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初学者之一孔窥豹


发表时间:2013-11-27     发布人:     阅读:34545 次      (0)

摘要: 摘译自 http://blog.kissmetrics.com/seo-guide/。SEO和竞价排名具有很大的区别,二者不应该混淆。 你或者经常听说SEO,但...

SEO 初学者之一孔窥豹

摘译自 http://blog.kissmetrics.com/seo-guide/。SEO和竞价排名具有很大的区别,二者不应该混淆。

你或者经常听说SEO,但是如何在搜索引擎上排名更高?当我第一次听说时,它就如一个仅有少数人知道使用的巫术魔法。 实际上,SEO并不是一个高深的问题。一些权威人士认为需要花费几年时间研究才能掌握SEO,但我并不这样认为。当然,掌握微妙的差异需要花费很多时间,但掌握它的基本原理仅仅需几分钟。因此,我尝试在一篇文章中说把基本的东西都讲清楚。

无可否认,这是一个漫长的过程,但经过多年SEO的学习和幕后工作可以帮助公司获得第一的网页排名,这是 大多数营销人员错误地认为SEO仅仅是免费访问的根源。事实上,免费访问只是最终的结果,但这并不代表SEO是如何运作的。 SEO真正的目的是帮助人们找到他们所需要的东西,这样,你的网站上必须有和人们努力寻找的东西相匹配的内容。

例如:玛丽销售定制针织毛衣,她在博客上演示如何手工编织毛衣,并经常谈论她使用的几种不同的纱线。有关纱线关键词的竞争很少,而且玛丽在网站上写了大量和纱线有关的内容,她的网站在不久后由于各种不同的纱线获得头版排名。

你意识到了潜在的问题吗?人们大部分可能会亲自编织,而且没兴趣购买玛丽编织的毛衣。玛丽的网站虽然有较大的访问量,但这些访问量却没有转化为销售量,因为不同的浏览者有着不同的目的。

教训:如果你希望SEO能有助于你,你必须确保你的目标符合浏览者的目标。这并不单是访问量的问题,而是让你明白什么是你想要的,然后优化关键词吸引和你有同样目标的浏览者。

如何选择适当的关键词?很简单:研究。

研究:如何定位适当的关键词

研究确实是一个乏味冗长的,但却是定位适当关键词的不可或缺的部分。你定位的关键词必须:

具有较高的搜索量(人们搜索的关键词)

具有较低的竞争(更少的搜索返回结果数量意味更多的排名提升的机会)

与你的网站内容是否符合(关键词是和你的网站相关的)

帮助你定位适当的关键词的工具很多,最流行的是基于关键词的谷歌网络搜索工具。它基于实际的搜索显示搜索结果,如果你登陆到AdWords账户,它将提供一个为账户上的网站定制的关键字建议列表。 在你深入思考前,我们讨论一个决定关键词范围的重要概念。称之为“长尾巴”。

长尾巴

一个比较流行的说法是Chris Anderson提出的,长尾巴描述了一种大量低访问量关键词比一些高访问量关键词能吸引更多浏览者的现象。 例如,虽然亚马逊网站通过关键词“DVD”可能获得成百上千的访问量 ,但都是由于独特的DVD标题获得点击(如Dark Knight,Toy Story等)。它们中任何一个的访问量都比不上如DVD这种关键词的访问量。但是它们的容量比任何一个关键词都大得多。

如何运用长尾巴? 当把它们组合在一起形成一个长尾巴,它的访问量应该大致占所有访问量的80%。因此,在研究主题词时,不要仅关注于能获得高访问量的关键词,也要关注那些不太流行的关键词,并把它们纳入到你的整体战略中。

精心制作网站内容

确定了适当的关键词后,精心制作你的网站内容是非常重要的。 搜索引擎爬虫能自动抓取你的网站,浏览内容确定该网站的主题,然后确定影响每个网页排名的关键词。你可以优化关于某一关键词的内容来影响它们的决定。

