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Seo

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Seo

 

What is search engine optimisation?

Firstly, SEO is more than one thing. It is a variety of techniques and procedures that, when combined, can make a huge impact in the ranking of your website on the search engines.


Why is SEO important when you can get instant results with pay per click advertising?

The easy answer is that if you stop paying for PPC it instantly loses you business, whereas SEO is more robust and long lasting. Pay Per Click can also be very expensive, although it is a useful tool in your web site marketing strategy. Search engine optimisation provides search results that are generally more trusted and, bearing in mind that around 80% of web site traffic arrives via a search engine 'tuning' your web pages in line with guidannce from Google, Yahoo et al is always going to be more cost effective than not doing it.


How do you optimise your site?

The principles of search engine optimisation are quite simple and can be separated into a number of strands. Each gives a virtual 'tick in the box' that improves where your site appears in a search return:


Code

Well formed code renders, that is displays, in web browsers such as Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox much more quickly and efficiently than code that has errors in it. Because search engine robots (also known as 'spiders') 'see' your website as code, and not the design your site visitors view, well formed code is also indexed by them more efficiently in much the same way.

The next factor to consider is the balance of code against site content. Search engines are constantly trying to improve the quality of their search returns, this means that they want to present their users with the most relevant listings they can. In real terms, the effect is that web site pages with high text content to code ratios tend to appear higher up in a search return than those weighted the other way. The search engine robots, when indexing a web page, will assume the page is rich in content if the code is kept to a minimum.

So how do you reduce the code content? The simple answer is to use cascading stylesheets (CSS) to handle the way the elements on the page are displayed ('marked up' - in developer speak). Most website developers these days use CSS to tell the browser how to display the text and links on the websites they build, however, it is also possible to use CSS to handle the markup for position all the page elements in a design. Images can be placed, text areas assigned set widths and postitioned, you can even use CSS for style effects like drop shadows. An example of a drop shadow can be seen on one of the sites built by Shopfitter - www.carron-restaurant.co.uk (see the food menu) and a picture gallery with pop-up images at www.villaturkuaz.com (roll your mouse over the images in the right column). Many of these have been devised by Stu Nicholls at www.cssplay.co.uk and are well worth a look if you're keen to learn more. Using CSS for page layout removes the need for complex, and therefore code heavy, table structures entirely.

The sites that the shopfitter software generate produce well formed, validating xhtml code, if you go to [www.w3c.org] (the world wide web consortium) you can test any web page. Try to resist adding lots of styling in the visual designer because this can produce code that does not validate, if you keep the site simple and consistent it should work very well with search engines. This gives you the best basis to work with, to add the all important text descriptions for SEO.


Meta Data - how to tweak it in shopfitter

To alter the index page meta data, you add this to the main screen in shopfitter in the meta data box.

This page on our wiki also has some info: Search Terms

Category Pages - Meta Data

To alter the meta data on a ‘category’ page open the category page in shopfitter (double click on it) and select its ‘main’ tab

The name of the category is added automatically at the front and any text you add is joined after this.

To see you meta data add it and then save the changes and press the publish button at the bottom of the screen (to publish that 1 page) it will open in your web browser (usually IE) and the title tag is at the very top of the screen, to see the rest right click on the web page and select view source to see the code and the info is here (at the top of the page):

   <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http ://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd">
   <html xmlns="http ://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" lang="en">
   <head>
      <title>Fashion Sunglasses title text added in sf</title>
      <meta name="description" content="Fashion Sunglasses description text added in sf" />
      <meta name="keywords" content="keyword example" />
      <meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html;charset=utf-8" />
      <meta http-equiv="Content-Style-Type" content="text/css" />
      <meta name="author" content="Shopfitter 4 - Fashion Sunglasses" />
      <meta name="copyright" content="Copyright (c) Shopfitter Shades" />


So in this case the category is named ‘Fashion Sunglasses’ (red text) and the title and description are appended to this (green text).


Product Pages - Meta Data

To add meta data to a ‘product’ page its on the main tab in the ‘meta data’ box, again the text is appended after the product name, this product is named ‘Lark’:

    <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http ://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd">
    <html xmlns="http ://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" lang="en">
    <head>
       <title>Lark title text added in sf</title>
       <meta name="description" content="Lark 10.99 description text added in sf" />
       <meta name="keywords" content="keyword example" />
       <meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html;charset=utf-8" />
       <meta http-equiv="Content-Style-Type" content="text/css" />
       <meta name="author" content="Shopfitter 4 - Lark" />
       <meta name="copyright" content="Copyright (c) Shopfitter Shades" />

The product meta data is similar to the category but a price is also automatically added in the description (red text), the (green text) is added in the main meta data box.

Info Pages - Meta Data

To add meta data to an ‘info’ page open this in shopfitter and then close the visual designer and there is the meta data tab, this just adds your data with nothing in front of it:

    <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http ://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd">
    <html xmlns="http ://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" lang="en">
    <head>
       <title>title text added in sf</title>
       <meta name="description" content="description text added in sf" />
       <meta name="keywords" content="keyword example" />
       <meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html;charset=utf-8" />
       <meta http-equiv="Content-Style-Type" content="text/css" />
       <meta name="author" content="Shopfitter 4 - delivery" />
       <meta name="copyright" content="Copyright (c) Shopfitter Shades" />
       

(Green text) added to the info page meta data screen.

The keywords are the least important but they are a good place to add common spelling mistakes – so if you think people misspell something add the misspelling here also.

Always do a full publish to double check everything and create the full site ready for an upload – the mini publish will only create 1 page and the links to other pages from this will be not work as only 1 page has been published.

 

 

 

 
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Article details

Article ID: 53

Category: Marketing

Date added: 2014-11-24 09:47:22

Views: 615

Rating (Votes): Article rated 3.6/5.0 (26)

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