SEO Tips and Tricks
In addition to liking milkshakes and potato salad, I also like magic. I realized the other day that SEO is very similar to magic in many ways. But not the David Blaine-esque, creepy kind of magic, (I’m pretty sure he sold his soul to the devil). SEO is more like your uncle who does really cool card tricks. My point is that anybody can learn SEO magic to help increase their website ranking in search results.
When you see a great magic trick performed it can seem effortless, when in fact it actually took the magician a lot of practice to perfect. The same goes for SEO magic; the more time you put in, the better the trick will be, and the higher you’ll appear in search engine results. JHere are some fairly easy tips and tricks for your arsenal that lead to positively magical results:
1. Add Alt Text to images
If you have any images on your page without Alt text behind it, you are missing out on some easy SEO magic. Use Alt text on every image so that it will provide a brief description for the user, as well as help you get ranked in an image search.
2. Unique Meta Descriptions
Having a proper Meta Description is important for search engines, as well as users. It is what your end user will read as your page description. Having the exact same meta description for every page will not help the user determine what this individual page is about. You will also want to keep the description under 150 characters so part of your description won’t be cut off.
3. 400/500 (Client Errors)
When a 400 or 500 error comes back to the user, it's essentially saying the page is not valid or cannot be found. Alternatively, there’s no rabbit in the hat. You can use several different free SEO tools to crawl your site to find these errors. Fixing these is important to having a healthy site.
4. Duplicate Page Content
Duplicate content is defined by SEOmoz as content that appears on the Internet in more than one place or URL. When duplicate content is presented to search engines, they have to determine which version is most relevant. They will very rarely present duplicate content for the user.
5. Duplicate Page Titles
Be unique in picking each of your page titles. More times than not I see web pages within a site that have the exact same page title. This makes it hard for search engines to determine which page within the site is the most relevant.
6. Avoid Too Many on-page links
Having too many on page links is a common problem that can affect your page rank in the SERPS. After all, on-page links are everything from your navigation and sub navigation to your follow me icons for social media. So if you have a SUPER MEGATRON Navigation Bar and your company has EVERY single Social Media Icon out there (including RenRen and KiwiBox) you could easily start off each page with a handicap. Best practices are to try to keep your on-page links under 100 per page. Why?
It makes for the best user experience by not overloading them with too many options to click on
Over 100 links makes it harder for Search Engines to reference what’s important on your site
It can devalue your site
7. Have a Site Map
You don’t have a sitemap, seriously? Not having a sitemap is like Jean-Luc Picard not having his communicator when he suddenly wakes up on the non-federation planet of Kataan in Season 5 of Star Trek Next Gen, just crazy! Not having a site-map is like the very worst nerdy or non-nerdy disaster you can imagine.
The site-map is how search engines are able to crawl your site effectively and efficiently. Without it, you may be in deep trouble.
What are your favorite SEO magic tricks?
image credit: fotographic1980/freedigitalphotos.net