Tag Archives: SEO

5 Articles you should read: 13 April 2010

Document Accessibility Should Begin at the Author Level, By Deborah Kaplan and Monir ElRayes. Government Technology, April 9, 2010. "…Significant progress has been made to improve the accessibility of content presented on Web sites, often in HTML format. However, the accessibility of other electronic formats, such as Microsoft Word documents and PDFs, still lags behind and is often added as an afterthought, if at all. Given the enormous volume of content created daily — often in the form of documents authored by individuals who know little about accessibility — this means far too much material is inaccessible to far too many people…."

SEO 101 – Parts 1 – 16, by Stoney deGeyter, Search Engine Guide, January 19, 2010 – April 1, 2010.

Part 2: Everything You Need To Know About Title Tags
Part 3: Everything You Need To Know About Meta Description and Keyword Tags
Part 4: Everything You Need To Know About Heading Tags and Alt Attributes
Part 5: Everything You Need To Know About Domain Names
Part 6: Everything You Need To Know About Search Engine Friendly URLs & Broken Links
Part 7: Everything You Need To Know About Site Architecture and Internal Linking
Part 8: Everything You Need To Know About Keywords
Part 9: Everything You Need To Know About Keyword Core Terms
Part 10: Everything You Need To Know About Keyword Qualifiers
Part 11: Everything You Need To Know About SEO Copywriting
Part 12: Everything You Need To Know About Page Content
Part 13: Everything You Need To Know About Links
Part 14: Everything You Need To Know About Link Anatomy
Part 15: Everything You Need To Know About Linking

Search and Rescue: How to Become Findable and Shareable in Social Media, By Brian Solis, Search Engine Watch, April 1, 2010. " Search isn’t an isolated experience. The act of looking for information is now fused with validation, which means the socialization of search will unite discovery with context and relationships. It all begins with where we purposely search for relevant content and also where we respond to interesting information that crosses our path…" Then read Optimize Your Brand for Sharing and Social Search in 11 Steps, By Brian Solis, Search Engine Watch, April 2, 2010. "Yesterday, we focused on how to make your brand findable and shareable in social media. A white paper by Gigya validates the shift to, and resulting importance of, social search and its dependence on crowd participation. Online businesses must optimize in order to earn referral traffic from social networks. .."

The 8-Step SEO Strategy, Step 1: Define Your Target Audience and Their Needs, Posted by laura, SEOmoz Blog, on April 6th, 2010. "… The first step in most marketing campaigns, Search Marketing included, is to start by defining your target audience.  Your target audience is a defined set of people who you are marketing your product to…"

Horizontal Attention Leans Left. Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox, April 6, 2010. Summary: Web users spend 69% of their time viewing the left half of the page and 30% viewing the right half. A conventional layout is thus more likely to make sites profitable…


New Dilbert SEO Comic Strip

Dilbert.com - how to improve Google search ranking with keywords, inbound links and... a ritual sacrifice...

Google search snippets

Google has announced that they will now be making use of anchor tags and section headings in their search snippets, displaying them where it makes sense in their search results.

For most search results, Google shows you a few lines of text to give you an idea of what the page is about — we call this a “search snippet.” Recently, we’ve enhanced the search snippet with two new features that make it easier to find information buried deep within a page.

Normally, a search snippet shows how a page, as a whole, relates to a your query by excerpting content that appears near and around where your query terms show on the page. But what if only one section of the page is relevant to your search?

That’s where these new features can help, by providing links within the snippet to relevant sections of the page, making it faster and easier to find what you’re looking for.

To make this happen you need to ensure:

1. you use descriptive headings for your sections, especially in long multi-topic html documents. Use for example, Victorian Government web 2.0 initiatives, NOT Section 1.3.

2. you use a table of contents at the top of the page which uses anchor text to link to your section headings.

3. you don’t forget the anchor text for your section headings.

A Search Engine Land article by Barry Schwartz shows examples of how descriptive headings can be used in search snippets.

More reasons to use appropriate keywords that your searchers are using in the text of your documents, rather than bureaucratic policy speak.


Matt Cutts from Google on SEO

Matt Cutts, the guru from Google, has given a great presentation on the ins, outs and best practices for search engine optimization at Word Camp in San Francisco on May 30, 2009.

How do you calculate the ROI of your government online campaign?

Governments are often notorious for announcing campaigns and publishing press releases without optimizing content on their websites to enable visitors to find information to back up the campaign announcements.

So I was really pleased to read this great article by Augustine Fou at Clickz the other day called "How to use search to calculate the ROI of awareness advertising".

This article hit the nail on the head about what Government should be doing: ie.

  • make sure the website or content sections on websites are set up before releasing the press release. A classic Victorian Government example was the announcement of the Bushfire Royal Commission. Everyone wanted to read about the Royal Commission from the official source, yet it took a number of weeks for this to happen. When they did release the Royal Commission website, they appeared not to take out a Google AdWords campaign to support its release. As you can see from this screen shot, the ABC is really well optimised for bushfire royal commission, and the government is not.

Google search results for bushfire royal commission.