爬虫可以很容易读取文本内容,然而却不能观看视频、查看图片或者听音频,尤其不能读取你正创建的内容。你必须描述这些视频、图片和音频使爬虫能理解并根据适当的主题词对你的网页进行排名。 使用一些怪异的词汇会使你的内容变得枯燥,并且,通常也不能将访问者转换成顾客。更好的方式是以人为本,把文章写得通俗易懂,然后为搜索引擎做一些优化,不要牺牲内容的说服力。

  • 标题----创建引人注目的标题能提高浏览者的兴趣,你只有一次机会给浏览者留下很好的第一印象。
  • 关键词----选择好的关键词能提高你网站的访问量,而且这些关键词是相关的。
  • 链接----链接一些能突出你的网站主题的高质量网站,它们能使更多的网站链接到你的网站。
  • 质量----尝试发布独特且高质量的内容,由于浏览在其他网站不能轻易找到这些内容,这使得浏览者光顾你的网站。
  • 新鲜度----如果你发布的内容不老套或者不过时,你还需要做的是定期添加新的内容。如果你没有时间在你的网站上添加内容,考虑在你的网站增加一个问答版块或博客。

最重要的是,你的网站中不要发布其他网站的内容。这将造成重复的内容,使你的网站处于不利的地位。

优化你的源码

搜索引擎爬虫不仅能读取网站的文本内容,还能读取网站的源码。 鉴于这种情况,你的源码中有8个不同部分需要优化。为了更好的说明,我将引用zeldman.com和stuffandnonsense.co.uk中的例子。这两个网站的设计者在网站标记上运用了不同的方法。

标题标签 你的网站的标题是放置于标题标签内的,为了更好的演示,这是zeldman.com中的一段源码:

<title>Jeffrey Zeldman Presents The Daily Report</title>

这段源码中,Zeldman以他的名字和网站的名字为重点。如果你想在搜索引擎中找到它,你可以搜索“Jeffrey Zeldman”或“the Daily Report”。 我们看看另一个网站:

<title>Fantastic web site design in Flintshire , North Wales from Stuff and Nonsense</title>

Stuffannonsense.co.uk运用了另一种不同的方法,通过把网站名字放在末尾指明网站的性质。你可以通过搜索“web design in Flintshire, North Wales”或者它的变体找到该网站。

底线:当编码你的标题标记时,确保关键词在标题中。为了进一步提升搜索引擎的结果,每个页面应该有一个独特的标题标签。

元标记

你应该主要关注的是“元描述标记”,它对搜索引擎排名影响不大,但它告诉浏览者你的网站性质,并很大程度影响着浏览者是否点击你的网站。让我们看一些例子:

<meta name=“description”content=“Web design insights since 1995. Personal site of Jeffrey Zeldman , publish of A List Apart Magazine, founder of Happy Cog Studios, co-founder of The Web Standards Project, co-founder of the Event Apart design conference, author of Designing With Web Standards.”/> <meta name=“description”content=“Lookig for fantastic web site design in North Wales? Stuff and Nonsense are world renowned web designers based in North Wales.”/>

你能指出Zeldman.com和stuffandnonsense.co.uk强调的关键词吗? 在Zeldman的其他项目中全面提及了Zeldman。如果你用谷歌搜索“Zeldman”,zeldman.com将出现在返回结果的第一个位 置,Happy Cog和一个网址列表都将出现在返回结果中。如果你对多个网站感兴趣,你可能会采取Zeldman的方法并且用元描述标记强调它们。

强调那些游客谁应该访问他们的网站类型简直是胡扯。问一个问题:“North Wales有奇妙的网站设计吗?” ,他们清楚地明白这个网站是为搜索网页设计方法的人们建立的。 如果你是这些人之一,它对你来说可能与众不同。

当创建元标签描述时,请确保你的关键字在描述中并使用完整的句子。描述不要太长,否则是有可能会切断。 如果可能的话,可以尝试每个页面一个独特的元标签描述。

标题

这些标题类似于一本书的标题,但有一个特定的顺序。H1、H2、H3、H4等等,一个页面中起始位置的H1为主标题。 其余标题代码处于网站较低的水平层次上。 例如:

<h1>How to Optimize Your Business for Search Engines</h1>
<h2>The ABCs of SEO</h2>
<h3>Research</h3>

