Originally published as a SEO blog entry

Tip #5: Quality Content

I mentioned in my semi-satirical ‘Promoting Your Website‘ article that you should: “Have an Opinion” and “Get a Blog, Blog About Everything” and I believe this is part of the quality content thing. Quality content means content that people want to read, and want to tell their friends about. Don’t just copy a few tutorials or articles from a bad source because that’s not quality content (and because Google penalises people for duplicate content anyway).

Ask yourself the following questions before pushing that big publish button:

  • Am I an authority on this subject?
    Writing about “stuff you heard on the Internet” or subjects you’re not 100% proficient in is likely to earn you a bad reputation. If you’re not absolutely certain that what you’re publishing is true and correct, don’t publish.
  • Has this been done before?
    People are more likely to get excited about something original. Unless you can put a unique spin on something old, stick to totally new content.
  • Why am I publishing this?
    Publishing content just for hits is a bad idea. It gives your content an unnatural, ‘forced’ feel. If you’re not in it to serve a better purpose — to help, to inspire, for example — just don’t bother.

Tip #4: Link to Yourself and do it Properly

When you’re blogging, link back to previous entries using the appropriate text (“click here” has never been appropriate). When writing articles, link to relevant related articles. That kind of internal linking creates structure, and allows page rank from your main page to infiltrate your ‘lower’ pages. It also allows newer visitors that haven’t been a reading your site for years to get to know your older content.

Link to yourself properly, too: don’t link to your index page as index.php or index.html; instead, link directly to your domain name (e.g. “http://www.jemjabella.co.uk/“). This allows Google to properly assign page rank to your domain (that everyone else links to) giving you an overall higher page rank. Link to everything, baby!

Tip #3: Keep your Copy Clear and Concise

Copy is the ‘technical’ term for all of the stuff you write (I just used it because it alliterates nicely). If you can’t afford to hire a professional copywriter (always the best route), try it yourself. However, keep your message clear and most importantly: make sure it makes sense! Not all of your readers are going to be English or American and that means they need to be able to pick out the important bits in what you’re saying.

Take for example:

To repolish my hypercritical microscope, I thought an appropriate awakening necessitated a string of spit sliding down the farcical frontispiece of an advertising ace.

..sounds romantic enough, but that barely makes sense to me — how is somebody that only speaks 3 sentences of English going to be able to grasp the “point” from that?

Tip #2: Make Your URLs Search Engine Friendly

Not using post.php?id=1234 for my blog entries by default was one of the best website-related decisions I ever made. By making URLs more relevant to the content I saw an increase in ranking for related keywords. Furthermore, some prominent bloggers suggest you’re supposed to use dashes (hypens) and not underscores to suggest a space, but I have had no problem with underscores and frequently switch between the two.

Tip #1: Give Each Page its own Title

I cannot emphasise enough how important it is for each of your pages to have a unique title. Do not rely on “blablabla.com” for your title on every page of your website. Titles should be relevant to the page, and Google loves it! Not only can search engine bots now find keywords in your URLs and pages, but my (browser) titles too. It also encourages people to link to pages using the right title, which helps Google understand relevance.

If you use PHP includes to give each page a generic header, there are two methods you can use to customise your page title and if you use WordPress, make sure your <title> in the header.php file of your theme looks a bit like this: <title><?php bloginfo('name'); ?< » <?php wp_title(); ?></title>

Take heed, and bask in the warm glow that is a higher ranking on Google (and when you hit number one and become rich and famous, remember who got you there!)

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