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Author Topic: Search Engine Optimisation  (Read 3794 times)

MartinSpence

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Search Engine Optimisation
« on: August 17, 2012, 08:36:34 AM »

Hi folks

I've recently developed a website and have discovered I need to do a lot of SEO work.

Are there any articles/websites anyone would recommend?

Thanks
Martin

www.martinspencephotography.co.uk
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Justan

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Re: Search Engine Optimisation
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2012, 08:57:49 AM »

I wrote the following for another group. Hopefully you and others will find it useful.

The following is a great overview for SEO. Read all the content through once or twice and take notes. http://www.wordsinarow.com/seo.html . This covers the techniques for most kinds of tags, both those found in the meta tags and those found by the header tags within the text of a web site itself.

There is some debate about which meta tags produce SEO results. If you look at top pages, many use all typical elements. My interpretation is that itís better to have it and not need it, than the other way around. There is a consensus that each indexed page should have its own unique meta-tags, and not just a repeat of the tags on the home page.

Meta tags are not necessarily seen by visitors to a page as much as they are seen by the search engines. In addition to the meta tags, the use of header tags within the page(s) is seen by viewers and search engines. Header tags are the <h1>_______</h1>, <h2>_______</h2>, and so on tags that appear as page and section headers within the page content itself.  Here is a link to a site that discusses this in detail. http://www.w3schools.com/tags/tag_hn.asp . Note that for the best results, there needs to be a degree of redundancy between the meta tags and the <hx> tags.

Not all web pages can have the SEO content on specific pages. The pages for many sites, as example, were developed using dot.net and they employ what is called master pages. The following link shows something of how to program for that kind of environment. http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/wtxbf3hh.aspx#HowMasterPagesWork

This site describes the kinds of meta tags that are used and their typical use.
http://www.metatags.org/meta_name_keywords

The following link describes the kinds changes needed for some web forum based sites:
http://www.vbseo.com/f34/understanding-seo-vbulletin-2628/

What I did was to use the top search engines and looked for specific key words in my searches. I then looked at the top pages that were produced from the searches, and used the developer tools that come with IE9 to do an analysis of the page. You can do this by pressing the F12 key and then look at the script tab. This shows the actual code thatís used by the page. Then, simply do what the people did who got the top results did, but improve upon it.

Also Google webmaster tools is a very good resource for a number of things. http://www.google.com/webmasters/edu/quickstartguide/index.html

In addition to above, one of the best ways to help boost oneís page rank is to have other sites provide a link to your site. But before this will be successful, one needs to develop a site map or site index and submit that index to the web search indexes. That way you can put your favorite content and links on subordinate pages at your site, and the search engines will find the content. The following link shows some basic info on what a sitemap is: http://www.sitemaps.org/

RFPhotography

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Re: Search Engine Optimisation
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2012, 09:05:14 AM »

Links have dropped as a measure of site ranking in the latest Google update.  The reason being that link farms were sprouting up that were providing all kinds of links to a site but there was nothing behind the site providing the link.  Google figured this out and changed its algorithms to try to determine whether the link was 'authoritative' but not sure how well that worked.

The bigger drivers of page rank now are content and social sharing.  Developing relevant and useful content on a regular basis that is shared by others on social media or that generates responses on the site from visitors is more important now.  One of the best ways to do that?  A blog.
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AndyS

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Re: Search Engine Optimisation
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2012, 04:10:10 PM »

Hi Martin,

Lots of folk would still maintain that content is still king - have relevant, real content on your pages and it will really help in the long run.

Looking at your site it looks as if you've got good 'alt' tags against your images, but the filenames themselves aren't in general very descriptive. Having some relevant text on the page with each image would probably also help in terms of things like google image search.

I like to think my site is fairly well optimised, but I know I need to work harder at getting more content into the site and on the social networking side of things to get my pages shared around.

I think SEO optimisation is one of those massive topics where can't hope to ever truly get to the point when you've got it perfect - but it's something that you just have to keep working at over time.

Andrew.
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MartinSpence

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Re: Search Engine Optimisation
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2012, 11:35:53 AM »

Thanks for the feedback guys

Justin - thanks for the article! Lots of work ahead...

Cheers
M
www.martinspencephotography.co.uk
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Justan

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Re: Search Engine Optimisation
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2012, 01:00:46 PM »


I came across an article from Google at the end of the following link. It is somewhat of a bewildering read, but a good reference and guide.

http://static.googleusercontent.com/external_content/untrusted_dlcp/www.google.com/en/us/webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf

Having read it, i recommend using it as a reference for some of the finer points but still feel this guide (also mentioned in my previous post) to be more coherent http://www.wordsinarow.com/seo.html

rjkern

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Re: Search Engine Optimisation
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2012, 03:00:42 PM »

Martin,

Good question. I did two blog posts with the guy I work with (www.sporkmarketing.com) in Denver, CO. He does great work!

