Better SEO for news sites, blogs
Mark Glaser interviewed some experts and came up with this list (see the full post for important details):
- Get inbound links and link out as well.
- Headlines and title tags should have key words up front.
- Web addresses for your blog posts or articles should include key words.
- Page descriptions should be unique or eliminated.
- Highlight your best content on every page.
- Create theme or category pages, and run more special series.
- Limit tags and categories to the most important ones.
- Create a Google News [sic] site map and optimize images.
- Get into offline conversations as well as online ones.
I think No. 2 deserves a bit of highlighting — far too many so-called Web designers either do not know what the HTML title is, or they do not realize how much it matters. Moreover, an HTML title is completely different from any HTML heading, and — just one more thing — headings are often improperly handled (e.g., the tags H1 and H2 are misused).
This is not a matter of pickiness, along the lines of choosing to use a serial comma or not — these practices do have an effect on where your stories, pages and posts rank in Google and other search engines.
If you are reading this blog post on my blog’s home page, the title (look at the bar at the very tippy top of your Web browser window) is: “Teaching Online Journalism.” If, on the other hand, you opened the individual post, that title is: “Teaching Online Journalism » Better SEO for news sites, blogs.” And I’ll tell you a secret (well, not really very secret): The SEO would be better if the title were: “Better SEO for news sites, blogs » Teaching Online Journalism” (as my friend Craig once goaded me; I replied, “Yeah, yeah, when I have time, I’ll fix it”).
You might think your Web people know all this. You might be surprised.
For more tips, see SEO Copywriting 2.0 at the excellent blog Copyblogger — five easy lessons are provided there. (And check out the title bar there — not lazy, like mine!)