Another value adding service IDS offers is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) of your website, below we touch on a few important aspects of SEO.
Here is our first SEO review for 2009, we hope that you find it interesting and that you can take the ideas below and implement it in your own website.
Website: Exclusive Villas (http://www.exclusivevillas.co.za).
At first glance this website looks as if it’s in good shape from a SEO perspective. However, this site is a good example of the importance of the little things.
Let’s have a look at the basics of SEO:
1) Title tags
2) Meta tags
3) URL structure
5) Incoming links
On-site Optimisation factors
1) Title tags (click here if you don’t know what a title tag is); for most part the title tags are ok. Each title tag is different, focusing on a specific keyword per page. The selected keywords though are short in length and aren’t what we call long-tail keywords. A good start is focusing on the region of which a website offers it’s services. In this case it is Cape Town, so inserting the keyword ‘Cape Town’ in every title tag is more important than the website name. Having ‘Exclusive Villas’ in the domain name should be enough to optimise for keyword ‘exclusive villas’, so there is no need to insert it into the title tag.
2) Meta tags (click here if you don’t know what a meta tag is) are devaluing the website, namely meta descriptions. They can play an important role in telling search engines the importance of certain keywords within each web page. The content in some of the Meta Descriptions is duplicated from the page content.
3) The importance of URL structure is important especially when focusing on highly competitive keywords. Exclusive Villas have implemented dynamic URLs which is not good for SEO. A dynamic URL looks like this: /Villa_Display.asp?parentseq=3, a SEO friendly URL looks like this: /boutique-hotels.asp. A good idea is to study your competitors, do they have SEO friendly URLs? If so, then you are losing out even if you have a higher Page Rank than them and in this case it holds true for Exclusive Villas. They have a PR of 5 but their competitors have PR’s of 2 and 1… ISAPI Rewrite needs to be implemented for asp (provided the server is IIS).
Caution: If you’re considering rewriting your URLs, make sure a SEO walks you through this and that every legacy URL is 301-redirected to the new URL. This is very important! Don’t just rewrite the URLs just because I said so. Every Web site is unique. If you’re already enjoying solid rankings and traffic, you may want to leave it well enough alone.
4) Immediately when I look at the content of the site I can see a line of text at the top and at the bottom of each web page. This will be seen by major search engines as spamming, especially as it is a <h1> tag. It is good SEO practice to make a web page look as if the page is not optimised… this sounds strange but true! I have no doubt that the site is being penalised because of these spammy words on each web page. It would be a better idea to focus these keywords in the title tag, meta description and once or twice in the viewable content, making it as natural and flowing as possible. I have worked with sites with no <h1> tags (click here if you don’t know what a <h1> tag is) and they still receive high rankings, although <h1> tags are important, it is not the be all and end all of on-site optimisation.
Off-site Optimisation factors
5) The incoming links to Exclusive Villas are generally very good, case in point, they have a PR of 5. As we can always improve SEO and a website is never perfect, I would suggest looking at anchor text (click here if you don’t know what anchor text is) and analysing where the links are coming from. The more incoming links a website can achieve which relates to their website the better. Anchor text should focus on keywords which they want to target i.e. ‘villa rentals cape town’.
If Exclusive Villas implement these changes it will be interesting to see how it will affect their traffic. Although no one can guarantee an increase in traffic after optimising a site (not even Google themselves), if done correctly I can confidently say that these little tweaks will make a world of difference to their targeted traffic resulting in more leads and more sales.- Post brought to you in association with WebGrowth