Part 3: Optimizing Content
In the part three of this article, I would like to mention how to optimize content to you. However, before we start, let’s revise what we have learnt in part one and two:
- Part 1: SEO basics
- Create an accurate page title (title tags and page title contents in search results)
- Mega tag
- Part 2: Improving site structure
- Improve the structure of your URLs
- Make your site easier to navigate (breadcrumb lists)
1. Offer quality content and services
Interesting sites will increase their recognition on their own
Creating compelling and useful content will likely influence your website more than any of the other factors. Users know good content when they see it and will likely want to direct other users to it. This could be through blog posts, social media services, email, forums, or other means. Organic or word-of-mouth buzz is what helps build your site’s reputation with both users and Google, and it rarely comes without quality content.
A blogger finds a piece of your content, likes it, and then references it in a blog post
Anticipate differences in users’ understanding of your topic and offer unique, exclusive content
Think about the words that a user might search for to find a piece of your content. Users who know a lot about the topic might use different keywords in their search queries than someone who is new to the topic. For example, a long-time baseball fan might search for [nlcs], an acronym for the National League Championship Series, while a new fan might use a more general query like [baseball playoffs]. Anticipating these differences in search behavior and accounting for them while writing your content (using a good mix of keyword phrases) could produce positive results. Google AdWords provides a handy Keyword Tool that helps you discover new keyword variations and see the approximate search volume for each keyword. Also, Google Webmaster Tools provides you with the top search queries your site appears for and the ones that led the most users to your site.
Consider creating a new, useful service that no other site offers. You could also write an original piece of research, break an exciting news story, or leverage your unique user base. Other sites may lack the resources or expertise to do these things.
The Google AdWords Keyword Tool can help you find relevant keywords on your
site and the volume of those keywords
2. Write better anchor text
Suitable anchor text makes it easy to convey the contents linked
Anchor text is the clickable text that users will see as a result of a link, and is placed within the anchor tag <a href=”…”></a>.
This anchor text accurately describes the content on one of our article pages.
This text tells users and Google something about the page you’re linking to. Links on your page maybe internal—pointing to other pages on your site—or external—leading to content on other sites. In either of these cases, the better your anchor text is, the easier it is for users to navigate and for Google to understand what the page you are linking to is about.
3. Optimize your use of images
Image-related information can be provided for by using the “alt” attribute
Images may seem like a straightforward component of your site, but you can optimize your use of them. All images can have a distinct filename and “alt” attribute, both of which you should take advantage of. The “alt” attribute allows you to specify alternative text for the image if it cannot be displayed for some reason.
Why use this attribute? If a user is viewing your site on a browser that does not support images, or is using alternative technologies, such as a screen reader, the contents of the alt attribute provide information about the picture.
Another reason is that if you are using an image as a link, the alt text for that image will be treated similarly to the anchor text of a text link. However, we do not recommend using too many images for links in your site’s navigation when text links could serve the same purpose. Lastly, optimizing your image filenames and alt text makes it easier for image search projects like Google Image Search to better understand your images.
Our image wasn’t displayed to the user for some reason, but at least the alt text was.
Store files in specialized directories and manage them using common file formats
Instead of having image files spread out in numerous directories and subdirectories across your domain, consider consolidating your images into a single directory (e.g. brandonsbaseballcards.com/images/). This simplifies the path to your images.
Use commonly supported filetypes – Most browsers support JPEG, GIF, PNG, and BMP image formats. It’s also a good idea to have the extension of your filename match with the filetype.
It is easier to find the paths to images if they are stored in one directory
4. Use heading tags appropriately
Use heading tags to emphasize important text
Heading tags (not to be confused with the <head> HTML tag or HTTP headers) are used to present structure on the page to users. There are six sizes of heading tags, beginning with <h1>, the most important, and ending with <h6>, the least important.
Since heading tags typically make text contained in them larger than normal text on the page, this is a visual cue to users that this text is important and could help them understand something about the type of content underneath the heading text. Multiple heading sizes used in order create a hierarchical structure for your content, making it easier for users to navigate through your document.
On a page containing a news story, we might put the name of our site into an <h1> tag and the topic of the story into an <h2> tag
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