SEO

M-Design Studio

Search engine optimization /SEO/ is a set of measures and techniques that shall be applied to a website with the main purpose of ranking it as far as possible in front of the search engine keyword result (usually made by Google). 
E.g., when you ‘re searching in Google by keywords 'web site development Stara Zagora' and 'web design Stara Zagora', the present website is ranked on top of the search engine results.

Optimization is a continuous process that must start along with the initial steps of a website design in order to provide the best possible results.

Optimization should not be done for once because the website content is continuously updated, and the search engine algorithms change also.

To understand how to make good SEO, you need to know how search engines work. What are the mechanisms and algorithms for a website ranking?

The first step of optimization is the choice of keywords on the webpage (for example, about the present website I chose 'web site development Stara Zagora', 'Stara Zagora web design' and 'SEO search engine optimization Stara Zagora', and tried to use them as much as possible to improve the keywords density in this website. The keyword density can be fixed by dividing the number of keywords in the number of all words on a webpage. The size content and the keywords order are important for the search engines.

To maintain a high keywords density, while you’re increasing the content, it is often necessary to repeat more times the same words, without using synonyms, even sometimes the content does not appear to be well written. Remember, that links and images must contain the combination of keywords you have chosen.

META TAGS

  • Use different keywords in different pages.
  • Use google adwords to learn which are the best keywords for your website.
  • Choose relevant keywords (the strongest are not always the best).
  • Use up to 255 characters for a keyword (do not use more to prevent entry in the blacklist).
  • Avoid using of spaces in keyword and separate words only with commas (to save symbols).
  • Avoid using of minor words (short words of 2-3 characters).
  • Sort the keywords from strongest to weakest.
  • Use keywords in the title.
  • Use unique titles for different pages.
  • Write unique descriptions for different pages.
  • Use up to 255 characters for the description.
  • Put keywords in the description.
  • The titles and descriptions should be well-written and easy-sold.
  • Enter the name of the website designer (or the owner of the company) to make the website easily accessible by those who know the designer /owner/.
  • Use "robots" tag (it manages the indexing by the search engines).

LINKS

  • Create links between pages (in order to manage your website easily).
  • Put keywords in the titles of the links.
  • The anchor text should contain keywords (avoid using of "click here" as anchor text).
  • Use different keywords or phrases for different links.
  • Use named links to have more links and make the page easy to manage.
  • Avoid rotten links.
  • Do not overdo it because your website could be considered as "spamming" (if there are too many links, your website can enter into blacklists).
  • Exchange links with patners.
  • Avoid creating of a "website family" and to exchange links between these websites only (the search engine can recognize that these links are exchanged only in a group); create links to other sites (of course, avoid competitors’ ones).
  • Connect your website to major websites (high ranked ones).
  • Create external links as much as possible.
  • The external links should be opened in a new window.

PAGE CONTENT

  • The content must be essential (give to users what they expect to read and avoid off-topic ).
  • The content must be interesting (offer some new content).
  • The content should be well written (avoid grammatical errors and make it easy-to-read).
  • The content must be updated (each time when the page is indexed you must show different content to search engines and to users also).
  • The content must be visible (hiding of keywords by using too small print or letters color which is identical with the background is considered as spam (the website might be entered in the blacklist).
  • Avoid to highly optimized more than one page.
  • Provide news through RSS.
  • Use "strong" font style instead of "bold ".
  • Use "em" font style instead of "italic ".
  • Use keywords in "strong", "em" and "underlined" to make them stronger.
  • Avoid using of javaScript where possible (a menu created with CSS styles is more appropriate for search engine optimization).
  • Avoid putting content in ASP or PHP code when possible (dynamic content should not be indexed by Google).
  • Avoid using of frames (their content will not be indexed).
  • Validate HTML.
  • Validate CSS.
  • Achieve keyword density.
  • Use lists when possible.
  • Use the "th" instead of "td" for table titles.
  • Use "googleon" and "googleoff" to hide a part of the document from Google.

