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Thursday

14

Apr 2011

Rachit Dayal is our Principal Consultant who has been working on SEO projects since 2004 and is one of Singapore’s leading voices for Enterprise SEO, including having constant search engine optimization as part of the marketing mix for large projects like corporate sites, directories, portals etc. This article is part of his SEO in 2011 series.

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Make sure you are visible for your company and brand names

In SEO, visibility refers to being able to get your company name and brand to appear on the first pages of search engine results for many keywords that are related to the product or service that your company deals in. Search engine visibility increases the chances of action on your site such as sale of goods or subscription for services.

In order to achieve visibility and stand above the competition, your business must have four features.

It must have a very specific promise to the clients. This means that you need to offer your clients something that no other business can offer. If it is a service, your standards must be a cut above the rest.

You also need to demonstrate value to your clientele. It is always important to make your clients aware of the value your business will offer them by consistently preaching quality. Your mission and vision should be the same across the board for all your sites so as to develop a consistent brand.

Thirdly, you need to ensure that your branding is clearly visible on all your websites so as to deliver the message to your clients. A specific and consistent core message without publicity means nothing, if your clients never hear about it.

Lastly, you need to make your brand stand out from the competition. This will be greatly accomplished by the type of wording that you use to describe your company or its products and services in your sites. Your wording should be bold and catchy to make it hard to forget.

Stuffing the title tags with keywords is amateurish

SEO copywriting which allows for keywords to be used in the HTML code of a web page is a popular and effective SEO technique. However, some people abuse this SEO technique resulting to keyword stuffing which is an unethical practice. A common example is the stuffing of title tags with keywords.

Stuffing page title tags with keywords is a black hat SEO strategy that can lead to your site being banned by the search engines. Although there is no standard set for maximum keyword use, it is not advisable to be overly generous with the use of keywords on your tags. Different search engines use different criteria to determine what amounts to keyword stuffing and so to be on the safe side for all, it’s advisable to avoid this practice. Using a keyword more than once on your tag could amount to keyword stuffing and is not recommended.

Instead of wasting time stuffing your pages with keywords, it is advisable to spend more time improving the quality of your links and the general information on your site. These are safer means to achieving highly targeted traffic that don’t expose you to the risk of banning by the search engines.

Professional landing pages for a low bounce rate

Bounce rate refers to the number of visitors that leave your site after viewing only one web page. For those wishing to promote goods and services online, a high bounce rate could lead to very low returns on investment.

A tone of traffic to your landing page is of no use to your business if it doesn’t reach the point of action such as the sales page or subscription page. It is therefore very important to build your landing page in a way that maximizes conversion by reducing the bounce rate of your site. The landing page of a site is without doubt the most important page in a website since it is the first page a visitor to the site gets to see and it is from there they will decide whether to navigate the rest of the site or leave the site altogether.

The landing page should contain perfect grammar and flow in writing to capture and potentially hold the attention of your visitor. The format of the content should also be in such a way that readers find it easy to get the information they are looking for. You can do this by using subheadings and listings which are easier on the eye rather than using block text. Graphics such as pictures or drawings can be used where necessary but they should not be too flashy.

Once you are sure you have the visitor’s attention, you can call them to action and navigate using features such as in-text links that lead to your action page.

Usable page design and navigation for a happy user

Web page design is a very key element to consider when coming up with a new site. We often ponder for hours trying to come up with the best designs for our pages. However, we often forget that we are not creating these pages for ourselves but for our site visitors. This is why we end up coming up with flashy pages with very heavy graphics but with very little functionality.

SEO aims at improving your client’s experience on your site so that they can in turn give recommendations to others, through social bookmarking and linking, about your site. You are therefore advised to always strive to make your web pages simple and easy to use to reduce the bounce rate. You should concentrate on functionality rather than aesthetics since very few visitors will appreciate the art behind the site but many will concentrate on finding the information that landed them there in the first place.

If your page contains text it should be easy to read. If text overflows and a navigation bar is needed, studies show that the top left corner is a prime location. Navigation bars should be easy to find on a page since a visitor is less likely to waste time scrolling to find one and is more likely to simply navigate away from that page.

Another feature you are encouraged to use is multiple links to the same destination. For example you can create links to a product through primary navigation links or through contextual links on the text of the homepage.

As a simple rule to creating an effective page, always keep it simple and basic.

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