Monday, January 13, 2014

Search Engine Optimization(SEO) Fundamentals for Web Designers/Developers and SEO analysts

Hi,Myself Nithin Chandra SR. In this blog i am going tto explain basic concepts of search engine optimization.In this blog will go through  How you can start using SEO techniques  it to increase your website's visibility to search engines and attract the right kind of traffic to the right kinds of pages on your site.Then find out how to implement basic optimization strategies, like meta keywords,description,keyword prominence.

What is SEO / Search engine optimization?

Search engine optimization is a technique to make search engines understand what is your website about.
Search engine optimization holds a important role  for web designers as creating a website which is not seo friendly is no use since it doesn't hold any value on web search engines.

Following table gives the overview of scores of SEO elements  

Area Score
1 Title 2
2 Link Popularity 2
3 The Main Body Text 1.5
4 Domain Name 1
5 Keyword Prominence 1
6 Heading Tags 0.5
7 Proximity Of Words 0.5
8 Bold or Italics 0.4
9 Folder or File name 0.4
10 Meta Description 0.3
11 Alt Tag 0.2
12 Title Attribute 0.1
13 Meta Keywords 0.1

Total - 10

Title Tag: Highest score on SEO chart(Aim for title tags containing fewer than 70 characters.)

<title>Example Title</title>

Title of the page is important since it tells both user and search engines what is the topic of particular page is. Following points should be taken care while adding Title to the page.

  • It should always appear immediately after the opening <head> tag. 
  • It should be specific keywords and phrases. 
  • Use only keywords and phrases that are in the body text on your page. 
  • May use the same keyword twice to attain reasonable keyword density, but be sure that you don't put the same words right next to each other or more than twice 
  • 6 - 12 words ( less than 60 characters ) is a good length for a title tag.
  • Try to place your primary keywords at the starting of the tag. 
  • Keep the words in title case ( e.g. Professional Marketing Tips ) 
  • Make sure to avoid using search engine stop words or words like Home, Default, Internet or Index. 
  • Avoid using superlatives in your title (e.g. the best, fastest, cheapest, leader ) 
  • Try to minimize the use of commas in this tag. 
  • Strive for a keyword density of 25-35% for each keyword. 
  • Always remember to close this tag (e.g.  </title>) 
  • Consider using both singular and plural forms of the keywords. 
  • It should be read like a phrase that makes some grammatical and logical sense, not collection of keywords.
  • All pages MUST have a unique and descriptive keyword phrase in the title. 
  • (One page on your site might be seen as more relevant for a particular keyword when compared to another) 
  • Try to keep title tags as unique as possible in each pages in your website. 
  • Do not change the title tag regularly.
Main Body Text:
The second highest ranked in SEO chart is Main body text where major of the content 
  • Keyword prominence: Make sure to put the most important keywords into a carefully crafted paragraph at the beginning of your HTML page. Prominence is how close to the start of the area that the keyword appears. In general, a keyword that appears closer to the top of the page or area will be more relevant. 
  • Keyword Density: If the page contains less than 500 words, keeping 1%-3% of those words is better. If the page contains more than 500 words, keep 3%-5% of the overall content. 
  • Try to provide a minimum word count of 250 and a maximum of 750 words on each page. 
  • Use CSS instead of <font> tags. 
  • Get rid of the java script in the code and put it in an external file. 
  • Avoid image buttons, Javascript links and keep it as pure text links. 
  • Repeat the page <TITLE> in a heading at the top of the page if possible.
  • Use heading tags. (<h1>, <h2>....., <h6>)
Note that placing more than 75 characters in these tags are not a good idea!!.

Keyword proximity
  • Keyword proximity: It refers to the closeness between two or more keywords. Always try to group words together that might be searched on as a single phrase by a user. (eg: Use "home loans" instead of "home mortgage loans" assuming that a user searching only for the phrase "home loans".) 
  • Place some important keywords in Bold or Italic. 
  • Use 'Alt' tag to describe the image.
  • ALT tag defines the text to display for a image if the user has graphics turned off, or if they put the cursor over it in Internet Explorer. Some search engines including google will look for keywords in the ALT tags. 
  • Insert comments tag in your page, it is hidden and not visible to the user. A couple of search engines will read this text, so you may wish to include keywords in these tags.
  • Make sure the code of home page is not bigger than 32K 
  • Try to keep font size to a minimum of size 11px or 12px (2 or 3 in Dreamweaver) 
  • Try to avoid using nested loops in <table> structure. 
  • Use W3C technologies and guidelines. 
  • Try to target two or three main keywords for a website. 
  • Avoid listing the same word multiple times in a row. 
  • Update your body text at regular intervals. 