IMAGES

  • Put keywords in the ‘alt’ field of ‘img’ (there must be a description of the image, not a list of spam keywords).
  • Put keywords in the picture title.
  • Use unique keywords for different images.
  • Use ‘gif’ format instead of ‘jpg’ where possible (e.g. logos).
  • Avoid using of very large images.
  • Images mustn't be too heavy (reduce quality when it is not necessary).
  • Change the image size manually instead by using ‘html’.
  • Specify the exact image size in the code, even if the image size needs no change.
  • Use images as links.

TITLES

  • Put keywords in the titles.
  • Use different titles according to the importance of their content (style can be changed in CSS).
  • Put the most powerful keywords in h1, the weakest in the h6 (where possible).
  • Avoid misuse of titles (if the entire page content is written in h1, it will be inserted into the blacklist).
  • The use of titles as links makes the keywords in the anchor text more powerful.

Do not forget to add:

  • Google adsense in your website.
  • Indication on wrong page.
  • Robots.txt file in the root folder (it enable and disables certain robots of search engines to access specific areas of your website).
  • Site map.

About the URLs of your pages

  • Choose a good domain (containing the keywords and easy to remember).
  • The names of the folders, pages and images must contain keywords.
  • Separate the keywords from the file name with dashes or underscore in order to be recognized by the search engines.
  • Avoid dynamic URLs.
  • Avoid to rename files and folders (the indexed pages will lose its rank).
  • Redirect pages, if necessary.

Periodically check up

  • the rank of your website by different searches and search engines
  • the rank of individual pages
  • "the Alexa Rank" (use "Alexa toolbar")
  • Google Analytics.

Be aware

  • The algorithms of the search engines change frequently.
  • Your website can be rejected in search made by geographical areas; so, locate it where you want to be found.
  • Your website can be rejected in search made by certain type of languages.
  • Each time when an user goes to your site and clicks "back", it increases the bounce-rate of your website (it is not good for SEO). Therefore, make it so to retain users longer on your website (half a minute at least) and do not click "back" too quickly when you visit your own website, of course.
  • Search engines optimization is a continuous process, it must not be done only once.

Why is important to make search engine optimization of your website?

What can you do to make it useful for users, visible for search engines and efficient for yourself?

Nowadays, everyone is supplied with requested information by Internet. Each month search engines as Google, Yahoo and certain others process millions of unique searches. If consumers are looking for a product or service, it is very likely to make the next step - the purchase. If they fall across your website looking for a product that certainly increases the chance to buy from you.

Therefore, it is very important that your website is better ranked in the search engine results then your competitors’ ones. All measures taken for this we call website SEO optimization, or search engine optimization.

Optimization, in general, can be classified in two types:

On-page
All those things that must be done first in the website design process by the professional web designer, and secondly, by yourself when you prepare and update the website content.

Off-page
These are actions which are not made directly to your site. They mainly include the creation of links from other websites to your one. It can be done by you when you make online comments on websites such Internet directories, specialized websites, professional organizations, social networks, or by other publishers who appreciate your content as useful and wilfully create a link to it or cite it.

To be clear what measures must be taken for your website optimization, you need to know: How do search engines work?

In general, they do three actions:

Crawling
Probably you have heard of so called 'Spiders' of the search engines as Google, Yahoo and others which main task is to crawl websites and discover content. These, in fact, are computer programs that seek information on the web pages, 'read' it and continue their search by following links from page to page.
Periodically 'Spiders' return to already crawled pages to make monitoring of any changes. The amount of changes is one of the criteria for the search engines ranking. If for any reason 'Spider' can not 'see' or 'read' your content, search engines can not 'index' and rank it.
What might be the reasons?

  • Too long addresses with inappropriate characters /for some search engines/.
  • Text content delivered to website readers as an image. Search engines can not read a text in an image. Information presented by images may probably make your website more beautiful, but not suitable for search engines.
  • Java script used for navigation, and many others.

Indexing
'Spiders' not only find content, they store it in databases. This is called 'indexing'. The purpose of each spider is to keep every bit of content in order to be provided subsequently to those who are seeking information. The most important task of the search engines is to consider how far is the indexed content relevant to different keywords used by users to do their search in Internet.

