Tips for Implementing SEO

Neal RabogliattiThe following tips are based on Neal Rabogliatti’s presentation at a local conference: SEM II-Join the Evolution, hosted by eBizITPA on December 6, 2007. Among the speakers were Rabogliatti, who spoke on search engine optimization, and Justin Seibert, who spoke on paid search marketing with Google Adwords, Yahoo! Search Marketing, or other paid search platforms. Rabogliatti’s presentation included tips for web developers on maximizing the potential of SEO, which I have recapped and reported upon here.

User friendly sites are usually the most SEO friendly, therefore ranking higher than those that are not user friendly sites. Your web developer should pay close attention to the following aspects of the site architecture and layout in order to maximize site SEO potential:

  • File and Folder Structure: folder directories should be as close to root directories as possible because the further from the root directory, the more likely the search engine is to interpret the file as less relevant, resulting in a lower ranking or no indexing of the pages that are furthest away from the root directory.
  • Page Layout: the actual content containing the keywords should be as close to the beginning of the code as possible.
    • Keep relevant content at the beginning of code. Content that begins after code line 150 may be ignored by most search engines, resulting in a lower ranking.
    • Using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) can help bring relevant content into the first few lines by referring to an external (CSS) file in order to give instructions on what the page should look like.
    • Stay away from frame and table layouts, as search engines generally read these layouts top to bottom and left to right, which is usually not the appropriate order of importance.
    • Use Div / Layers in order to enable the code to tell the search engines which sections to read first, and therefore which are most relevant and will rank the highest.

  • Navigational Structure: ensure that every page is accessible from another page on the site within two clicks. Good navigational design not only increases the average amount of time visitors will spend on your site, but will also help search engines to index your site appropriately.
  • Incoming Links: somehow, encourage individuals to link to your site, either through social bookmarking, or direct links from a blog or website. This will increase your ranking because the search engines will see your site as more relevant.

For more of Neal’s presentation, visit my post, The Next Step in SEO Presentations, on the eMarketing SIG blog.

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