Part 1: http://www.kern-photo.com/index.php/2011/03/seo_important_business

Part 2: http://www.kern-photo.com/index.php/2011/03/seo_tips_importance_links_blogging

There are some golden nuggets out there... but lots of it comes from common sense and helping others!

Good luck!

RJ
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pomgonewalkabout

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Re: Search Engine Optimisation
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2012, 07:43:13 PM »

Cole Thompson, a lover of Black and White has an interesting article about this on his website.

http://www.photographyblackwhite.com/search-engine-optimization/

Cheers Dean
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Raul_82

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Re: Search Engine Optimisation
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2015, 12:20:30 PM »

I've found that I'm getting a lot of referrer spam in google analytics that makes it almost useless. Also getting rid of that spam is not easy for people who doesn't know how to deal with code (like me). I'm not really interested in generating a lot of traffic to my site, but I do need to be able to track down the traffic that I already have. I use it mostly as an online portfolio and I used to be able to tell which clients (and potential clients) visited the site, the time they spent on pages, figure out the images that they like, etc.

I know this is not exactly what the OP is asking about, but it's related to SEO. I'm curious in hearing how people deal with this issue.
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Jimbo57

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Re: Search Engine Optimisation
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2015, 03:53:31 AM »

This guy is reckoned to be one of the best gurus in the SEO field. And he is a professional photographer!

http://www.photoproseo.com/

.
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Isaac

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Re: Search Engine Optimisation
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2015, 11:31:25 AM »

one of the best gurus

And here's his advice on referrer spam -- "Easiest way is just to search for a Google Analytics expert on fiverr.com and theyíll fix it for you for about $20."

(40% of the blog text is BOLD, which is kind-of unhelpful.)
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Justinr

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Re: Search Engine Optimisation
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2015, 12:39:24 PM »

Hi folks

I've recently developed a website and have discovered I need to do a lot of SEO work.

Are there any articles/websites anyone would recommend?

Thanks
Martin

www.martinspencephotography.co.uk

Having built my own website and probably 30 -40 others over the last 7-8 years I have come to the very firm belief that SEO is a waste of time. Genuinely I would suggest that you find ways of pushing traffic to the site rather than hoping that by hours of messing around you might get an occasional visit from somebody who's never heard of you.

SEO might have worked when there were just a million or so websites around but now there are probably that many photo sites come on stream every year!

Here's a thought. Last week I got a call asking if I might help publicise the auction of a classic tractor. Within a a couple of hours I'd put up a basic website -

www.tractorauction.eu

The auction also received coverage, with link, on the website of Ireland's largest farming newspaper (amongst others) and our daughter put up a FB page. There were a couple of interviews on local radio and a paid for advert on DoneDeal (think Irish Craigslist). Roughly speaking -

25% of the visits to the site came via FB
25% of the visits came by The Farmers Journal
45% of the visits came from the paid advertising
5% came from other sources.

Not one visit came by a search engine! (it was hardly up long enough to be fair)

Make of it what you will but its certainly sobering reading for those who have been insisting that SEO and social media are the only way forward.

 
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PeterAit

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Re: Search Engine Optimisation
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2015, 12:59:45 PM »

I was surprised to read that pages with fewer than 250 words of text are sometimes not indexed at all, or not indexed well. My home page at www.peteraitken.com has essentially no text, just a few links and images, so this could be causing me issues with the search engines. It occurred to me that I could include appropriate text on the page and hide it - the search engines would see it but not the visitors. Is there any reason this would not work?
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Raul_82

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Re: Search Engine Optimisation
« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2015, 07:51:50 PM »

Thanks Isaac!  :)
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David Eichler

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Re: Search Engine Optimisation
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2015, 04:48:21 PM »

Having built my own website and probably 30 -40 others over the last 7-8 years I have come to the very firm belief that SEO is a waste of time. Genuinely I would suggest that you find ways of pushing traffic to the site rather than hoping that by hours of messing around you might get an occasional visit from somebody who's never heard of you.

SEO might have worked when there were just a million or so websites around but now there are probably that many photo sites come on stream every year!