Ranking
And the most important and critical part of the search engine work is the decision making about the order in which the indexed websites will be shown as a result of a keywords search. Aiming this, the search engines use sophisticated algorithms which generally are not exactly well-known. 
They are not public but they are constantly improving and changing in order to deliver to users the most appropriate information.

What are the most important steps in website optimization?

SEO basic measures

What are the main factors that influence the websites ranking?

1. Good content
This is the most important factor. You must make sufficient efforts for it. Your website can be perfectly developed from a technical point of view but visitors are looking for correct, up-to-date, and interesting information. If your content meets this, they will return again. If it's sufficiently valuable, they will make a link from their own websites to your one. The more inbound links you have, the more briefly the PageRank (PR) increases and your website is ranked forward in the search results’ listing. It’s better if links come from websites with higher PR.

The content updating and the permanently publication of news are very important part of the website maintenance. Otherwise, you will lose very quickly the interest of users.

Currently, the number of so called “dead” websites in the network is bigger than the operating ones. 

The worst advertising is a website offering outdated, incorrect, and inaccurate information. Leaving your website without regular maintenance means two things: 1.You spilled out the money you have paid for its design. 2. Your website will not help your business. In fact, it will prevent!

Continuous updating of content will give rise not only to visitors to return again to your website, but to the search engines also. The more often search engine spiders crawl your website, the faster they will index your new content. Definitely, this is a plus.

Remember: Do always check your spelling. Spelling mistakes makes a bad impression. You cannot convince potential customers that your products or services are perfect, if your Internet performance is mediocre.

2. Content titles
Write sufficiently relevant and attractive titles!

Make sure they are descriptive enough to attract visitors and to help search engines to 'understand' what is happening in your articles. Remember also that these titles are used as links to your website by the search engines. Therefore, the content titles are one of the most important elements of optimization.

3. Use text links 
Use text links instead of images for your website navigation

Search engines do not understand texts inserted inside an image. It’s better to use the h1- h6 (header tags) for your titles. You should also know that some Flash techniques are not correctly interpreted by the search engines.

4. Make your URL address suitable for the search engines
http://www.name.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4&Itemid=7
http://www.name.com/category2/product5.html

Why is it that? Because some search engine robots can stop until the question mark and not 'read' on your address. 
Even if your website design includes addresses generated by a dynamic principle, it is possible to preforms them to the recommended type. Sometimes, it’s difficult but it worths the efforts. Experience shows it.

5. Provide links
The most natural way is to create good content which people want to share.

It is particularly important for an Internet website to have a large quantity of valuable links from other websites. The main principle of Google to set the PageRank of a website is based on the quantity and the quality of the directed links.

Presumably, if more people link to your website, your content becomes more valuable and your website gets higher PR.

6. Add your website to web directories
Although this action is often overrated, it can be useful to add your website to directories and search engines. This is especially important for the new websites. Do not use doubtful SEO methods such as cloaking, farm links and other which may lead to temporary positive results in your page ranking. You take the risk that your website could be ignored by the search engines.

7. Avoid frame structure (Frames)
If your website has such a structure, when a visitor hits on your content as a search result, he can see only the specific framework and cannot see the rest of the website navigation.

Check how visible is your website with different browsers

Do not waste your time with Meta Tags

Мost search engines do not attach significance to content with meta tags because it’s often used by spammers. Use meta descriptions, if necessary.

8. links structure inside your website
The search engines robots must have real access to any content. Note that robots cannot see links created through JavaScript. It is also important to make sure that each content is linked to one other page, at least. It is not recommended to have 'outstanding content'.

Appropriate methods for link creation are the following:

  • The word or the phrase you link must contain the keywords which you want to optimize your website by.
  • Do not always use the same word, diversify the phrases.
  • When you create a link from an image, use the ‘alt’ attribute in order to make the link recognizable by robots.
  • The titles of the articles must contain the keywords and the key phrases of your website. It is important that they are different and various.

9. Keywords

The basic rules are the following:

  • Use your keywords frequently, better at the beginning of your contents, but be careful not to overdo it. The keywords should not exceed more than 4% of all content.
  • Use keywords and phrases in the ‘alt’ and ‘title’ attributes of the images which you add to the articles.
  • Use h1- h6 attributes for the keywords and key phrases in the text.
  • Note them, if acceptable, with ‘bold’ and ‘italic’.

