SEO From a Programming Perspective – Theory

IMG_1422 Many of my peers think of me solely as a programmer.  Many don’t realize that I also specialize in search engine optimization.  In fact, about 25% of my income is derived from SEO-related activities.

I thought it would be useful to many of you if I spent a few posts discussing things I’ve learned along the way as they relate to programming.  But before we get into that, we need to discuss a bit of SEO theory.

There are three elements any web site needs to worry about when it comes to SEO:

  • On-page factors
  • On-site factors
  • Links

 

On-Page Factors

At this point many of you are expecting me to say something about keyword density, Hn tags and bold and underline elements.

That information is at least 3 years old.

What you really need to worry about is the title tag.  As long as the rest of your page agrees with what is in the title tag, you’ve done all that is really worth doing.  That is, you don’t want to title your article “5 ways to lose weight” and then write about jQuery plugins.  Well, you might, but I think it would confuse Google.

The second element I would make sure showed up on all of my pages is keyword tags.  Even if you aren’t building a blog.  The search engines love blogs, so the more like a blog your site looks, the better chance you’ll have of getting found.  So make sure each page has three to five keywords listed as tags in the form of http://yourdomain.com/tags/keyword

I recently had a discussion with a client who told me she had talked to another SEO expert who told her she had to pay attention to keyword density.

My response was simply, “I’m not going to have a virtual argument with a guy I don’t know.  What matters is the results we get.  My sites get targeted traffic following these rules without having to do any more than what I’ve stated.”  Theory is great but the proof is in the results.

 

On Site Factors

Next, you want to make sure that your pages are cross-linked to each other.  Especially the related pages.  What a hyperlink says about a page and what the page the hyperlink is coming from says about itself has a great deal to do with how that page ranks in the search engines.  So, ideally, all the posts that are related to each other will link to each other.  This is why I have the “Other posts in Series” and “Related Posts” at the bottom of all of my articles on this blog.

Related to this, don’t just write one article about a subject.  Write at least three.  The more articles you write, the more cross-linking you can do.

 

Off-Site Factors

The main off-site factor you will be concerned with is getting incoming links to the individual pages on your site.  Again, what a link says about the page and what the page the link is on says about itself will go a long way to determining how well that page will rank in the search engines.

 

Conclusion

As a search expert, there are many ways to achieve these goals.  As a programmer, there are several things we can do in our code that will help us achieve each of the goals above.  This will be the focus of our future post.

If you are interested in SEO generally, I’ve written a longer article on the subject that you can get for free.  Just go over to www.NewEnglandSEM.com and click the link for the article at the bottom of the home page.

 

Other Resources You Might Be Interested In

  • SEO Elite
    Software that helps you with some of the off-site factors
  • MSN Loophole
    e-Book that explains a loophole in the MSN search engine and how to take advantage of it.  (Don’t expect overnight success with this one, but it does work.)
  • Keyword Elite
    The main tool I use to find topics to write about

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