View Full Version : Quick and easy tips to help your SEO performance

03-13-2010, 03:41 PM
While many web developers understand the importance of search engine optimization, most often, they do not implement some very basic techniques to help their sites. Below are my "top 3" SEO techniques. Do they "guarantee" better performance? No - because I don't think anyone can guarantee that, but they do improve your chances of better performance.

1) Be descriptive
There are two HTML tags that are still important for most search engines. They are the <title> tag, and the <meta name="description"> tag. Both of these tags should be used to summarize the data (content) on your page. And both of these, to the fullest extent possible, should always be unique. Many shopping cart systems simply stuff in generic keywords in these tags, The problem is that from an SEO perspective, your telling search engines that these pages really all represent the same content, when they do not. So it's best to have a title with the category name (and maybe the page number) and a similar description.

2) Be unique
Once you have your title and meta tags set up, make sure your content on every page is distinct and unique. If you have the same content, on two pages, but different meta tags, search engines will have a difficult time determining what page should be linked to. Consider your architecture, does it make sense to have the same content on two pages? Probably not, you should either break it out into 3 or more pages, or combine it into one page. An example of this might be having your mission statement and about us information on one page and your mission statement and investor information on another page. In that case, you probably want to move your mission statement to it's own page.

3) Be correct
The final quick tip is to make sure your site is using the right tags for the right situation. It's generally accepted that using CSS for layout vs. Tables for layout is better in terms of helping search engines correctly identify your content, but the reason why is often ambiguous. So I'll clarify. Each tag in HTML has a semantic meaning to it. Consider the following sentence...

My red car is fast.

In english we naturally associate "red" to be a color and "fast" to be an indication of how quickly something moves. But from a computers perspective "red" is a three letter word and "fast" is a four letter word. They have no meaning, so search engines have complicated algorithms to match up words (html tags) with meaning (semantics). So, if you use an h1 tag, search engines are designed to recognize that as an important header and main concept of your document, and so on. Using the correct tag, for the correct content, will help search engines determine what you're really talking about on your page, and typically improve your SEO performance.

Until next time.