SEO Best Practices


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This slideshow teaches some SEO best practices for marketers and developers. As search engine optimization becomes more important for those looking to utilize their websites as assets rather than brochures, marketers have the opportunity to learn SEO to help control their rankings.

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SEO Best Practices

  1. 1. Best Practices in Search Engine Optimization (SEO)<br />30 Tactics in 30 Minutes<br />Lori Ulloa<br />Senior Digital Marketing Strategist<br />
  2. 2. Overview<br />SEO is about making small modifications <br />When combined, they have a noticeable impact<br />Following are the best practices for elements that will work in tandem to optimize your website<br />To get you started, download R2i’s SEO Cheat Sheet<br />
  3. 3. Keywords<br />The basis for SEO<br />In order to determine ideal terms, it is crucial to have a deep understanding of:<br />your site’s audience<br />business goals<br />content <br />Keywords should actually be phrases <br />“direct marketing Maryland”<br />Key terms should be very relevant to the content on each page<br />key terms should be repeated within content for SEO & usability purposes<br />
  4. 4. Page Title Element<br />Appears at the top of a webpage<br />What displays at the top of an individual result on a Search Engine Result Page (SERP)<br />
  5. 5. Page Title Best Practices<br />60-67 characters in length including spaces (only to prevent truncating)<br />Different for each page on a website <br />a loose naming convention is suggested for consistency<br />Relevant to content on the page that it’s identifying and should contain the same target keywords<br />For large websites with dynamic content, the CMS (Content Management System) will determine how this element is handled<br />
  6. 6. POLL<br />Is your organization currently using a Content Management System (CMS)?<br />No<br />Yes, CMS Made Simple<br />Yes, Ektron<br />Yes, DotNetNuke (DNN)<br />Yes, Drupal<br />Yes, Joomla<br />Yes, MOSS<br />Yes, Share Point<br />Yes, Sitecore CMS<br />Yes, WordPress<br />Yes, other<br />
  7. 7. Meta Description<br />A paragraph that will display on the SERP page under the title<br />Should accurately describe the content on the page<br />Duplicate descriptions can be penalized by some SEs<br /><meta name=“description“ content=“The leading provider of on-demand software for the auto industry in the United States"/><br />
  8. 8. Meta Description Best Practices<br />Meta descriptions should be about 120 - 200 characters in length including spaces but can vary.<br />Descriptions should be different for each page on a website.<br />The description should be relevant to the content on the page and should include targeted keywords<br />CMS may determine how this element is handled<br />
  9. 9. h1-h3 (header) Tags<br />h1 tag should only be employed once per page <br />Should define the most important key phrase<br />H2 and h3 tags call attention to other important information within the content<br /><h3><a href="/LinkClick.aspx?link=344&amp;tabid=240">Content Management <br /><br />System Comparison »</a></h3><br />
  10. 10. h1-h3 (header) Tags Best Practices<br />H1 tag should be employed once per page. H2 and h3 can occur many times to emphasize key terms but usually in section headers. <br />H1 tags should not be the company name if the company name already has prime placement in the domain name. Exceptions to this can be an “about” page or “contact us” page.<br /><h1><a href="/">R2i is your Internet Marketing & Technology Partner</a></h1><br />
  11. 11. Homepage URLs<br />Should be only one resolving  URL for the homepage of a website<br />We suggest the resolving homepage that a user types into the address bar <br />For sites, homepage may default to or /default<br />SEs see this as a different web page<br />This issue also applies to the www. vs. non www. versions of a homepage (canonicalization)<br />These issues can result in duplicate content problems<br />Can specify a preferred homepage in Google using Webmaster Toolsor a snippet of code to specify the canonical in the document head. <br />
  12. 12. Homepage URLs Best Practices<br />There should be only one version of a homepage.<br />A server side redirect could be applied to homepage “versions” and to the non www version of a site.<br />Specify your homepage within a Webmaster Tools account<br />
  13. 13. Subpage URLs<br />Great place to house keywords<br />Readable to SEs when structured properly<br />
