site or different domains (this is a bit complex - see this blog post for details).
  • When we work with our clients, this is the process we recommend: Use the keyword in the title tag at least once, and possibly twice (or as a variation) if it makes sense and sounds good (this is subjective, but necessary). Try to keep the keyword as close to the beginning of the title tag as possible.  More detail on title tags follows later in this section. Once in the H1 header tag of the page. At least 3X in the body copy on the page (sometimes a few more times if there's a lot of text content). You may find additional value in adding the keyword more than 3X, but in our experience, adding more instances of a term or phrase tends to have little to no impact on rankings.  At least once in bold. You can use either the or tag, as search engines consider them equivalent (note: at this time we've only actually tested Google for the vs. equivalency). At least once in the alt attribute of an image on the page. This not only helps with web search, but also image search, which can sometimes bring valuable traffic. Once in the URL. Additional rules for URLs and keywords are discussed later on in this section. At least once (sometimes 2X when it makes sense) in the meta description tag. Note that the meta description tag does NOT get used by the engines for rankings, but rather helps to attract clicks by searchers from the results page (as it is the "snippet" of text used by the search engines).  Generally not in link anchor text on the page itself that points to other pages on your site or different domains (this is a bit complex - see this blog post for details).
  • ALT attributes. Title attributes. Be Descriptive.
  • Make a site with a clear hierarchy and text links. Every page should be reachable from at least one static text link. Offer a site map to your users with links that point to the important parts of your site. If the site map is larger than 100 or so links, you may want to break the site map into separate pages. Create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content. Think about the words users would type to find your pages, and make sure that your site actually includes those words within it. Try to use text instead of images to display important names, content, or links. The Google crawler doesn't recognize text contained in images. If you must use images for textual content, consider using the "ALT" attribute to include a few words of descriptive text. Make sure that your elements and ALT attributes are descriptive and accurate. Check for broken links and correct HTML. If you decide to use dynamic pages (i.e., the URL contains a "?" character), be aware that not every search engine spider crawls dynamic pages as well as static pages. It helps to keep the parameters short and the number of them few. Keep the links on a given page to a reasonable number (fewer than 100). Review our image guidelines for best practices on publishing images.
  • Be Unique and Be Useful. One person signed up for different email accounts, Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail. Then, went through and counted every spam email, tallied the results, and the created a report of who was the best act catching the spam. Another example, people who write about recipes. Use List Posts.

Blogs, Accessibility, and SEO: Dispelling the Myths Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Blogs, Accessibility, and SEO: Dispelling the Myths Scott Stawarz Octavity.com Technology Consultant Simpleweight.com co-founder @scottstawarzSaturday, March 20, 2010
  • 2. Warm Up • Web Accessibility and Search Engine Optimization • Blogging Software and 508 / SEO • Myths • What can I do to improve my Accessibility and SEO?Saturday, March 20, 2010
  • 3. define:web accessibility • wikipedia: Web Accessibility refers to the practice of making websites usable by people of all abilities and disabilities. • Section 508Saturday, March 20, 2010
  • 4. define:seo • Search Engine Optimization The process of making a site and its content highly relevant for both search engines and searchers.Saturday, March 20, 2010
  • 5. Doesn’t my blogging software do that?Saturday, March 20, 2010
  • 6. For only three installments of only $19.99Saturday, March 20, 2010
  • 7. For only three installments yt hs of only $19.99 M • I can guarantee you the Number 1 spot. • SEO is easy. Anyone can do it. • SEO is difficult. Only Experts can do it. • Once I trick the search engines, you’ll never have to worry about SEO again. • Rankings are absolute. • Your website will be submitted to 100’s of search engines, directories, and link swaps.Saturday, March 20, 2010
  • 8. Wait, Wait... This is no ordinary lamp.Saturday, March 20, 2010
  • 9. Wait, Wait... This is no ordinary lamp. y ths M • All you need are Meta Tags • Meta tags are not needed • You need / don’t need good HTML Structure, H1 tags • Web URL Structure doesn’t matter • Page Title vs Page Slug, vs Post TitleSaturday, March 20, 2010
  • 10. Do I need 76 trombones?Saturday, March 20, 2010
  • 11. Do I need 76 trombones? y ths M • Target your Site for the Search Engines. • Keyword Density. You need to write the keyword 76 times in your site. • Let’s trick the Search Engines (keyword stuffing, cloaking, Swap Pages)Saturday, March 20, 2010
  • 12. Keyword Density Rules according to SEOMOZ.com • Keyword in the beginning of the Title Tag and maybe a variation word. • Once in the H1 header tag • 3X in the body copy • Once in bold <strong> • Once in the alt of an image. • Once in the URL slug • Once in the meta description tag • Don’t use the keyword in links on this page to other pages.Saturday, March 20, 2010
  • 13. Accessibility • Target Lawsuit • What can I do?Saturday, March 20, 2010
  • 14. Yeah... you need a test.Saturday, March 20, 2010
  • 15. Yeah, you need a test. • Lynx Browser • Google Webmaster Tools • Google Analytics • Voice Recognition • Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera • Bing, Google, Ask, SEO Rank CheckerSaturday, March 20, 2010
  • 16. Practical Actions • Spend 80% of your time on creating new content. • Spend 20% of your time on SEO • Follow the Google SEO Guidelines • Use AltSaturday, March 20, 2010
  • 17. Google Webmaster Guidelines • Identify keywords that your target audience will use to find you. • Write Fantastic, Unique Content. • Use the Page Title, Headings, Alt attribute, title attribute. • Fewer than 100 links on the page (maybe pair down your blogroll)Saturday, March 20, 2010
  • 18. How to get links? • Be Controversial • Be First • Be Unique • Be Creative • Be Useful • Be YourselfSaturday, March 20, 2010
  • 19. Cool Down • Accessibility • Search Engine Optimization • ActionsSaturday, March 20, 2010
  • 20. Follow up Resources • Slides posted at http://octavity.com/ • twitter.com/scottstawarz • scott@octavity.com • http://delicious.com/sstawarz/SEOmyths • http://delicious.com/sstawarz/accessibility • Any Questions?Saturday, March 20, 2010
  • 21. Thank You. @scottstawarz http://octavity.comSaturday, March 20, 2010