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Less Known Search Engine Optimization Techniques

By: Benjamin Bruner at Ben Bruner Web Productions

Submitted on Mon, Apr 21st, 2008 9:42 am

Search Engine Optimization has become a must when looking to drive relevant traffic to your website and gain top placement with Search Engines. This article will point out a few techniques that are not as well known or used as often by web developers. When used properly, these techniques may give your website the extra little push needed to capture one of the coveted top 5 positions. At the end we will review of just few of the more common techniques for the beginners who may be reading this article.

Less Known SEO Techniques

Technique #1: Separate content from presentation
Most web developers already know that good content is the most important part of gaining top placement with the major search engines. However, not as many know that using external CSS and JavaScript files will also help improve your placement with search engines. This will decrease the overall size of your page and improve your content to mark-up ratio. Additionally, this will move your keyword rich content closer to the top of the page.

Technique #2: Move keywords closer to the top of the page
Keyword density is an important part of showing search engines what the content of the page is about. However, do not overdue it and simply stuff keywords wherever you can. After all, if the content does not read well to the end user all your optimization efforts have been wasted. Search Engines will often place greater importance on keywords that are used at the beginning of the page. Therefore, it is good practice to use your keywords within the first few sentences of your content. It is important to not forget to use your Keywords in the Page Title and Page Description. Also, while you are at it you may as well include them in the Meta Keywords, even though it is almost obsolete tag.

Take it a step further

Using CSS mark-up, you are often able to have the body of your page as the first thing the search engine reads. This means when your webpage is displayed in a browser it may have navigation and some tag lines shown at the top. However, in your source code you can have the body of your page before the navigation and tag lines. This will further move your keyword rich content to the top of the page and improve your search engine rankings. (by body I mean the bulk of your content, not the body tag).

Technique #3: Keyword Text Links and Internal Link Building
A link from one page to another is like casting a favorable vote for that page. A pages total voting power is divided by the total number of outgoing links from that page. That being said, for almost all websites the homepage has the most PageRank, therefore, the most voting power. Make sure that all pages on your website are only 2-3 clicks away; this is good practice all around. Additionally, using one of the destination pages keyword phrases as the anchor text for your hyperlink assures the ability for Search Engines to know what the page is about. Using keyword optimized linking is a much better method of optimizing your pages for relevant keywords than using generic click here text.

Technique #4: The Abbreviation tag or Acronym Tag
Everyone wants to write text as briefly as possible and we will often use Acronyms or Abbreviations of longer text strings (Such as SEO). An often overlooked way of improving your Rankings in Search Engines is simply to include the long version of these Abbreviations in the abbr or acronym tag. Doing this will increase your keywords density for specific phrases.

Technique #5: Table Headings and Table Captions
Tables should not be used to compose the layout of your website. However, if you have some tabular data to display, using tables is a fine way to accomplish this. A little used technique to improve your Search Engine Rankings while using tables is the Table Header Tag and the Table Caption Tag to tell Search Engines what your table is about.

Technique #6: Heading Tags, they do go to down to h6
Almost anyone who has done research in SEO techniques can tell you the h1 tag can be your best friend. However, if you overuse the h1 tag on a page it will begin to decrease the effect. Consider using the h2 and h3 tags in conjunction with the h1 tag. This will allow the keywords contained within the h1 tag to carry more weight with the Search Engine, while still placing emphasis on keywords inside the other heading tags.

Quick Review of a Few Common SEO Techniques for Beginners

#1: Unique Page Titles, Page Description, and META Keywords
Arguably one of the most important On-Site SEO techniques is ensuring Relevant Page Titles are used. Additionally, the page description should be relevant to the page and contain the keywords you wish to target the page for. The META Keywords tag has become almost obsolete, but it certainly never hurts to create one as a placeholder for your keywords. Just be sure not to overdo it and stuff the META Keywords tag full of keywords that are not relevant to your page.

#2: Use the alt attribute in image tags
Almost all websites will contain at least a few images. When using these images, be sure to include the alt attribute to tell Search Engines what the image is about. As a general rule you should not use an image to replace text unless it is necessary to appease the aesthetics of the website. Using the alt attribute for images is also good practice to help individuals who use screenreaders.

#3: Include a sitemap
Sitemaps are a good way to help all your pages get indexed by Google. You can also submit an xml sitemap to Google using their Webmaster Tools. If you are not already using Webmaster Tools I highly recommend it along with Google Analytics. Together, these tools provide a great deal of information about how visitors and Search Engines see your Website.

#4: Link Popularity
One of the most important parts of SEO is building good inbound links to your website. Building links back to your website from other trusted, well Ranked websites will help your own website build trust and PageRank. If you are a beginner to SEO and are not familiar with this technique, I recommend researching how to build good backlinks.

Conclusion

Putting these lesser known Search Engine Optimization techniques into practice will help your webpages get the extra little boost that is sometimes needed to get within the Top 5 positions of Search Engine results.

About the Author

Benjamin Bruner
Ben Bruner Web Productions
Ben Bruner is the Lead Developer and Quality Control Manager for Ben Bruner Web Productions. (BBWP) is a Florida Website Design Company

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