  14. 14. Subpage URLs Best Practices<br />Avoid use of characters such as “_” to separate variables. If variables are to be separated, they should be separated by “-“or “+”.<br />With dynamic content, re-write URLs that contain long character strings and ids that may include characters such as “?”.<br />Include key terms within your URL that match other targeted key terms and accurately describe the content on the page.<br />
  15. 15. Homepage and Subpage Content<br />Important to help users determine the usefulness of your site<br />but also to house targeted keywords<br />Elements such as meta keywords and page title should describe content on the page<br />SEO and users favor usable content where a theme is present and understood<br />
  16. 16. Homepage and Subpage Content Best Practices<br />Include top targeted keywords<br />no more than 2-5 per page should be targeted<br />Terms should repeat within context of all available outlets no more than 3-5 times for optimal keyword repetition<br />Content should be readable and of value to the user<br />use conversational text wherever possible, using non-technical language, to engage the audience<br />break up longer scrolling pages with clear type hierarchies and use of <h2-3> tags<br />Limit the amount and variety of content on a page<br />
  17. 17. HTML Tags for Key Term Emphasis and Differentiation<br />A variety of HTML tags can be employed to further draw attention to key terms<br />alt tags (<alt>)<br />strong indicators (<strong>)<br />emphasis (<em>)<br />acronym <br />abbreviation<br />
  18. 18. HTML Tags for Key Term Emphasis and Differentiation Best Practices <br />Employ the strong and emphasis indicators to words within the content that you would like to add emphasis to in order to draw SE attention. <br />Employ the alt tag to all images and try to describe the image using key terms.<br />Employ the acronym and abbreviation tags to define acronyms and abbreviation<br /><p><imgsrc="/Portals/2/_cimgs/hdr_netbound_overview.gif" alt="Internet Marketing Services - Netbound" /></p><br /><p><strong>Having an Interactive Internet Marketing Team has never been as important as it is now.</strong> Today's customers are relying ever more on the web to assist them with their purchasing decisions. At the same time, marketing and technology professionals are faced with growing complexities in trying to reach customers online. To succeed, you need an in-depth understanding of <strong><a title="Learn about Search Marketing" <br />
  19. 19. POLL<br />Are you currently using alt tags on your images?<br />Yes, on all images<br />Yes, on some images<br />No<br />Don’t know<br />
  20. 20. Anchor text<br />The text used to describe a link (internal linking, inlinks)<br />the clickable text you see when a link is displayed on a page. <br />Also applies internally, but not as important <br />You can try to gain control:<br />when exchanging or requesting links within a link campaign.<br />if your company is a service provider that stipulates client/partner linking<br />
  21. 21. Anchor text Best Practices<br />Should be the most important key term for that page.<br />should not be overdone to avoid penalties<br />Can be requested when discussing links or reciprocal links.<br />ask partners, clients and vendors to not only link to the homepage but also to interior pages where it makes sense to do so<br />
  22. 22. Robots.txt Best Practices<br />A root file that can be created to disallow access to search engines<br />disallowing access enables SEs to focus on pages with important content. <br />Note: Items in this file (file names) can be seen by typing into a browser<br />Should be a file in the root of the site<br />items in Robots.txt are case sensitive<br />Noindex should be added to each page that should not be indexed.<br />Private pages should simply employ noindex with rel=nofollow for links to those private pages<br />
  23. 23. Flash Best Practices<br />Typically, Flash or Flex content is not indexed accurately<br />With the recent Adobe/Google understanding, text patterns in Flash can be picked up by Ses<br />an all image Flash piece or image splash page is still a detriment to search<br />Use SWFObject script for readability<br />Use captioning for accessibility. Accessibility rules closely parallel organic SEO rules.<br />
  24. 24. Keep an eye out for a new R2i Webinar:<br />Selecting Keywords: <br />How to Determine the right key terms to get your website in front of your targeted audience<br />
  25. 25. Questions?<br />