注意该模式, 内容越具体,标题数量就越多。 一般来说,每一页面应该只有一个H1标签,根据需要可以有多个h2、h3和h4标签。 此外,请确保标题包含关键字并且和你的网站内容相关。

站点地图

站点地图是搜索引擎的路线图,它给爬虫指明能确保抓取你的网站中每个不同页面的方向。 可以创建两种类型的站点地图:HTML站点地图和XML站点地图。主要的区别在于XML站点地图是专门为搜索引擎读取而编码的,而HTML站点地图易于人们阅读。你可以链接到他们,让浏览者了解所访问网站的概括。 如果你的网站少于100个页面,你应该在站点地图中把每一个页面链接起来。如果你的网站有上千个的网页甚至更多,仅链接那些最重要的页面。

另一方面,XML站点地图包含你的网站的所有页面,即使你的网站超过100万个页面。 你可以使用网站地图创建工具,如“XML站点地图创建者”自动创建你的站点地图。 一旦创建好XML站点地图,然后将其提交给谷歌网站管理中心和Bing,使得大多数搜索引擎可以抓取和索引你的网站。

域名

包含关键词的域名排名远远高于不包含关键词的域名排名,完全匹配的域名排名更高。 但也存在着成本:完全匹配域并不是完美的。许多公司使用虚构词构建域名,是因为你可以围绕它建立一个品牌。哪个更好呢? 如果你的访问量纯粹来自搜索引擎,使用一个完全匹配的域名可能是明智的决定。例如Diamonds.com和Hotels.com的排名较高,因为它们的域名包含丰富的关键字。

如果SEO仅仅是你战略的一小部分,然而,并不是所有的事情都是绝对的。十年前,没有人搜索“谷歌”,但现在它是一个巨大的品牌。Zappos网站和Zillow网站也存在同样的情况。

URL 结构

URL 是SEO中另一个很重要但经常被忽视的部分。 如果你的URL很混乱,搜索引擎将难以抓取它们,如果搜索引擎不能抓取URL,将无法对你的网站进行索引,这意味着你的网站无法在搜索引擎上进行排名。 牢记以下几点,使你的URL和搜索引擎更加契合:

  • URL不应该包含不相干的字符。(如$ @ ! * % = ?)
  • 较短的URL比较长的URL更有利于网站的排名。
  • 数字跟字母只能用于URL中。
  • 不要使用下标线,最好使用破折号。
  • 子域名比子目录更有利于网站的排名。

地址结构

  • 链接网页的方式对你的网站排名有着重要的影响,这里有一些交叉链接你的网站的技巧:
  • 包含内容的链接往往会比在侧栏或页脚的链接更有影响。
  • 尽量保持每个网页的链接数量不超过100。
  • 不跟进不相关的链接。

其他SEO也考虑了不跟进内部链接这个问题,例如他们的服务条款,但PageRank sculpt已解决不了这个问题。拦截这些页面的最好方法是将它排除在你的robot.txt文件之外。

ALT标签

若能让搜索引擎爬虫正确地索引图像,alt标签需要添加到每个图像中以提供简要的描述。例如,一个“蓝色小部件”的图像,它告诉搜索引擎这个图像是使用alt标签的蓝色小部件,alt标签类似于:

<img src=“http://quicksprout.com/images/bluewidget.jpg” alt=“blue widget”/>

此外,确保图像名称和图像相匹配,蓝色小部件图像可以命名为bluewidget.jpg,而不是image3.jpg。

链接

链接也许是SEO最重要的部分,越多的网站链接到你的网站,你的网站排名越高。 链接在SEO中很重要的原因在于任何人都可以很容易地研究它、修改或者创建内容,但是让成百上千的网站链接到你的网站也是不容易的。对搜索引擎来说,非垃圾邮件网站链接到你的网站,在主题上你拥有的权威越多,你的网站越值得信赖。 在学习如何建立链接之前,还有一些事情是你必须了解的。一般来说有:

  • 包含内容的链接比在工具栏或页脚中的链接有效。
  • 相关网站的链接比非相关网站的链接更好。
  • 锚文本在创建链接时起着重要的作用,如果你想对“蓝色小部件”进行排名,你希望链接的锚文本是“蓝色小部件”。 还有一些事情是需要避免的:
  • 垃圾邮件或不相关网站中的链接。
  • 网站中的大量链接对我们的不利影响可能超过有利影响。
  • 如果链接中包含丰富的锚文本,这也将带来不利的影响。
  • 交叉链接也不太有效。
  • 如果搜索引擎发现你购买链接,你就会被它关禁闭。

有如下方式可以增加你的链接点击率:

  • 社会媒体:链接到像Digg或StumbleUpon这种社会媒体带来的不只是超大的访问量,能见度的增长同样可以提高你的点击率
  • 目录——网络上有很多目录站点。花一些时间把你的站点提交给那些欣赏它的站点。
  • 顶级100——如果你想对一个特定的关键字排名,你所能得到的最好的链接是已经在世界百强搜索关键字结果中的网站。当然,有些网站可能是你的竞争对手,他们不会链接到你的网站,但不是每个人都是你的竞争对手,你总能找到一个不错的网站并发电子邮件给他们 ,让他们联系你。
  • 论坛——许多论坛允许注册,并且可以链接到你的网站。只要这些链接不是非法的,都将提升你的网站排名。
  • 竞争——获取链接的最简单的方法就是查看链接到你竞争对手的网站并且写邮件告诉它们你的网站的优势。粗略估计,给5%的网站发邮件就能增加你的网站的链接率。
  • 过期链接——网络上有数以万计的链接,所以预计有很大一部分链接过期。很多与过期网站的链接仍然是有效的。如果你发邮件给那些网站提醒他们链接过期了并且你的网站内容与链接网站的内容相似,那么这是一个将你的网站取代那些过期链接的好机会。

结论 如果你能实现以上所有建议,那么你的访问量就会增加。 耐心一点。搜索引擎更新记录需要花费很多时间,因为它要抓取数十亿的网站。

另外,搜索引擎还将判断哪些是适合你的网站。适合A网站的不一定适合B网站,没有捷径可走。如果你太急于求成地做任何事,最终你将会被逮住并受到处罚,这一点都不值得了 。

有更好的办法吗?

  1.  推断人们寻找什么。
  2. 创造一个可以提供这些给他们的网站。
  3.  优化搜索引擎让人们搜索到你的网站。

这不仅仅是智能的SEO应该做的事情,也是搜索引擎想要你做的事情。 最终,它们的目标是让每一个针对给定主题的最好的网站排名靠前。所以如果你努力创造最好的网站,并有效地提升它们,它们的排名最终会赶上来。 牢记上述要点,这是一项艰苦而耗时的工作。如果你能坚持就肯定会取得成效。

 

 

SEO: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners

 

SEO.

You hear the term all the time, but how do you actually rank higher in the search engines? I know when I first heard the term, it sounded like some voodoo magic that only a fewSEO Guide people understood how to use.

The reality is, SEO isn’t rocket science. Some gurus would have you believe it takes years of dedicated study to understand it, but I don’t think that’s true. Sure, mastering the subtle nuances takes time, but the truth is that you can learn the fundamentals in just a few minutes.

So, I got to thinking, "Why don’t I lay out the basics, all in one post?"

It’s a long one, to be sure, but after years of studying SEO and working behind the scenes to help companies get first page rankings, I’m convinced this is all you need to know. If you are looking to boost your traffic so that you can increase your sales, just follow these basic guidelines.

The Traffic Trap (and How SEO Really Works)

Lots of marketers make the mistake of seeing SEO only as a source of free traffic. It’s true, free traffic is the end result, but it’s not how SEO works.

The real purpose of SEO is to help people who are looking for you find you. To do that, you have to match the content on your website to what people are trying to find.

For example:

Mary sells custom knitted sweaters. On her blog, she shows how she makes the sweaters by hand, often talking about the different yarns she uses. There’s not much competition for keywords relating to yarn, and Mary is publishing lots of great content about it, so before long, she has front page rankings for several different types of yarn.

Do you see the potential problem?