10. The choice of keywords
When you are planning your website and later during its continuous update you have to think about 'What do my potential customers look for?’, 'Which are those keywords that would attract them to my website?’ Then, try to use exactly the same in your texts and links, as well as to include them in external links.

E.g., if you are a travel agency and you make a campaign for holidays in Turkey which are particularly attractive for that season, direct your links to your website but not on your company name, e.g., on the key phrase: ‘Attractive holidays in Turkey’.

11. The page loading speed is very important for SEO
The page loading speed is very important for SEO

With respect of this, the most important factors are the good hosting and the efficient website design made with slight graphical elements, appropriate compression and some other design techniques.

12. Last but not least, keep an eye on your competitors!
Especially on those websites which are ranked higher than yours. Good ideas can crop up there!

What should you not allow on your website?

Heavy graphics

Sometimes, the moving and blinking elements are quite annoying. They distract users from main information. A precise and measured illustration can fill out more successfully your visitors’ impressions rather than a complex design decisions.

To load a graphic (picture, animation, video) may take more time than hundreds of text lines. The slow website loading is the biggest enemy of your Internet success. It’s been shown that Internet users does not wait more than 4 to 6 seconds per page loading. If your page loads for more than 6 seconds, you will lose about 80% of your visitors.
Remember: No one shall enter into a website only for seeing the impressive ideas of a graphic designer. Today the Internet 'surfers' are busy and hurried people looking for easily accessible information. Give it to them!

Introduction pages with graphics and animations

Such an introduction page is usually developed with Flash and contains one meaningful button 'Skip Intro' (Skip the introduction). These pages are perceived by visitors as bothering and unnecessary 'extra mouse click' on their way to the exact information they’re trying to reach.

Impressive but complex and confusing navigation

The lack of clarity is also one of the most repulsive factors for your visitors. The visitor must be able to find at a glance where the requested information is published. If you forget to give him this clarification on the first page, it is most likely that he would jump directly to the next competitor website.

Broken links and 'under construction' signs

Please, think about how many times have you returned to a website which links and sections have not been working?

Spelling and grammatical errors in text

Unfortunately, they not only suggests a lack of professionalism, but also call into question the culture of the website owner. 
Do not allow this! Before you upload all texts on the website, please, read them carefully. If you are not sure, consult a specialist.

Lack of clear contact information

The lack of this kind of information inevitably leads to failure. Most visitors already look for a detailed location, not only for an e-mail address.

Lack of price information

Under the pretext of 'not to be betrayed to competitors', many owners deliberately miss to present information about prices. They expect from their potential customers to pick up the phone and ask them. But it never happens!

The Internet space is so large that if you don’t provide your clients with all necessary information for making a purchase, they will just click with the mouse and go to another site, usually one of a competitive supplier. Do not expect from your customers to make an extra effort that you have saved yourself!

Design elements affecting negatively

  • Music turned on automatically
  • Animated startup items with continuous movement
  • Heavy distracting background images
  • Too large fonts
  • Low contrast between text and background.

Website Search Engine Optimization will induce search engines to rank your website on the first page results in a search made by a keyword.

Therefore, we recommend you to do the next steps:

1. Insert your web address in your business cards and all promotional company materials.
2. Add it to web directories and business directories as well as to websites of branch organisations, chambers of commerce and city portals.
3. Maintain your presence in social networks /e.g. corporate Facebook page in order to collect your fans and to post interesting news/.
4. Pay for advertising with banners published on other websites to promote your brand and collect links to your website.
5. Organize some online competition to attract clients’ attention.
6. Begin issuing a newsletter in your field of activities.
7. Add an announcement in different trade websites for small ads. Thus, you will take advantage by offering your products or services as well as by creating a link to your company website.
8. And the most important, become familiar with all measures which should be taken for your website SEO.

SEO aims exactly to increase the number of users and clients for your products or services by your website.

In case you order us your website from scratch, we will create the necessary oprimization structure. If you want only to rank your website at the first page of the search engine results, we might have to modify the current structure of your website.

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