Here's a thought. Last week I got a call asking if I might help publicise the auction of a classic tractor. Within a a couple of hours I'd put up a basic website -

www.tractorauction.eu

The auction also received coverage, with link, on the website of Ireland's largest farming newspaper (amongst others) and our daughter put up a FB page. There were a couple of interviews on local radio and a paid for advert on DoneDeal (think Irish Craigslist). Roughly speaking -

25% of the visits to the site came via FB
25% of the visits came by The Farmers Journal
45% of the visits came from the paid advertising
5% came from other sources.

Not one visit came by a search engine! (it was hardly up long enough to be fair)

Make of it what you will but its certainly sobering reading for those who have been insisting that SEO and social media are the only way forward.

You may be right, but you provide no factual support for your contention. Your example is useless, since, by your own admission, your information is from a short period of time after the website became active.

It is my understanding that SEO is a longterm, continuous process, and that it can take awhile before search engines begin recognize a new site, or changes to an existing site.
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David Eichler

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Re: Search Engine Optimisation
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2015, 04:54:05 PM »

This guy is reckoned to be one of the best gurus in the SEO field. And he is a professional photographer!

http://www.photoproseo.com/

.


Reckoned by whom? By anyone who is a widely recognized authority on such matters?
« Last Edit: December 26, 2015, 06:00:07 PM by David Eichler »
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Tony Jay

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Re: Search Engine Optimisation
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2015, 05:23:49 PM »

The big picture point that Justin makes: that marketing your business should not just be a function of one's website is valid.

However, in the context of optimising one's website, it is incorrect to say that SEO is a waste of time.
It is true that a lot of people do not know or appreciate what is important for SEO.
It is also true that the web crawlers from Google and Bing are continually evolving in order to try and eliminate inappropriate attempts at SEO. This leads to plenty of rumours, myths, statistics, and downright lies about SEO.
Although edge case scenarios in SEO do change the fundamentals of what makes a site highly ranked are well established.

Time plays an important role here as well. NO site will get highly ranked in a day. However with attention to detail one's site can continue to improve in the rankings.
It is important to note that most sites are designed with other priorities in mind such as UX or ecommerce and so the SEO aspects are often ignored initially and only later are attempts made to address the deficiencies.

Tony Jay
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Justinr

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Re: Search Engine Optimisation
« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2015, 11:05:15 AM »

You may be right, but you provide no factual support for your contention. Your example is useless, since, by your own admission, your information is from a short period of time after the website became active.

It is my understanding that SEO is a longterm, continuous process, and that it can take awhile before search engines begin recognize a new site, or changes to an existing site.

As always with techie stuff there's an excuse why something deemed to be the best thing ever doesn't actually do what it says on the tin.

The message I have picked up over the years is a website is only part of your presence in your market, spending hours sweating over every last nuance of SEO is usually time wasted that could well be spent doing more productive things, unless someone is paying you to do it of course. You can take it or leave it, but to me a website is something you have to drive people to, not hope that by a bit of hocus pocus they might find you.
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Justinr

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Re: Search Engine Optimisation
« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2015, 11:32:05 AM »

The big picture point that Justin makes: that marketing your business should not just be a function of one's website is valid.

However, in the context of optimising one's website, it is incorrect to say that SEO is a waste of time.
It is true that a lot of people do not know or appreciate what is important for SEO.
It is also true that the web crawlers from Google and Bing are continually evolving in order to try and eliminate inappropriate attempts at SEO. This leads to plenty of rumours, myths, statistics, and downright lies about SEO.
Although edge case scenarios in SEO do change the fundamentals of what makes a site highly ranked are well established.

Time plays an important role here as well. NO site will get highly ranked in a day. However with attention to detail one's site can continue to improve in the rankings.
It is important to note that most sites are designed with other priorities in mind such as UX or ecommerce and so the SEO aspects are often ignored initially and only later are attempts made to address the deficiencies.

Tony Jay

The basic question we must ask ourselves is, are people going to be searching for our product on the web? Maybe they do so in the US and Australia but over here I do get the strong impression that those who turn to the web as a first resort are very much in the minority. If we assume that to be the case then you are only reaching out to a small part of your customer base by relying on website prompted sales. I have come across numerous cases where small traders in particular have been told they must have a website to improve sales, so they have gone ahead and had something put together expecting a big boost in business and hey presto, nothing happens! Now I'm sure it's all their fault and they didn't do this or that or sacrifice a chicken to the god of the main server, but on the other hand it may just be the case the value of web marketing is somewhat overestimated. There is, after all, a whole industry out there promoting it but actual performance results are hard to come by.

Websites have their place, if only to reassure people that you actually exist, but they should only be a part of most businesse's marketing unless you are Ebay or Amazon or somesuch. You'll just have to mark me down as a web marketing agnostic I'm afraid.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2015, 06:26:36 PM by Justinr »
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