The people searching for yarn most likely knit themselves, and it’s unlikely they’ll be interested in purchasing Mary’s sweaters. She’ll get lots of traffic, sure, but none of the traffic will convert, because the visitors have completely different goals.

The lesson here: if you want SEO to work for you, you need to make sure your goals match the goals of your visitors. It’s not about traffic. It’s about figuring out what you want, and then optimizing for keywords that bring in visitors who want the same things.

How do you discover what those keywords are?

Simple: research.

Research: How to Find the Right Keywords

Sure, research is a little tedious, but it’s an indispensable part of finding the right keywords. You want to uncover keywords that:

Have a high search volume (people are looking for the keywords)

Have low competition (smaller amount of results will mean your chances of ranking higher improve)

Are supported by your content (the keywords are relevant to your site).

There are lots of tools to aid you in finding the right keywords, the most popular being Google’s Search-Based Keyword Tool. It provides results based on actual Google searches, and if you are logged into an AdWords account, it will also give you a list of keyword ideas customized to the site on the account.

Before you get too far though, let’s discuss an important concept for deciding how broad or narrow you want your keywords to be. It’s called, "The Long Tail."

The Long Tail

Popularized by Chris Anderson, the Long Tail describes a phenomenon where lots of low traffic keywords can collectively send you more visitors than a few high-traffic keywords.

For example, although Amazon may get thousands of visits from the keyword “DVD,” they get millions of visits from all of the individual DVD titles (i.e., Dark Knight, Toy Story, etc.). Individually, none of those titles get anywhere close to the traffic of a term like, "DVD," but collectively, their volume is a lot larger than any one keyword.

How does the long tail apply to you?

When you combine them all, your long tail (unpopular) keywords should make up roughly 80% of your traffic. So, when you’re researching keywords, don’t just focus on the ones getting massive amounts of traffic. Take note of some of the less popular ones too, and then incorporate them into your overall strategy.

Crafting Your Content

After you pick the right keywords, it’s important to start crafting your content.

Search engines have bots that automatically crawl your website, "reading" it to find out what it’s about and then deciding which keywords each of your pages should rank for. You can influence their "decisions" by strategically optimizing your content for certain keywords.

This is especially true if you’re creating content bots can’t read. It’s easy for bots to interpret text, but they aren’t advanced enough yet to watch videos, look at images, or listen to audio. You’ll need to describe them, so they bot can understand and rank your pages for the appropriate keywords.

One quick word of warning, though.

Writing solely for search engines usually makes your content boring, and typically, that won’t help convert your visitors into customers. It’s far better to focus on people first, making your content as easy as possible, and then optimize for search engine bots where you can, without sacrificing the persuasiveness of your content.

Pay attention to:

  • Titles – Create eye-catching titles that raise the reader’s interest. You only have one chance to make a great first impression.
  • Keywords – Pick keywords that will help bring people to your site and are relevant.
  • Links – Link to quality sites that compliment what your website is about. It’ll encourage sites in your niche to link to you as well.
  • Quality - Try to publish unique and quality content. This prompts users to come to your site because they cannot easily find the content elsewhere.
  • Freshness – If you are publishing content that does not age or become outdated, that’s great, but you also need to add new content on a regular basis. If you don’t have the time to add content to your website, consider adding a question and answer section or a blog to your website.

And most importantly, do not publish someone else’s content on your site. This creates duplicate content, and search engines can penalize you for it.

Optimizing Your Code

Search engine bots don’t just read your website’s text. They also read your website’s code.

With that in mind, there are eight different sections of your code you need to optimize. To help demonstrate these points, I am going to use examples from zeldman.com and stuffandnonsense.co.uk, two popular web designers that take different approaches in their site markup.

Title Tags

Title tags encase the title of your site. To demonstrate, this is the code from zeldman.com:

<title> Jeffrey Zeldman Presents The Daily Report</title>

Here, Zeldman puts the emphasis on his name and the name of the site. If you wanted to find it in the search engines, you would probably search for, "Jeffrey Zeldman" or "the Daily Report."

