Getting to Number Two on Google
Number one seems to distant? Go for number two surely thats easier to achieve?Wrong! ... Always aim high and you will receive the rewards you deserve! Number One IS achievable... if your website is built correctly that is.
The Building Blocks
In this post I will be examining what the fundamental building blocks of a successful website (in terms of how it is created) are, now this list can of course be expanded to such a degree you would be required to be a professor to understand it, However... this is the building blocks... and I will keep it a little less than complicated, and hopefully Jargon Free!
Structure of the site - This is fairly simple to understand, not so easy to implement (in some cases). You should look to create a clear and understandable hierarchy, Where each (and every) page has at least one link from another page on the site. Unless your some kind of magician having a "stand alone" page will do you no good as a search engine won't find it... nor will other users more to the point! - It may help you to have a set "drawn sitemap" from day one of your ideas conception, this will evolve but the main branches will mean you have some structure.
Short Urls - Keep your url's fairly short, forexample you don't need the whole date in the URL who would ever remember that and the rest of your url? - Most CMS' provide this functionality.
Structured of the Page - Now this again is fairly simple... until you put it into practice. Use a "perfect page" structure, and remember to try and keep code Semantic (this means clean and validating code).
Use the attributes - most "objects" on a page have tags / attributes associated, they are there for a reason, so use them. For example images have the alt attribute (the most important one that you should be using), this is used as an alternative text if the image isn't viewable for any reason or if the user is using a screen reader, it is very important for user accessibility.
Create a sitemap - this is basically a directory of your important pages. put it in your main directory and submit it to the search engines. But a word of warning... exceeding 100 links may cause some suspicion ... be careful.
Submit your site - No matter how much I say this to people they never do, they always think that by some magic they will be linked to and search engines will pick them up. They won't! so submit each and every new URL you have to the search engines - here start with google.
Content is King - I've wrote so many articles on this in the past year or so, so heres a few links for you. The Golden Ratio - Making Copy Pay - SEO Tips - Copy - SEO Tips - Page Content
Quality Links are Vital - Now if you are involved in running a website you will no doubt have recieved an email or two from companies (usually based in india) who want to "link exchange", they go on to explain how links are a key part of how search engines rank a site... well yes but its not the whole story as you will have gathered from my previous article "getting to number one on google". So here is what google looks for in a "good quality" link; Trust (is the linking site trusted by the web), Relevancy (is the link out of place in the content of the page or site), Anchor Text (what text is used to link to you... click here doesnt rub well) and Quantity (the number of links on the page and/or site linking to you... is it a link farm?). Its not worth persuing these links generally...unless you get really lucky and the site has a huge PageRank and when you check it out it is a real site with relevancy to your content!
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