17 Dec: there’s an awful lot of stuff talked about search engine optimisation, much of it peddled by people who make a good living out of making it a dark art. The truth is, some clever copywriting and lateral thinking gets you a long way in search, and there are some simple ways to do it right.
In SEO for the Average Joe, Kim Stearns of web agency Forty distills a whole bunch of tutorials and lists into fifteen commonly-cited, useful rules of thumb to ensure your website copy performs as well as it can in search engines, including:
- Keyword prominence – keywords and phrases should appear as close to the top of the page as possible
- Less than 100 links to external pages
- Make sure singulars and plurals are used in keywords and phrases
- Keywords appear in alt text (yes, but don’t distort meaning – Ed)
There’s also a nice link to this keyword density analyser. While we’re with the SEO tools, here’s a handy link analyser and a spider simulator, to give you a sense of what the Googlebot sees when it lands on your site. And if you’re into SEO, you could do worse than follow Matt Cutts’ blog.