Most of the time when we talk to prospective clients about SEO, the first things they think of are keywords, descriptions, and page titles. Now, just about every marketing person on the planet thinks they’re an SEO expert. Yeah right, just like everyone that can code HTML is a web developer too. The point is that SEO goes well beyond descriptions and titles; in fact, SEO includes a number of factors that impact rankings and these factors are always changing.
With that said, I’m going to cover a few “off-page SEO” tips to increase organic search visibility and stop people for stealing your content without giving you credit for it.
Use Rich Snippets for SEO
Rich snippets are a type of structured data that allow webmasters to
mark up content in ways that provide information to the search engines. Depending on the scenario, the websites that leverage rich snippets see better results or enhanced results in the search engines. An example of enhanced results could be reviews or ratings in the results. In general, this can lead to better click-through rates. Schema.org provides several types of examples of data that can benefit from structured markup which includes people, products, reviews, businesses, events, and more. Google has a tool called “Structured Data Testing Tool” to preview or get help with markups. In my opinion, you should read more details on schema.org to understanding it better before implementing.
Improve your Load-Time
You want to minimize web server response times to limit slow page loads. Remember that response time is going to vary from page load to page load. If possible, I would recommend a good dedicated server and an onsite webmaster to proactively improve server response times. Whenever possible, I would also recommend optimizing images, but not at the risk of poor-quality or low resolution visuals. There are a number of solutions to help with this, from Smush.it™ to some of Adobe’s Products. As you’re programming your website, you should consider opportunities to combine/compact CSS, optimize the order of CSS, move items to the head of the document, etc. This will all help to improve load time, SEO, and the user experience. Load-time is a factor that’s associated with search rankings, and Google Analytics offers a direct link to their PageSpeed Insights to test your site’s pages.
Have a URL Strategy
When you redesign a website, it’s usually due to updated branding or to support new business related functionality on the site. The linking structure, internal site links, and link building are usually on the minds of the webmaster or SEO person, but it’s important that you carry over as much link equity as possible by using redirects, a custom 404 page, and canonical links. Canonical links help to communicate to the search engines which page should be credited as the original. You should also use absolute links (“http://www.dabrianmarketing.com/blog.html”) instead of relative links (“/blog.html”) in the programming to limit scraping or “jacking” of your content. Remember that this content should be consistent with your updated branding and still support your business’s needs.