Latest Search Engine Optimization Articles Research and Updates
Learn how to Build a Traffic-Worthy Site
One of the most important (and often overlooked) subjects in SEO is building a
site deserving of top rankings at the search engines. A site that ranks #1 for a
set of terms in a competitive industry or market segment must be able to justify
its value or risk losing out to competitors who offer more. Search engines'
goals are to rank the best, most usable, functional, and informative sites
first. By intertwining your site's content and performance with these goals, you
can help to ensure its long-term prospects in the search engine rankings.
Usability represents the ease-of-use inherent in your site's design,
navigation, architecture, and functionality. The idea behind the practice is to
make your site intuitive so that visitors will have the best possible experience
on the site. A whole host of features figure into usability, including:
The graphical elements and layout of website have a strong influence on how
easily usable the site is. Standards like blue, underlined links, top and
side menu bars, logos in the top, left-hand corner may seem like rules that
can be bent, but adherence to these elements (with which web users are
already familiar) will help to make a site usable. Design also encompasses
important topics like visibility & contrast, affecting how easy it is for
users to interest the text and image elements of the site. Separation of
unique sections like navigation, advertising, content, search bars, etc. is
also critical, as users follow design cues to help them understand a page's
content. A final consideration would also take into account the importance
of ensuring that critical elements in a site's design (like menus, logos,
colors, and layout) were used consistently throughout the site.
- Information Architecture
The organizational hierarchy of a site can also strongly affect usability.
Topics and categorization impact the ease with which a user can find the
information they need on your site. While an intuitive, intelligently
designed structure will seamlessly guide the user to their goals, a complex,
obfuscated hierarchy can make finding information on a site disturbingly
A navigation system that guides users easily through both top-level and deep
pages and makes a high percentage of the site easily accessible is critical
to good usability. Since navigation is one of a website's primary functions,
provide users with obvious navigation systems: breadcrumbs, alt tags for
image links, and well-written anchor text that clearly describes what the
user will get if he or she clicks a link. Navigation standards like these
can drastically improve usability performance.
To create compelling usability, ensure that tools, scripts, images, links,
etc. all function as they are intended and don't provide errors to
non-standard browsers, alternative operating systems, or uninformed users
(who often don't know what/where to click).
Accessibility refers primarily to the technical ability of users to access
and move through your site, as well as the ability of the site to serve
disabled or impaired users. For SEO purposes, the most important aspects are
limiting code errors to a minimum and fixing broken links, making sure that
content is accessible and visible in all browsers and without special
The usability of content itself is often overlooked, but its importance
cannot be overstated. The descriptive nature of headlines, the accuracy of
information and the quality of content all factor highly into a site's
likelihood to retain visitors and gain links.
Overall, usability is about gearing a site towards the potential users.
Success in this arena garners increased conversion rates, a higher chance that
other sites will link to yours, and a better relationship with your users (fewer
complaints, lower instance of problems, etc.). For improving your knowledge of
usability and the best practices, I recommend Steve Krug's exceptionally
impressive book, "Don't Make Me Think"; possibly the best $30 you can spend to
improve your website.
Elegant, high quality, high impact design is critical to gaining the trust of
your users. If your site appears "low budget" or only marginally professional,
it can hurt the chances of gaining a link and, more importantly, the chances of
engendering trust in your visitors. The first impression of a website by a user
occurs in less than 7 seconds. That's all the time you have to convey the
importance and authority of your company through the site's design. I've
prepared two examples below:
|Workplace Office UK's Website
- Amateur Logo Styles
- Discordant Colors
- No Clear Navigation Element
- Basic Stock Photography
- Template-Like Layout
|Haworth Furniture's Online Catalog
- Well-Defined Navigation
- Elegant Color Scheme
- Attractive Lines & Shading
- High-Quality Photography
- Design Creates Intuitive Flow to Information
Although the above examples are not perfect (note that Haworth is missing a
critical element - a search bar, while Workplace Office UK has one), it's easy
to see why consumers visiting websites like these would be more inclined to
trust and buy from Haworth rather than Workplace Office. The application of
professional design to sites can induce greater numbers of links from visiting
content creators, greater number of users who return to the site, higher
conversion rates, and a better overall perception of your site by visitors.
Although high quality, professional design is not one of the factors directly
ranked by search engines, it indirectly influences many factors that do affect
the rankings (i.e. link-building, trust, usability, etc).
