SEO Tips for 2011

SEO strategy changes all the time so I thought I’d post an article that is relevant to 2011. The purpose of this post is get a list of some of the things I think people should be focusing on outside of link building and external marketing.

1. Use Auto Suggestions to build your title and url.

Here’s how I came up with the title for this post.

I opened google, I typed ‘SEO Tips’ without pressing return and looked at the suggestions it gave me. Out of the list I thought ‘SEO Tips 2011’ gave me a topic I could write about that would be valuable to it’s reader.

let Google Suggestions be your guide

2. How your HTML is Marked up is more important than how your web page looks.

Fast clean pages with fewer images and fast load times do better with bots and people. Notice Google and Amazon are heavily text based and not very pretty. That’s because they get it.

Marketing text inside of images doesn’t reach the bots.
Content inside of flash files isn’t helping people find your site.
Depending on the type of content you are working with there are different best practices for meta tags and markup. You don’t mark up a product site the same way you mark up a news site or a video site.

Here’s a markup article I wrote on MetaTags.

3. Ajax and Popups are nice for functionality but bad for SEO.

The bot is just going to parse the HTML as it renders, it doesn’t care about your ajax events so if there is content on your page that isn’t there on load from an bot perspective it’s not there. The most common example of this is ‘click here to see more info’ and it does it in a modal window with AJAX.  Also tabbed data that uses AJAX has this problem.

If you have terms on a page put them in google and make sure you get a long tail hit on them.

4. PDF and Video’s are bad if there isn’t a corresponding page with lots of data about the PDF or Video

PDF material is nice for technical information and printing but having a html version of that pdf with a download link to the pdf is better for SEO.  At the least make sure there is text on the page describing your multimedia content.

For example lets say I have a video on how to build a ‘foo’. The page has some basic text describing the video as ‘how to build a foo’ with very little detail. The video is an hour long.  The video covers everything from ‘converting a ‘thingamajig’ to a ‘whatsit’ as part of building a foo.

You search for “building a foo” your video comes up.

You search for “converting a ‘thingamajig’ to a ‘whatsit'” and your video doesn’t come up. You have content for this but it’s not indexed on that term because the term is only spoke and not written.

Having Video files and PDF’s are good but you need to surround it with the proper copy in html to maximize it’s value.

5. Measure often and react

Google and yahoo have tools for optimizing SEO, have a strategy that involves implementing, learning them and checking things on a daily basis. Content authors need the ability to see how their content is doing so they can measure, tweak, and improve things and someone should be able to rattle off rough stats on how your doing on different search terms.  For example on my blog my stuff on Razor gives me the most search based traffic.

6. Find an SEO Resource you can afford and ‘Learn to Fish’

Read a book, some articles, find a forum, bring in a consultant or company and have them teach you what they know about SEO and apply it.

7. Google has previews

This is another spot where AJAX can give you problems. Make sure the previews of your pages in ‘google preview’ are acceptable.

8. Content and Timing are key
Your site ranking and inlinks are important but the content,q uality, timing and bot readability of it rules. I’m a one person blog with very few links to it but on terms you would expect to bring up a microsoft page or stackoverlow page I often see my pages above them on terms we are sharing.

Timing is also very important, a will written article on a subject that shows up first will often remain at the top of the rankings.  If you search for a subject you should notice there is a relation between ranking and when they showed up on the market for equally well tagged and written content.

9. It’s a game play and have fun.

If you think you should rank higher on a subject than some other site put the time in to figure out why they are better, come up with a plan to pass them and win! Don’t settle for anything.

Authors note : If in an effort to improve things you mess up and actually bring things down on a major site you are probably going to be in some trouble but you can’t win if you don’t try so have back up plans and CYA.

About Kevin Buckley
.Net web developer with a lot of experience in CMS. Currently working at Sitecore as Solutions Engineer.

3 Responses to SEO Tips for 2011

  1. 10. Proof read before you publish and maybe sit and think about it for a few days 🙂

  2. I looked all over google for it!!

    • Page 8 on google. I think if I do this for 2012 in November of 2011 I can get a much better ranking for ‘SEO Tips 2012’ but I did get page one one yahoo 🙂

      Timing’s definitely important.

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