  • make sure you search engine optimise your website so that the specific information which is announced is easily linked to from the press release, so that the visitor can easily find the supporting information they are seeking – government should be a lot better at doing this than they are in reality (read my earlier article entitled: "How to increase traffic to Government websites with press releases");
  • ensure you are using an analytics package, such as Google Analytics (its free and fully integrated with Google AdWords!) to establish how successful or not the announcement, banner ad, search engine marketing and so forth, really is. Putting campaign tracking on your email newsletter links, or on links from press releases or ads you want to track will give you great information to analyse the return on your investment.

Hopefully this will change when one day governments take the web as seriously as they do their television, radio and print campaigns. Until then, how do you work out the return on investment for your government online campaign ……?

Some good introductory guides on Search Engine Optimization

Google has just published its Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide, so I thought it was time to list a few introductory guides on the topic.

Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization. by Rand Fishkin. SEOmoz, 2008. "This guide provides a complete overview of many of the processes, techniques and strategies used by professional search engine optimization specialists…"

Pandia Search Engine Marketing 101 – Written by Per and Susanne Koch. "Pandia’s Search Engine Marketing 101 will give you the basics of search engine promotion — knowledge you may use in your own optimization efforts or when buying services from others…"

Search Engine Marketing 101 – "This section of Search Engine Watch (formerly called A Webmaster’s Guide To Search Engines) is primarily for webmasters, site owners and web marketers. It covers search engine submission, optimization, and marketing issues. It explains how search engines find and rank web pages, with an emphasis on what webmasters can do to improve their search engine rankings by properly submitting, using better page design, and other tips…"

Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide – in pdf format (518kb) – (This document requires the use of Adobe Acrobat Reader). Google, 2008. "… following the best practices outlined below will make it easier for search engines to both crawl and index your content…" You can also convert PDF documents into alternative formats.

The Search Engine Dictionary – Pandecta Magazine, "The aim with the Search Engine Dictionary web site and the accompanying book is to establish a standard for search engine terminology by creating a comprehensive glossary of search engine terms…"

The Search Engine Marketing Glossary – SEObook.com. Provides a dictionary of search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing terms and phrases.

Google AdWords Glossary – Google, 2008.

If you have come across any other introductory or beginner guides in SEO – let me know so we can add to the list.

Free tools you can use to do Keyword Research – Part 2 – Firefox Browser tools

[ 18 Nov 2008 – A new tool has been added called Rank Checker – see item 16 below]

This is Part 2 of my series of tools you can use for Keyword Research. In part 1 of this series, I looked at free tools which Google offers. In Part 2, I am looking at the tools available as add-ons to the Firefox Web Browser. These tools do more than help you with your keyword research. [Note: I have only included the tools which work with Firefox version 3, there are numerous other tools which work with earlier versions of Firefox]

7. Keyword Trends in Google Analytics With Greasemonkey – By Sal Uryasev – This Greasemonkey script works for keyword data in Google Analytics, by showing increases and decreases in organic search traffic.

8. Firefox SEO Toolbar Extension with Website Ranking Features – This is a Toolbar extension for Firefox browser. Firefox SEO Toolbar Extension Features The features available in Firefox toolbar: Popular PPC Engines site; Web SEO and search engine tools; Online keyword research tools; Links to SEO-related forums; Search Engine view on the current page; Google PageRank, Alexa Ranking and Popularity Index; Link to Wayback Machine. ToolbarBrowser is a freeware project supported by Trellian Limited

9. SEO for Firefox – Provided by SEOBook – Version 2.9 has added SEO X-ray feature which gives you the keyword density of the page and popular phrases on the page.

10. KGen – by Nicolas Froidure. Version 0.4, September 11, 2008. This Firefox extension SEO tool allows you to see what keywords are represented on your web pages and then generates variations for you complete with misspellings. When installed it opens a sidebar in the browser which provides you with the ability to copy the selected keywords to the clipboard. It also displays the keywords with the repeats, weights and positions on the page. A Tag cloud keyword generator is also provided.

11. RankQuest SEO Toolbar – by Vincent Brown, Updated June 20, 2008 – provides you quick access to more than 30 SEO tools.

12. SEOQuake – by the SEOQuake Team, Updated October 6, 2008 – aimed at helping with search engine optimization and internet promotion of web sites. Provides both a Firefox and Internet Explorer version.

13. SearchStatus – by Craig Raw, Updated October 2, 2008 – displays Google PageRank, Alexa rank and Compete ranking anywhere in your browser, along with a keyword density analyser, keyword/nofollow highlighting, backward/related links, Alexa info and other SEO tools.

14. Google Global – by RedFly Marketing – allows you to view organic and paid Google search results as they appear in almost any location in the world.

15. Web Developer – by Chris Pederick, Updated May 19, 2008 – Adds a menu and a toolbar with various web developer tools.

16. Rank Checker – by SEOBook – This tool shows you where your website ranks in the search results in Google (US and international), Yahoo, and Microsoft Live search.

I am sure there are more SEO tools for Firefox out there – tell me what tools you find the most useful especially for keyword research.