Authoring High Quality Content
Why Should a Search Engine Rank Your Site Above All the Others in its Field?
If you cannot answer this question clearly and precisely, the task of ranking
higher will be exponentially more difficult. Search engines attempt to rank the
very best sites with the most relevant content first in their results, and until
your site's content is the best in its field, you will always struggle against
the engines rather than bringing them to your doorstep.
It is in content quality that a site's true potential shows through, and
although search engines cannot measure the likelihood that users will enjoy a
site, the vote via links system operates as a proxy for identifying the best
content in a market. With great content, therefore, come great links and,
ultimately, high rankings. Deliver the content that users need, and the search
engines will reward your site.
Content quality, however, like professional design, is not always dictated by
strict rules and guidelines. What passes for "best of class" in one sector may
be below average in another market. The competitiveness and interests of your
peers and competitors in a space often determine what kind of content is
necessary to rank. Despite these variances, however, several guidelines can be
almost universally applied to produce content that is worthy of attention:
- Research Your Field
Get out into the forums, blogs, and communities where folks in your industry
spend their online discussion time. Note the most frequently asked
questions, the most up-to-date topics, and the posts or headlines that
generate the most interest. Apply this knowledge when you create
high-quality content and directly address your market's needs. If 10,000
people in the botany field are seeking articles that contain more
illustrated diagrams instead of just photos, delivering that piece can set
your content (and your site) apart from the competition.
- Consult and Publish in Partnership with Industry Experts
In any industry, there will be high-level, publically prominent experts as
well as a second tier of "well-known in web circles" folks. Targeting either
of these groups for collaborative efforts in publishing articles, reviewing
your work or contributing (even via a few small quotes) can be immensely
valuable. In this manner, you can be assured that your content is both link
and visitor-worthy. In addition, when partnering with "experts", exposure
methods are built-in, creating natural promotion angles.
- Create Documents that Can Serve as One-Stop Resources
If you can provide a single article or resource that provides every aspect
of what a potential visitor or searcher might be seeking, your chances for
success in SEO go up. An "all-in-one" resource can provide more
opportunities than a single subject resource in many cases. Don't be too
broad as you attempt to execute this kind of content creation - it's still
important to keep a narrow focus when you create your piece. The best
balance can be found by putting yourself in the potential users' shoes - if
your piece fits their needs and covers every side of their possible
interests while remaining "on-message," you're ready to proceed.
- Provide Unique Information
Make sure that when you design your content outline, you include data and
information that can be found nowhere else. While collecting and
amalgamating information across the web can create good content, it is the
unique elements in your work that will be noticed and recommended.
- Serve Important Content in a Non-Commercial Format
Creating a document format that is non-commercial is of exceptional
importance for attracting links and attention. The communities of web and
content builders are particularly attuned to the commercialization of the
web and will consciously and sub-consciously link to and recommend resources
that don't serve prominent or interfering advertising. If you must post ads,
do so as subtlety and unobtrusively as possible.
- One Great Page is Worth a Thousand Good Pages
While hundreds or dozens of on-topic pages that cover sections of an
industry are valuable to a website's growth, it is actually far better to
invest a significant amount of time and energy producing a few
articles/resources of truly exceptional quality. To create documents that
become "industry standard" on the web and are pointed to time after time as
the "source" for further investigations, claims, documents, etc. is to truly
succeed in the rankings battle. The value of "owning" this traffic and link
source far outweighs a myriad of articles that are rarely read or linked to.
When attempting to create the most link-worthy content, thinking outside the
box and creating a document, tool or service that's truly revolutionary can
provide a necessary boost. Even on corporate image or branding sites for small
companies, a single, exciting piece of content that gets picked up en masse by
your web community is worth a small fortune in public relations and exposure.
Better still, the links you earn with an exciting release stay with your site
for a long time, providing search visibility long after the event itself has
With content that generates links becoming such a valuable commodity,
creating solely for the purpose of gaining links has become a popular practice
for talented SEOs. In order to capitalize on this phenomenon, it's necessary to
brainstorm. Below are some initial ideas that can help you build the content you
need to generate great links.
- Free Tools
Automated tools that query data sources, combine information or conduct
useful calculations are eminently link worthy. Think along the lines of
mortgage calculators and site-checking tools, then expand into your
particular area of business/operation.
- Web 2.0 Applications
Although the term Web 2.0 is more of a buzzword than a technicality,
applications that fit the feature set described by the O'Reilly document do
get a fantastic number of links from the web community and followers of this
trend. Think mashups, maps, communities, sharing, tagging, RSS, and blogs.
