110 Quick SEO Tips Even Mom Would Love

By Richard V. Burckhardt

SEO so easy even your mom could do

Here are some easy, common sense, non-technical ways to optimize your web site that even mom would love!

UPDATED – Everyone loves a good tip, right?

Here are 110 quick tips for search engine optimization that even your mother could use to get cooking. Well, not my mother, but you get my point. Most novices with some web design and beginner SEO knowledge should be able to take these to the bank without any problem.

(Note: This list of tips is an update to the original post 55 Quick SEO Tips Even Your Mother Would Love. I am republishing this expanded version for the attendees of local Palm Springs SEO training classes.)

1. If you absolutely MUST use Java script drop down menus, image maps or image links, be sure to put text links somewhere on the page for the spiders to follow.

2. Content is king, so be sure to have good, well-written and unique content that will focus on your primary keyword or keyword phrase.

3. If content is king, then links are queen. Build a network of quality backlinks using your keyword phrase as the link. Remember, if there is no good, logical reason for that site to link to you, you don’t want the link.

4. Don’t be obsessed with PageRank. It is just one isty bitsy part of the ranking algorithm. A site with lower PR can actually outrank one with a higher PR.

5. Be sure you have a unique, keyword focused Title tag on every page of your site. And, if you MUST have the name of your company in it, put it at the end. Unless you are a major brand name that is a household name, your business name will probably get few searches.

6. Fresh content can help improve your rankings. Add new, useful content to your pages on a regular basis. Content freshness adds relevancy to your site in the eyes of the search engines.

7. Be sure links to your site and within your site use your keyword phrase. In other words, if your target is “blue widgets” then link to “blue widgets” instead of a “Click here” link.

8. Focus on search phrases, not single keywords, and put your location in your text (“our Palm Springs store” not “our store”) to help you get found in local searches.

9. Don’t design your web site without considering SEO. Make sure your web designer understands your expectations for organic SEO. Doing a retrofit on your shiny new graphics-based site after it is built won’t cut it.

10. Use keywords and keyword phrases appropriately in text links, image ALT attributes and even your domain name. Continue reading

Basics of Image Search Optimization

by Mark Maynem

Basic image optimization

Optimizing the images on your site can help your SEO efforts.

In March 2009 Google image search was labeled as Google’s fourth hottest property by Hitwise. The report went on to show that Google image search attributed 5.79% to the company’s monthly market share of visits. With this type of data and developments in universal search the smart search marketer will leverage this area to his or her advantage.

Before undertaking image search optimization many search marketers will evaluate its value in relation to its clients. Will the value of this activity be higher than another SEO activity? This is important, as image optimization can be time consuming and lends itself to being more beneficial to some sites than others.

Image Optimization Tips

Filenames – Include the keyword you are targeting within the file name. Remember to use hyphens for spaces between the keywords.

Image Formatting – Make sure you use the correct image formats. For example save photos as JPG files etc.

Image Quality – Use good quality images, which will read well when shown in a thumbnail format. Poor quality images are unlikely to get click throughs.

Strings – Avoid using strings in image urls. Make your image urls as a readable as possible to human beings. Continue reading

Losing to Win: Taking the Prize by Blogging

Taking the prize by blogging, we're all winners.

Unlike a certain recent political candidate we’re all familiar with, I know when it’s time to concede. John Carcutt is the winner of the Search Engine Journal Blog Off. John’s finalist post Are S E O Forums Still Needed? beat out my own 25 Blog Optimization Tips Even Dear Old Dad Could Ace to take the top prize.

What can I say? John has this ability to come up with topics near and dear to an SEO’s heart, write great content about them and attract Sphinns like a magnet.

Great work, John!

I really don’t see coming in second for the competition as a loss, though. Far from it. I blog because I love to share what I know. That’s really what blogging is all about. Every time I get the opportunity to publish some of the things I have learned in a subject I am passionate about (in this case, SEO), I’m a winner. It’s such a feel-good thing for me. As far as I am concerned, sharing amounts to taking the prize!

That’s what my blog, The Web Optimist, is all about. I certainly don’t make money with it. It’s just a place for me to share the tips and tricks I pick up along the way as an in-house SEO. I also manage, optimize, edit and write most of the content for The Eye Zone, the eyewear blog of FramesDirect.com, my employer, so I do a LOT of writing every week for it. Squeezing time in to write for my own blog (or something for Search Engine Journal if I think I’ve got something good), can sometimes be difficult. But, when I can, I love doing it.

