SEO for beginners.

Beginners Guide to SEO

Anita from OFEC Website Design writes: I am tasked with looking into SEO to optimise our website. As I am new in this area and am hoping to get to grips with it soon and then manage the SEO, can you suggest some  basic SEO guidelines as to how and where I should start?

Your site looks to be a good starting place to understand SEO, but I’m hoping that you will be able to give me a check list of basic website optimisation techniques I could put in place, in house, before I outsource to an SEO firm.

Hello Anita, I’d be happy to give you some pointers with regards to optimising your website. The good news is that you work for a website design company, so within your ranks, you likely have the skill base to carry out most of the changes that I suggest.

The first thing that you must do, prior to thinking about content optimisation, head tag optimisation and off-page optimisation, is to get your source code right.

The site is written inside a bought template and unfortunately when you buy ready made websites, the source code is, in the majority of cases, of a very low quality and far from being spider friendly. I should say, in this case, your web designers would appear to have made alterations to the source code of your website, as the source code is better than many templated websites that I’ve seen recently, but it needs to be optimised and made w3c compliant.

The current source code is much heavier than it needs to be, with a code to text ratio of only 16.48%, 247 lines of code and your actual website content doesn’t start until line 145. By optimising the code, using CSS Divisional layers, you’ll increase the code to text ratio to between 40% and 60%, reduce the number of lines of source code to around under 65 lines and have the page content begin on line 14 or 15. Once your site is that size, and the source code is fully compliant (which it isn’t at present), you can start to look at on-page factors.

This article will be continued later, when I’ll recode the actual website for you and point out the other issues with the code and the site at present and everyone will be able to view the difference.

Until later…..

2 Responses to “SEO for beginners.”

Jeff Says:

It is my understanding that all search engines strip out the HTML code during the Document Normalisation process. Am I wrong? If correct then surely it makes no difference to how far down the page content actually starts. Please explain.

The Bigman replies:
Hello Jeff,
It makes a difference as in 99% of tabled source code, the navigation will appear before the content and if there is a large number of navigation links of the page, it can appear as spam to the search engine spiders. The first thing a spider wants to see on a page is an H1 tag followed by P tag content. Then, ideally, an H2 tag, P tag content, a UL, LI, an H3 tag, P tag content (with a picture somewhere on the page)and then navigation links. It doesn’t want to come accross 60 links before any content is found. This started as a theory and we have tested it out on hundreds of websites over several years and it has worked on each and every one of them, so I am confident in stating that this is 100% accurate information.
I hope this answers your question Jeff, but don’t hesitate to get back in touch if you have any other questions.

D.I.Y Sea Says:

Hey INCREDIBLE zoas and care instructions on this site - What the hell are Zoas? Do you mean the reef plants? Oh, duh! You’re a spammer! Silly me! BM

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