Welcome to EvO:R Entertainment
The EvO:R-Pedia Musicians Tips Section
Search Engine Optimization
Welcome to the EvO:R Tips Section. We call this section EvO:R-Pedia because it is like a complete
reference library for Indie musicians...Just about every tip has been used so you won't find false
promises and a series of books to buy after reading each tip. This section was put here by musicians
so that people that followed can take this knowledge and use it's power.
Search Engine Optimization
by Chris Lytle
Chris Lytle's Sales Tip: Does this sound like any sales operation you've worked for?
"When generals are weak and lack authority, instructions are not clear, officers and
soldiers lack consistency, and they form battle lines every which way; this is a riot."
Sun Tzu's warning to military leaders is great advice to sales managers. Deploying
salespeople who don't have a consistent, repeatable process and who are not "on message"
costs monumental amounts of wasted motion and leaves wheelbarrows full of money on table
About The Author
Firstly it should be noted that Search Engine Optimization is not something performed
with a blanket approach it is an individual set of actions performed page by page to
suit that page's particular goals. Here at Kanga Internet we break up a clients website
into specific and important pages based on the keyword terms we have identified through
research and then write the first few pages to suit those terms. We associate page titles,
page file names (buy-blue-widgets.html), H1 tags, description and keyword Meta tags and
in page content to tell the story that match those identified keywords. It is also important
to ensure your pages are W3 compliant and have no errors.
The following are the top ten mistakes that I have seen made over and over again by people
trying to self-optimize their websites.
1. Bad Titles
Titles are the most important thing about a webpage. Search engine spiders see
the title on your page first and they make a general assessment about it based
upon this. They scan the page and make sure the content of the page matches the
title and then assign rankings based upon these matches and how they best fit.
The title tag is the best way to inform the search engine what your page is about,
and it plays an important part in ranking if used properly. Placing your main
identified keywords in the title and ensuring to obey the rule of leftward and
stemming is vital - leftward rule, the closer the word to the left of the sentence
the more important it is; stemming is where words can be associated but with words
in-between i.e.: Great Blue Widgets when stemmed would allow Great Widgets. It is
important to ensure your title matches your page content, description and Meta keywords
and is unique for your website. Every page title and content should be unique otherwise
it will be ranked supplemental.
2. Filename of the Page
It is important if you are using dynamic websites like Joomla or other content management
systems that a search engine friendly URL translator is installed. Because I use Joomla
every day I will describe what I mean relating to Joomla. In Joomla (and most other dynamic websites)
URL's like the normal Joomla URL "index.php?option=com_mtree&task=listcats&cat_id=1766&Itemid=35"
drive the website. The problem with these URL's is that they are unintelligible by humans and also
by search engines. Installing a search engine friendly URL component will change these pages to
something more meaningful and also including your keywords in these page names can help with SEO.
The newly transformed search engine friendly URL would look like this "buy-blue-widgets.html". If
you do not have a dynamic website, then ensure your page name is short, to the point and contains
your main keywords for that page maybe with a call to action like "buy" and "blue widgets".
3. Duplicate or Bad Content
Ensuring your content is unique and relevant is vital in SEO success. Often websites just duplicate
content or bring in plagiarized content from other websites. It is my experience that these websites
fail dismally in search engine rankings. Write some decent and unique content or maybe search
online and find someone who can actually write you decent unique content for a fee. Make it good,
friendly and unique content that people will want to link to. If you are listed in the supplemental
index of Google, then making sure your titles, descriptions, Meta keywords and on page content is
unique, is the only way to drag them out of the supplemental index.