Let’s take a look at the other site:

<title>Fantastic web site design in Flintshire, North Wales from Stuff and Nonsense</title>

Stuffannonsense.co.uk took a different approach. By putting the site name at the end, they emphasize what the website is about. You’d most likely find them by searching for, "web design in Flintshire, North Wales," or a variation thereof.

The bottom line: when coding your title tags, make sure keywords are in the title. To further maximize search engine results, each page should have a unique title tag.

Meta Tags

The main meta tag you should be concerned with is called the, "meta description tag." It doesn’t have much of an impact on your search engine ranking, but it tells visitors what your site is about, so it can have a big impact on whether they decide to click through or not.

Let’s take a look at some examples:

<meta name="description" content="Web design insights since 1995. Personal site of Jeffrey Zeldman, publisher of A List Apart Magazine, founder of Happy Cog Studios, co-founder of The Web Standards Project, co-founder of the Event Apart design conference, author of Designing With Web Standards." />

<meta name="description" content="Looking for fantastic web site design in North Wales? Stuff and Nonsense are world renowned web designers based in North Wales." />

Can you spot the keywords Zeldman.com and stuffandnonsense.co.uk emphasize?

Zeldman was very thorough by mentioning his other projects. If you do a Google search for "Zeldman," zeldman.com comes up first. Happy Cog and A List Apart also show up. If you have multiple online interests, you might want to take Zeldman’s approach and keyword them in the description meta tag.

Stuff and Nonsense emphasizes the type of visitor who should visit their site. By asking the question, "Looking for fantastic website design in North Wales?" they make it crystal clear that it’s a site built for people looking for web design. If you’re one of those people, it would probably stand out to you.

When creating meta tag descriptions, make sure your keywords are in your description, using full sentences. Don’t make the description too long, though, or it might get cut off. If possible, also try to make each page have a unique meta description.

Headings

These are very similar to headings in a book, but these come in a specific order. H1, H2, H3, H4, and so on, with H1 starting the page as the main heading. The remaining heading codes descend to lower level headings on the site.

For example:

<h1>How to Optimize Your Business for Search Engines</h1>

<h2>The ABCs of SEO</h2>

<h3>Research</h3>

Note the pattern. The more specific your content becomes, the higher the number of the heading.

Generally, there should only be one H1 tag on each page, and you can have as many h2s, h3s, and h4s as needed. Also, make sure your headings contain keywords and are relevant to the content on your website.

Sitemaps

Sitemaps are like a roadmap for search engines. They give bots directions to all of the different pages on your website, making sure they find everything.

There are two types of sitemaps you can create: HTML sitemaps and XML sitemaps. The main difference is XML sitemaps are coded specifically for search engines to read, while HTML sitemaps are easy for people to read too. You can link to them, giving the visitor an overview of everywhere they go.

If you have less than a few hundred pages, you should place a link to each page in your HTML sitemap. If your web site has a few thousand pages or more, just link to the most important pages.

XML sitemaps, on the other hand, contain every page of your web site, even if your web site has a million pages. You can use tools like the XML Sitemap Creator to automatically create a sitemap for you. Once your XML sitemap is created, you then want to submit it to Google Webmaster Central and Bing so that the major search engines can crawl and index your web site.

Domain Name

Domain names that contain keywords within them rank a lot higher than domains without keywords. Exact match domain names rank even higher.

But there’s a cost: exact match domains aren’t very unique. The reason why you see many companies use made-up words for their domain name is you can build a brand around it, instead of fighting the existing meaning.

Which is better?

It depends.

If your traffic comes purely from search engines, then using an exact match domain name may be a smart decision for you. For example Diamonds.com and Hotels.com will always rank well for “diamonds” and “hotels” because their domain name is keyword rich.

If SEO is only a small part of your strategy, however, go with something more unique. A decade ago, no one was searching for "Google," but now it’s a huge brand. The same goes for sites like Zappos and Zillow.

URL Structure

URLs are another important but often overlooked part of SEO.

If your URLs are messy, search engines will have a hard time crawling them, and if search engines have a hard time crawling them, they will not be able to index your site, which means you will not rank in the search engines.

