Getting A ‘B’ In SEO


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harryhuxford | Monday, September 13th, 2010

Filed under: SEO Tips & Advice

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Coming into the fall months makes me think about my college years and I can’t help but put on my collegiate cap once again. In the same vein as my post “How To Get A ‘B’ In PPC SEM”, I will now outline the criteria that I feel will earn a web marketer a ‘B’ in SEO.

Proper URL Structure
‘C’ students often neglect to give their URLs meaningful names. ‘B’ students ensure URLs are easily understood by humans and search engines alike for the highest ranking possible and avoid using random characters in URL strings.

‘C’ student URL: Myplants.com/34892/r0lp.html
‘B’ student URL: Myplants.com/flower-growing/watering-tips-for-indoor-flowers.html

‘B’ students often take the title of a page and make it the URL string. They forge page titles that are keyword-rich and consist of flowing and engaging copy, appealing to both search engine crawlers and users.

Ease Of Travel Between Webpages

A website optimized by a ‘B’ student is easy to traverse and often includes a site map to help users and search engine crawlers find their way around. One way I grade a website is by how many times I have to click the ‘back’ button to travel between individual pages. Websites optimized by ‘B’ students rarely cause me to click the ‘back’ button as they make it easy to jump between ‘child’ pages instead of forcing me to click back to ‘parent’ directories like I do at ‘C’ student websites.

Content Written For Humans, Not Search Engine Bots
Nothing makes me leave a site faster than mundane content that’s obviously catered to bots and crawlers. ‘B’ students understand this and provide quality content that answers my questions and fulfills my needs. While all website owners may monetize their websites with ads, ‘C’ students do not back up these ads with quality content and fail to understand that when I click an organic search result, I do not visit that site with the primary intention of clicking ads. I clicked the organic result because I thought it could provide me with the info I wanted. ‘C’ student websites often have higher bounce rates as a result.

‘B’ students know how to integrate SEO targeted keywords right in the middle of flowing web copy. Some good examples can be found in this post, “3 Cool Ways To Integrate SEO Keywords Into Web Copy”.

Trustworthiness
‘B’ students of SEO make their site trustworthy to people. This includes having ‘contact us’ and ‘about us’ pages as well as making an email address or telephone number visible on all pages. A ‘C’ student’s website often does not include any form of contact method and is devoid of evidence that a human put time and effort into the website.

‘B’ students also build trust by letting me know their websites have been around a long time with frequent, consistent updates. ‘C’ students’ websites are not updated as frequently and suggest that the site owner does not put enough stock into the website. And if the site owner looks like he doesn’t care, then why should I care as a guest?

Quality Outbound Links
‘B’ students ensure that all outbound links are relevant to their niche. Link relevancy is appreciated by both search engines and users. Search engines penalize websites that have irrelevant outbound links just for the sake of having outbound links. Users appreciate outbound links that are relevant as these links really say “if you need any further info, here is an introduction to a website that has quality resources to help you.” Having quality outbound links saves me from going back to Google and searching again. It’s more efficient for me to follow the links of a website I trust.

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Proper Tagging
‘B’ students use the appropriate tags on their sites. They use meta tags to quickly tell search engines and bots what their sites are about and they understand that new innovations in search call for the use of more tags. Google, for instance, supports video and image search so ‘B’ students ensure the images and videos on their sites have tags that are populated with keywords. ‘C’ students often neglect tagging for image and video search engines and their sites do not get the most traffic possible.

Moreover, proper tagging can also be done on file names themselves. ‘C’ students upload an image of a surfer to their site called “DSC102394.jpg” and leave it like that. ‘B’ students rename the file to include keywords such as “surfing-in-maui-hawaii.jpg” and enjoy more clicks and traffic from the image.

Professors Of SEO
What else earns a web marketer a ‘B’ in SEO? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments! And please feel free to contact us if you would like a free consultation about your online marketing efforts!

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