So, we’re all winners here. Lots of great content and tips came out of this competition. The folks over at Search Engine Journal are the best!

Now, I think I’ll retire to the chaise lounge by the pool and console myself with the bright California sunshine, clear blue skies, gorgeous Palm Springs mountain views and a glass of White Merlot (or two).

Loser? Naw…

Importance of Diversity in SEO

Tip - Diversify content for searchI’ve discussed image and video optimization in my various S E O 101 posts and free eBooks, so I thought I’d point out some quick examples of how a variety of content can give you a kick start in search engines in this world of Universal Search.

Many of you know that I do search engine optimization for FramesDirect.com as well as manage and edit their blog, which is high on eyewear fashion, celebrity sunglasses and so forth. Our readers love to get scoops on who’s wearing what on TV and in films, so when the new Iron Man movie came out (great flick, by the way), we started getting questions about what sunglasses Robert Downey Jr. wore in certain scenes. In the opening scenes, Downey is wearing Ray Ban 3320 sun glasses, so I wrote a blog post on it appropriately titled Ray Ban 3320 Sun Glasses in Iron Man.

At the same time, I posted an image of those Ray Ban 3320 sun glasses on Flickr, complete with a title, description, tags and links back to the blog post and product page at FramesDirect.com. When you post an image at Flickr and include a title, tags and description, it’s like posting a web page which is spiderable and can be indexed by the search engines. The links are “nofollow” but the pages can still rank and bring you traffic.

Since Google drives the most search traffic, optimization tends to favor it, but we have all discovered that the different engine rankings can vary wildly. Including images, as well as videos, podcasts, etc., can help you rank across engines.

Below is a screen shot of a Yahoo search for “iron man sunglasses” where you will see the blog post ranking at the top as I write this. Cool!

Yahoo search for Iron Man sunglasses

In Google, the blog post doesn’t rank on the front page at all, but the Flickr image does at #7:

Google search for Iron Man sunglasses

See how important it is to diversify your content across the board? Granted, #7 isn’t as good as #1, but because the different engines have different algorithms, diversifying your content types across different media (text, images, videos, podcasts, etc.) you get ranking opportunities you would not otherwise have.

And, as a bonus (not shown), a Yahoo Answers question that I answered about what shades Downey wore in the movie came in at #8. Again, the links back to you in Yahoo Answers are nofollow, but they can still bring you traffic. More exposure! Even better if your answer is chosen as the best!

If you’re real lucky, you’ll get something like we got recently for a search in Google for one of our top selling products:

Google search for Sable Water Optics Goggles

Results #1 and #2 are pages from the FramesDirect.com web site, #3 is a video posted on YouTube featuring company CEO Dr. Dhavid Cooper, #4 is a New York Times article featuring the goggles and linking to us and #5 is the same video as #3 but posted to Metacafe.com.

So, be sure to cover your bases. My rule of thumb is that whenever I do a blog post, I take all of the elements of it and find search friendly places to do supplemental (but not duplicate) posts that can link back to it. These places include Flickr, Yahoo Answers, YouTube, Twitter and the FramesDirect.com Fan Page over at Facebook. This is by no means an all inclusive list, just a few places to get started.

Diversity is the key!

User Generated Content: What It Is, Why You Want It, How To Get It

User generated content for SEO
Good user generated content can be optimized to boost your search engine rankings.

User generated content is simply the comments, reviews and feedback left by visitors to your site.

So, why is it so important?

First, it’s free content for your site or blog. You didn’t have to write it or take the time to come up with the ideas.

Second, those impassioned contributors are actually free marketers for your site (so you want to nurture them and cultivate them!).

Third, it generates credibility and demonstrates the usefulness for your site. As SEOs tend to preach, content is king and the more good user generated content the search engines find, the better they consider the quality of your site.

Fourth, the search engines love it because it feeds them rather than competes with them. In other words, more content equals more crawling.

Fifth, it provides a longtail solution for keywords. No more keyword stuffing to try to catch the longtail!

Sixth, quality user generated content makes it easier to get link love.

Finally, did I mention it’s FREE?!

So, now that you’ve got an idea as to why you should be adding user generated content to your SEO toolkit (If you haven’t, you’re going to fall behind the pack fast, so get with it!), how do you go about optimizing your site to make the most of it? Continue reading