Keep these factors in mind to make your URLs more search engine friendly:

  • URLs should not contain extraneous characters ( $ @ ! * % = ? )
  • Shorter URLS typically rank better than longer ones
  • Numbers and letters should only be used in URLs.
  • Do not use underscores. Search engines prefer dashes.
  • Sub-domains can rank better than sub directories.

Site Structure

The way you link web pages together will make a big impact on your rankings. Here are some tips when cross-linking your web site:

  • Links within your content tend to carry more weight than links within a sidebar or footer.
  • Try to keep the number of links on each page under 100.
  • No-follow outgoing links that are not relevant (do not have quality content). For example, links to a Feedburner page.

Other SEOs also talk about no-following internal links, such as to their terms of service, but pagerank sculpting does not work anymore. If you want to block pages such as your terms of service, the best way to do this is to exclude it in your robots.txt file.

Alt Tags

For search engine bots to properly index images, alt tags need to be added to each image, adding a brief description. For example, if there was an image of a “blue widget”, I would tell the search engine that the image is a blue widget by using an alt tag. It would look something like this:

<img src=”http://quicksprout.com/images/bluewidget.jpg” alt=“blue widget” />

In addition, make sure your image names are relevant to the image. The picture of the blue widget would be called bluewidget.jpg instead of image3.jpg.

Links

Links are maybe the most important part of SEO. The more web sites that link to your web site, the higher your web pages will rank.

The reason links have a high value in SEO is that it is easy for anyone to do research, modify their content, or create content, but is hard to convince hundreds or thousands of web sites to link to you. In the eyes of a search engine, the more trustworthy, non-spammy sites are linking to you, the more authority you must have on the topic.

Before we get into how to build links, here are some things you need to know. In general:

  • Links within content are more effective than links in a sidebar or footer
  • Links from related sites are better than links from non-relevant sites
  • Anchor text plays the most important role in link building. If you want to rank for “blue widget” then you want the anchor text of the link to be “blue widget”.

Here are some things to avoid:

  • Links from spammy or irrelevant sites.
  • Site wide links can hurt more than they may help.
  • If all of your links are rich in anchor text, it can hurt you.
  • Reciprocal links (I link to you and you link to me) are not too effective.
  • If you buy text links and get caught, you can get banned from a search engine.

Here are a few ways you can increase your link count:

  • Social media – getting on sites like Digg or StumbleUpon don’t just drive a ton of traffic. The increase in visibility also improves your chances of getting linked to.
  • Directories – There are many directories on the web. Take the time to submit your web site to the ones that compliment your content.
  • The top 100 – If you want to rank for a specific keyword, the best links you can get are from sites that already rank in the top 100 search results for that keyword. Granted, some of the sites that rank for the term you are trying to rank for are your competitors, so they will not link to you, but some will not be your competition and you can always shoot them a nice email asking them to link to you.
  • Forums – Many forums allow you to create signatures, in which you can link back to your web site. As long as those links are not no-followed, they will help with your rankings.
  • Competition – The easiest way to get links is to see who links to your competition and write them an email telling them the benefits of your web site compared to your competition. Roughly, 5% of the web sites you email will also add your link.
  • Dead links – There are billions of links on the web, so expect a good portion of those links to die over time. Web sites go down and many of the links pointing to that web site are still active. If you email those web sites informing them of the dead link, and that your content is similar, there is a good chance they will replace the dead link to one going to your website.

Conclusion

If you implement all of the advice here, your traffic from search engines will increase.

Just be patient. It takes time for search engines to update their records, as they have to crawl billions of websites.

Also, note that it will take time to figure out what works for your site. What works for site A might not work for site B. There aren’t any shortcuts. If you do anything shady to speed things up, eventually you will get caught and punished. It’s never worth it.

A better approach?

  1. Figure out what people are looking for
  2. Create a site that gives it to them
  3. 3. Optimize for search engines, so they help people find you

It’s not just smart SEO. It’s what search engines want you to do.

Ultimately, their goal is to have the best websites for every given topic show up at the top. So if you work hard to create the best website, and then promote it effectively, eventually they will catch up.

Just keep the above points in mind to help guide you. It takes time, and it’s a lot of hard work, but if you stick with it, it does pay off.

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