Meta Tags:
Meta tags are tags, which are embedded in the HTML code of a page, You should insert the META tag element at the top of your document, just after the <TITLE> element.

The basic syntax for Meta Tags is:


<TITLE>Your Page Title Goes Here</TITLE>

<META name=”description” content=”type your description here”>

<META name=”keywords” content=”type, your, keywords, keyword phrase here”>


<META name="Description" content="Your descriptive sentence goes here.">
Write it in sentence structure. 
Should be relevant to the similar 25-30 word (under 150 characters) description of the first text within the visible page. 
Do not repeat your keywords more than 3 times in description tag. If you need, make alternatives (e.g. 'prescription' and 'prescriptions' can be used 3 times each). 
Minimize the use of "stop words" such as "and, the, of". 
  • Keyword phrases that appear earliest in the Meta description will generally receive higher ranking value. 
  • Try to include this tag in all pages by describing the content and it should be unique. 
  • Don't load your Meta description with only keywords. 
  • Strive for 6%-20% keyword density. 
  • Use different Meta description tag for each pages. 
Meta Keyword:
  • Keep 100 to 250 characters to get better results. 
  • Start with the most important and then proceed to less important. 
  • Use keywords/Phrases 
  • Do not repeat any word more than 3 times. 
  • Do not place repeated keywords close together. 
  • If your site has content of interest to a specific geographic location be sure to include the actual location in your keyword Meta. 
  • Use keywords that are actually on the page and reflect the essence of your content. 
  • Try to use keywords in your Meta keywords tag with comma, not by space. 
  • Try to use small case in keyword/phrases 
  • (eg: replace the keyword phrase - "Website Design" with "website design") 
  • Strive for 4%-10% keyword density. 
Spider Friendly Navigation:

Bad practice:
<a href="hotel001.html">click here</a>
<a href="kochihotels.html">Hotels</a> 

Good practice:
<a href="new-york-hotels.htm">List of hotels in New York</a>
<a href="kochi-hotels.html">Hotels in Kochi</a>
  • Use keyword/phrase that best describes the target page. 
  • Always use your primary keywords in the link text least one or more on the page. 
  • Try to place your primary keywords at the starting of a link text if possible. 
  • Try to use Title Attribute in the text links. 
  • eg: <a href="yourpage.html" title="Describe this page.">The link label goes here</a>  
  • Avoid using image maps, if needed make it sure to add text links at the bottom of all pages 
  • Do not use long text; limit 40-50 characters in a link text. 
  • Avoid using JavaScript links 
  • Create text links and use a common navigational menu for all the pages. 
  • Make sure the pages on your site to be linked to one another, especially the home page. 
  • Try to include a Site map if you have more than 30 pages. 
  • Submit an XML site map to Google. (Visit: Google Sitemaps) 
  • Limit the number of links per page to less than 20 for better results. 
  • If your Website using Flash, make it sure to add text links at the bottom of the page as a supplement to the Flash navigation. (Google now takes links from Flash) 
  • Try to use keyword phrases in the HTML and image file names 
  • Keep your file names hyphenated (eg: 
Link Popularity:
  • Try to get reciprocal links between your site and others in the same industry. 
  • Incoming links should use your keyword phrase. 
  • Link to others with higher Page Rank (Install Google Tool Bar to get PageRank information.) 
  • Include your reciprocal page link from the main page of your Website.
  • Avoid using the link text such as "links", "link exchange" use "Resources" instead. 
  • Try to build link category that best match to your site content. 
  • Do not provide more than 20 links per page, if needed try to split it into additional page. 
  • Try to use brief text along with links describing the content of the outbound link page. 

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