Thursday, September 15, 2011

SEO – The First Step Towards A Healthy Social Media Presence

While focusing on Social Media Marketing a few people tend to forget how important SEO can be for your business’ website. Just as you need a strong foundation for your home before you start building it, similarly a successful social media campaign could really do with an optimum amount of SEO for your website. Don’t overdo it, and don’t keep it too minimal. Just the right amount of salt!

First try to understand how search engines index your website. Search engines find websites using softwares that follow links to crawl the Web. These are called Bots. To be found quickly by search engines, it helps to have inbound links to your website. More important, the links within your site should be working properly or the bot would not be able to reach the page pointed by the link, and hence will not be able to index it. That’s one point lost!
Regarding images in your website, they mean nothing to the bots. The only info a bot can gather from a picture is if anything is specified in the ‘alt’ attribute. Therefore, always make sure that you provide description about the image via the ‘alt’ attribute. This not only helps the bots ‘read’ your site better, but is also helpful in cases when the viewers of your site use a browser that doesn’t support images.

Meta Tags, also called as meta information, is a method you can use to provide information about a web page.
The most common meta tags provide a description and keywords about the website to the search engines. It tells the search engines what the content of your website is all about.
More details about the syntax of Meta Tags can be found here.

-        Make site navigation as easy as possible.
Structure your pages of the website clearly in a clean order and try to give a link back to your homepage from all the pages of your website

-        Provide a SiteMap
          The whole of your site should be contained as links in your sitemap. If there are hundreds of pages, you could separate the different pages under different sections or even divide the sitemap into different pages.

-        Don’t focus on fancy graphics and heavy use of images
          Since the visitors to your website will be keener on your content rather than how flashy it looks, don’t give undue importance to what fancy font you plan to use. Similarly, try using images only to the level of that needed. Overuse of images will increase the time it takes for your site to load, and that could cost you some serious number of visitors!
All said, make sure you don’t make the site look boring. Make it a pleasure for the eyes but at the same time, know the limits.

-        Provide ‘alt’ attributes to images
          As said before, make sure you provide correct ‘alt’ attribute text to the images in your site

-        Focus on content
          This is the most important fact that you should keep in mind. Content! That’s the reason why people visit your website and unless you provide them with quality content, you can’t expect them to revisit your site.

Links on your website form an integral part of how search engines index your site.
Inbound links are links to pages in your site from external websites. They are considered as a means of determining the value of your site, because the more the number of inbound links the more number of sites think that your site has content worth linking to. Also, an inbound link from a site that itself is highly valued is worth more than an inbound link from a low value site.

 As the name suggests, outbound links are links from your site to external websites. They provide credibility to your website and can also be of service for visitors, providing them additional information about the topic. However, optimize the use of outbound links because using too many outbound links can even lure your visitors away from your site, which is bad for business. Also, search engines penalize your ranking if you have too many outbound links. For a page with about 300 words, you could have a minimum of 2-3 and a maximum of about 10-12 outbound links.

Cross links are links within your site. It is good to have as many cross links in your site as possible, at the same time keeping in mind the ‘overdo’ factor. Effective cross linking helps keep visitors on your site longer, which in turn can seriously affect your SEO in a positive way.


These simple points, if catered to in a well enough manner can make Search Engine Optimization of your site a breeze and in return, have a big impact on your Social Media Presence.
Happy SEO’ing…

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