Basic Search Engine Optimization Tips

magnifying-glassA friend of mine showed me his new website pending launch on Tuesday. It was done by another Malaysia website design company and not us at Simpleet Solutions. He was rather concerned about the position of his company website in search engines – who isn’t today. So I agreed to have a quick assessment of his website.

I was surprised to find not even the basic of search engine optimization (SEO) steps were done for his website. So, here are 10 basic search engine optimization techniques you can tell your provider. :)

  1. META keywords and META description
    There was a rumor Google doesn’t pay attention to META tags anymore. However, I believe they still do but aren’t emphasizing too much on it. Therefore, it’s still important. Keywords are the group of words users type in search engines (or phrase) to try and find the information they need. The description is the short snippet you see beneath the search engine result title.
  2. Page title with common phrase or keywords
    Be careful not to flood the page title with keywords. It should be clear and have the required keyword(s). For example; Shopping Bag Products – Non-woven, plastic bags and custom. Do note, there is a cut-off for the number of characters displayed in the browser for page titles.
  3. Friendly URLs
    My friends website was built in PHP but it doesn’t really matter. Because friendly URLs can also be done with HTML. So what are friendly URLs? It’s like adding your page titles after your website domain name. For example; http://www.simpleet.com/malaysia-website-design-services.html.
  4. Text link menus
    As much as fancy menus in Flash or images look, you still need to ensure it can be substituted as common text. For the menus made of images, they can use CSS image replacement to overcome this problem. While Google has improved text scanning in Flash movies, it still won’t beat the common text link menus.
  5. Headings
    If you work with MS Word, you’d have either use headings or heard of them before. Headings are a very important foundation in search engine optimization. The headings determine the priority of a text and the website structure. Plus, it makes your content more accessible to users surfing unable to use a mouse or keyboard. Note though, you shouldn’t put every heading on the same level – heading 1 for everything.
  6. Keywords and key phrases in copywriting
    As much as the copywriter can add how sexy and provocative your product is, you’ll still need to have keywords and common phrases injected into the copy. A copywriter who can write doesn’t mean he/she understands the requirements of search engine optimization.
  7. Image ALT tags
    This tips was contributed by a friend of mine over at Mobile88. They’ve done a lot of testing optimizing their website and he’s shared with me ALT tags for images which don’t load is very important. What do ALT tags? It describes the images which can’t load in text rather than only showing people an X there.
  8. Link titles
    Linking the most common phrases like Malaysia website design company is important but my friend from Mobile88 also shared the link titles is also a search engine optimization technique. The link title is the text which appear when you hover over a link. If you hover on the previous link, you’ll see it.
  9. Reciprocal links or return links
    The more websites or blogs link to you the better your position improves. However, you’ll only benefit from this if the people linking to you have a higher ranking than you. In Google, they’ve a measurement called PageRank (PR). It’s an algorithm Google uses to calculate the popularity and viability of your content to position you in the search engine. For a new website, you’ll start at PR 0 but if most of the people linking to your website have a PR 4 and higher then your PR might jump to 3/4 in a shorter period of time.
  10. XHTML/CSS development
    I love web standards. *cough* Okay, you may not know this but there is an old way and new way of creating a website. It’s not Flash. The old way of developing websites uses tables to layout your website. The new way uses XHTML/CSS to separate presentation and content on your website. How XHTML/CSS benefits your website is it makes the content easier to read by search engines. This is part of what I called, web standards.

Oh, that already was the last search engine optimization tip. :P

Well, here’s a bonus tip but it’s not free. It’s not free because it’s a quick method and it’s a paid service to help boost your website up in search engines. Payable to Google Adwords, Yahoo Advertising or MSN advertising.

There you have it, 10 basic search engine optimization tips you can tell your provider to implement! Otherwise, contact the other Malaysia website design company; Simpleet Solutions. All our website projects come with basic search engine optimization techniques. ;)

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5 Responses to “Basic Search Engine Optimization Tips”

  1. Response #1 by S-Axxis on January 28th, 2009

    Very nice read. Thank you for the information. Will apply this information and wait to see the results.

  2. Response #2 by Basic Search Engine Optimization Tips | Websites Made Simple | Search Engine Secrets on January 28th, 2009

    […] Websites Made Simple is a Malaysia web design and development blog by Danny Foo. See original here: Basic Search Engine Optimization Tips | Websites Made Simple […]

  3. Response #3 by lightdes on January 29th, 2009

    Lack of knowledge in SEO is the main problem. A lots of company out there still didn’t know how important this is. Even I’m surprised to hear you mention a web design company didn’t apply SEO on their client website. Even we as a freelance did it. What’s the point making a website that no one know it exist.

  4. Response #4 by tekkaus on January 29th, 2009

    Great tips! =) Thanks for sharing.

  5. Response #5 by Danny Foo on January 30th, 2009

    S-Axxis:
    Do let us know. :)

    Lightdes:
    Well, the market in Malaysia still have people unaware of its importance or choose to ignore it. Then, the providers leap at every opportunity to make a quick buck out of these clients. Like how they can charge even for website submission to Google, MSN and Yahoo.

    tekkaus:
    Thanks for reading. :)


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