The past couple days I attended Online Marketing Summit in San Diego. The conferences was maxed out and especially excellent if you are interested in email and SEO.
The event was well organized, talks were top notch, and I met some great people, but the #1 thing I learned was some great SEO tips. I sat down for 15 minutes with Thomas Beatty a Sr. Analyst with Business OnLine for an SEO audit of our online contest software company Artistic Hub.
In 15 minutes I learned some basic but very valuable SEO best practices that we are implementing immediately. Since i believe in the power of Paying It Forward I wanted to share. We just created this summary so these aren’t implemented yet, but will be by next week.
14 SEO tips I learned from Business OnLine
1) Make sure your title matches your keywords
- Old: Online Contest Software | Photo Contest Applications | White-label Contest Platform | Artistic Hub
- New: Contest Software | Photo Contest Software | Customizable Contest Software | Artistic Hub
2) Modify your description to be accurate and keyword focused:
- Old: “Artistic Hub is a white-label contest application company. Our contest platform can power photo contests, design contests, audio contests, or video contests.”
- New: “Artistic Hub is the leading contest software company. Our contest software can be customized for photo contests, design contests, audio contests, or video contests.”
3) Modified and consistent keywords:
- We were using software, application, and platform inconsistently. We are combining all the terms to use software.
4) Use keywords accurately in content:
- The top two searches for us are “contest software” and “photo contest software”. Anytime we use these we should use text and we want to use the combination as much as possible without forcing it.
5) Use text for navigation not images:
- We are big on design and a lot of our links are images so we are modifying to be text.
6) Modify top navigation to be text and keyword focused:
- Our Applications -> Our Contest Software
- How It Works -> How Our Contests Work
- Features -> Contest Features
7) Modify sub navigation text under features to be text and keyword focused
- Branding and Integration -> Contest Branding and Integration
- Management Center -> Contest Management
- Distribution Strategy -> Contest Distribution
- Re-read the content and change any references to applications or software to “contest software”. Should always be ….our contest software…
8) Use descriptive alt tags on all our images. Here is an article for reference and here is what we are changing:
- Add alt tag to our AH icon on top “ Artistic Hub Contest Software, Photo Contest Software, Online Contest Software”
- Add alt tags to all of our “Our Application” hover over images
9) Use top keywords if appropriate in our bottom navigation:
- Change “our applications” to “Our Contest Software”
- Add software to the end of each sub link ex: “photo contest software”
10) Add a Custom 404 Page. Here is a 404 info reference
- Anytime someone enters an extension on “http://artistichub.com/blahblah” it should show a custom 404 page with some text like “Sorry you didn’t find what you are looking for. Were you looking for one of these things. The page would then list our navigation links.
11) Modify plain page anchors to use keywords
12) Break out our website into pages with below the fold content.
- We are using a one page website design and Thomas’ suggestion was to break out the website into pages. We are keen on design so he showed me an example of how the Venetian in Vegas uses flash with content below the fold. The home page looks awesome with great flash, but as you scroll down you will see a page of text so search spiders can index the content properly
13) Have partners user “Keyword Anchor Text” to link to your site
- Many people think that buying URLs is the best route for keyword ranking. The problem is there is no history. The key is to get existing sites with history to link to you the right way. For example having a site link to “Daily Deal Software” vs Deal Current is much more powerful. Deal Current is our website URL, but if a site tells Google that our website has Daily Deal Software on it we get more credit. So ask partners to hyperlink the keywords you want vs just your website. This will improve your ranking over time.
14) Verify your site with Yahoo, Google, and Bing Webmasters tags
- Google – http://www.google.com/webmasters/
- Yahoo – http://siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com/
- Bing – http://www.bing.com/toolbox/webmasters/
So this is what we learned and these are easy best practices that anyone can implement. If you are looking for bigger SEO projects I highly recommend Business OnLine.