- Collaborative Work Documents
Working in concert with others is a good way to produce content more quickly
and with generally higher quality. If you can get high-profile insiders or
several known persons in an industry to collaborate, your chances for
developing "link-bait" substantially increase.
- Exposes of Nefarious Deeds
Writing a journalistic-style expos? detailing the misdeeds of others (be
they organizations, websites, individuals or companies) can generate a lot
of links and traffic if done in a professional manner (and before anyone
else). Make sure you're very careful with these types of actions, however,
as the backlash can be worse than the benefit if your actions provoke the
wrong type of response.
- Top 10 Lists
Numbered lists (of tips, links, resources, etc.), particularly those that
rank items, can be a great way to generate buzz. These lists often promote
discussion and thus, referencing.
- Industry-Related Humor
Even the most serious of industries can use a bit of humor now and again. As
with expos?s, be cautious not to offend (although that too can merit
mentions) - use your knowledge of stereotypes and history inside your market
to get topical laughs and the links will be yours.
- Reviews of Events
Industry gatherings, from pubcrawls to conferences to speeches and seminars,
can all garner great links with a well-done review. Write professionally, as
a journalist, and attempt to use as many full names as possible. It's also
wise to link out to all the folks you mention, as they will see the links in
their referral logs and come check you out.
- Interviews with Well-Known Insiders
Anyone inside an industry whose name frequently appears in that industry's
internal press is a great candidate for an interview. Even if it's a few
short questions over email, a revealing interview can be a great source of
links, and esteemed professionals are likely to answer requests even from
smaller sources, as they can benefit from the attention, too.
- Surveys or Collections of Data
Offering large collections of industry data culled from polling individuals,
an online survey, or simply researching and aggregating data can provide a
very link-worthy resource.
- Film or Animation
Particularly in industries where video clips or animations are rare (i.e.
Geology, not Movie Reviews), a high quality, entertaining, or informative
video or animation can get more than a few folks interested.
- Charts, Graphs, or Spreadsheets
These standard business graphics should certainly include analysis and
dissection, but can provide a good source of links if promoted and built
- High Profile Criticism
Similar to the expos? system, well-written critiques of popular products,
companies, sites, or individuals in a sector have the ability to pull in
quite a few links from folks who agree and disagree.
- Contests, Giveaways, and Competitions
Giving away prizes or public awards (even if they're just website graphics)
can get a lot of online folks interested and linking.
Identifying a story ahead of the crowd is commonly called "scooping" in
journalism. Do this online, and all (or many) blog posts on the subject will
reference your site as the first to "call it."
- Advice from Multiple Experts
If you're creating an article that offers advice, pulling opinions from the
well-known experts in the industry is a great way to make sure links flow
your way. The experts themselves will often be inclined to link.
There are dozens of other great ways to get bloggers, writers, and website
editors in your field to add links to your site. Imagine yourself as an industry
blogger, seeking to cover the most exciting, unique trends and pages in the
sector. If this individual stumbled across your content, would they be likely to
write about it? If the answer is yes, it qualifies as link-bait
(On How to build a Traffic-Worthy Site)
Interview Questions and Answers.
Start your choice of Interview Questions and Answers.
will develop your web programming skill. HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language.
HTML file contains some predefined tags called markup tags like <html> is a tag..
Markup tags contains the data called content of the web page.
Content of the web page will be visible on web page by web browser.
HTML file must be save with the extension of .html or .htm
No software is required to create HTML files just use simple Note Pad.
Learn HTML with hundreds of examples.
is a simple programming language built into Netscape 2.0 and greater.
It is integrated with and embedded in HTML. It allows greater control of web page
version detection, cookies and exception handling and much more, it is client side programming language.
SQL (Structured Query Language)
is a computer language used to store, manipulate,
and retrieve data stored in databases. Learn SQL at Global GuideLine.
Almost all modern Relational Database Management Systems like MS SQL Server, Microsoft Access, MSDE, Oracle, IBM DB2, Sybase, MySQL, Postgres and Informix use SQL as standard database language.
Standards for SQL exist. However, the SQL that can be used on each one of the major RDBMS today is
in different flavors. In this
SQL Tutorial, such differences are noted where appropriate. All details are available
in the SQL Tutorial Section.
Click here to learn about SQL basics and developed your skills.