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SEO Ranking Dynamics

Rule-of-thumb: There are no shortcuts when it comes to generating good search results.

Makeup of a Good Website

Factors that impact your website rankingWhen you start thinking tactically about how to execute your SEO strategy, one approach is to make a list of the variables that go into the makeup of high-quality websites. This is a useful technique because there are a lot of moving parts to keep track of. Most of the line items on your list you can control to a degree – but, keep in mind that any single element moves the relevancy needle very little. It’s the aggregate of all them that make a difference. The individual line items in your SEO hit-list fall into the following seven major categories.

  1. Content
  2. Coding & Architecture
  3. Webpage Markup
  4. Consumer Search Behavior
  5. Link Popularity
  6. Website Dynamics
  7. Unethical Techniques

Content

Rule-of-thumb: SEO will never compensate for the lack of high-quality content.

In the real estate business it’s all about location, location, location. On the Internet it’s content, content, content. People don’t come to your website because you’re cool, or for your bleeding-edge design. They come to consume content, which can be simple entertainment videos, topical white papers, or expert information about your products and services. When developing your content strategy keep in mind that search engines value:

  • Well-written content.
  • Unique content (not found elsewhere).
  • Content-rich sites.
  • Older established sites with fresh content.
  • Content that is updated regularly.

The display of web-based content is usually the primary focus of most content managers, but there should be a two-part strategy when it comes to creating and deploying content to your website.

  1. A webpage strategy
  2. A document-based strategy

Call now for free SEO consultationWebpage content might be limited by what you can do with on-screen real estate allocation limits, load time requirements and competing themes per page. But none of these restrictions apply to a well-crafted PDF document. A well-crafted PDF document can be lifted out of context and can stand on its own. These documents can be theme specific. They can be downloaded for future reading, they can be syndicated, and they can be emailed to friends (becoming viral). You have a lot more flexibility with a file – so look for opportunities to expand web-based content as PDF, Power Point, Excel and Word documents.

Coding & Architecture

Rule-of-thumb: The money you saved hiring the cheapest web developer will simply be spent fixing these problems in the future.

Google’s crawler is software, and it often has problems with poorly written source code and overly clever implementations using web 2.0 technologies. It does the best job it can, but it can easily miss your content, it can designate your page as low quality, or decide to pass you by if it encounters problems parsing code because your:

  • Website is using dynamic URLs with multiple parameters in URL strings.
  • URLs have unique session IDs that fool the crawler into thinking that it is dealing with a unique new page of content when in fact it is receiving the same page over and over again (because they expire after each request).
  • CMS platform generates excessively long URLs with a ton of characters and numbers that can’t be parsed (or have no semantic meaning).
  • Website has a disproportionate ratio of source code to text on the page.
  • Webpage takes 10 seconds to render and load.
  • Website’s Flash / JavaScript menus can’t be parsed. This includes cookie-based navigation.
  • Images with embedded text can’t be parsed for meaning (all semantic meaning is lost). This includes images that are used for navigation.
  • Website’s in-line frames can’t be parsed as a group (frames can easily be confused as discrete pages).
  • Website architecture is not consumer friendly because the site grew organically over time, and it takes far too many clicks to find content.
  • You did not bother to create and use an HTML / XML Sitemap.
  • You did not bother to validate your source code before shipping. The W3C validation of your source code should be a routine task, and it should be declared in the code.

Find Out More

I’ve discussed the first two categories in the following list. If you are interested in finding out more about the remaining five categories send me an email at: Mark@MSprague.com, or call me now at: 781-862-3126.

  1. Content
  2. Coding & Architecture
  3. Webpage Markup
  4. Consumer Search Behavior
  5. Link Popularity
  6. Website Dynamics
  7. Unethical Techniques

Lexington eBusiness Consulting

About Lexington eBusiness Consulting

Providing comprehensive Google SEO services to the Boston community…

Mark Sprague’s 25 years of product development experience, which includes expertise in Search Engines, Information Products, SEO platforms and Social Networking applications provide in-depth expertise to help you refine products and services, and improve your search engine marketing and websites performance by:

  • Developing a superior data-driven SEO strategy for your website.
  • Understanding your customers’ search behavior and normalizing it to your content strategy.
  • Understanding how search engine technology practically impacts SEO and content strategies.
  • Understanding how search technology impacts content in a social networking environment.
  • Developing a superior user experience based on sound information architecture, usability and coding standards.

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Mark Sprague,  CEO
580 Lowell Street
Lexington, MA 02420

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