4. No Links
Having covered off a few of the on page most important SEO tips we now look at links, which
are an off page SEO concept. For each person or website that links to your website it is a
vote for your site. If the website that links to yours has a high pagerank itself then it
carries more weíght. Simply having good keywords, titles and text on your page is only part
of SEO. Just because you created a unique and perfectly optimized webpage does not mean you
will automatically gain a decent pagerank for that page. In order to ensure SEO success you
have to create incoming links - this is probably the hardest part of search engine optimization
because you are effectively selling your pages all over the Internet. One way to gain ínstant
(within a few weeks) links is to pay for text advertising - A search on Google will uncover some
of the best text linking services. Link exchanges are bad because for every vote you get you
are giving one away and, if you happen to link to a "black listed" site, then Google will
penalize you significantly. One way links are the ultimate in SEO link campaigns so seek
out directories (either paid or free, you need to evaluate), post in forums, write articles
and submit them and ask other friendly webmasters if they can help you out with a link. The
best way to gain links is to have unique content that other people actually want to link to.
5. Incoming Link Anchor Text
Having pointed out how important it is to gain incoming links, it is now important to also
point out that the text those links are anchored to is important also. The text should be
targeted at your main keywords and the page they point to should have those keywords as
relevant and prominent also. The website you link from should be relevant to your website.
So, as an example I own a web design company in Melbourne, Australia so I gain links from
web hostíng providers and/or open source Joomla sites in or around my region. Getting 1000
links from a casino related website will serve no benefit to my website and will not make
it rank higher for "web design" keyword search terms. Use professional common sense when
6. Bad Internal Page Links
We return to on page factors that you can work on within your website. It is important to
make sure that the anchor text linking to pages within your own website is relevant to the
target page. Make sure the title tag is filled in also for each link. You have the greatest
control over links from within your own web site so make sure they are relevant and that the
link title and the on page copy match the main keywords of the target page.
7. Live Links
Using some external tools like the link checker that W3 Org offers is good. I suggest
harnessing as many tools as you can to ensure all of the links on your website are live,
working and not sending people to 404 error pages. It is also important to ensure your
page markup (html, xhtml) is valid. W3 also provides a tool for this. Make use of both of
these freely available tools.
Search Engine Optimization is not a short term task. It is one of an ongoing refinement
after refinement and hour after hour of working on your website. Producing unique content,
checking it, validating, listing and checking the search engines and making sure they have
it listed correctly. Do not think for one second that you can optimize your site thoroughly
ever and do not ever think that just because you are number one for a search term that it
will indefinitely stay that way. Search Engine Companies are always changing their ranking
and rating systems and coupled with this there are always other people out there gunning for
your top spot. Keep looking to improve and learn more and don't sit back and wait for others
to take your top spot. Be proactive, seek out new content, links and keep ahead of the curve.
9. Keyword Selection
This is proving to be a very common mistake among beginners to SEO. Often people base
their own keyword selection on what they *think* is right but is this what people actually
search for when they are looking for your product or service? Often the answer to this
questíons is no. It is an important step to do the correct keyword research and ensure
you have the right keyword líst before you optimize any pages with them. Using Overture,
Google Adwords and some other paid keyword tools like WordTracker (the default standard
in Keyword Finding) are vital to success in finding good keywords. It is important to
localize your target market and figure out what they are actually searching on when they
are looking for products or services that you offer. Do the research and be as specific
as possible while still being broad enough to capture some high keyword traffíc.
10. Keyword Spamming and Stuffing
If you sell "Blue Widgets", then every page of your site does not need to have "Blue Widgets"
in the title, description and Meta tags. Try and be objective and analyze your website. Focus
pages on a specific group of keywords you have identified from the keyword líst. Sometimes
finding niche markets locally first can be best. So, as an example, "Buy Blue Widgets Australia"
or "Buy Blue Widgets Melbourne". These would be examples of good second or even third tier
search keyword phrases, but you can make some good salës with these niche terms because the
searcher is targeting buying these items.
These are not the be-all and end-all of Search Engine Optimization mistakes, but I have found
these to be the main mistakes made by my clients prior to Kanga Internet being involved. Good
luck and I wish you all the best with your SEO efforts.
Chris Diprose is the Manager of Search Engine Optimization Australia firm Kanga Internet. As
part of this organization his main goals are the improvement of SEO for websites and dynamic
content management systems. SEO is not to be feared but embraced. If you are in doubt then
contact a reputable SEO firm to help you with generating more web traffíc.
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