Current Issue

Chapter News
Features
Viewpoints
Student Views
From the Editor's Desk
Message from the President
Reviews
Society Notes & Community Announcements




 Article Archives 

Book Review
Career Development
Case Studies
Content Management
Contracting & Consulting
Core Competencies
Meeting Reviews
Usability
Networking
Online Help & Embedded Assistance
Technologies
Translation and Localization
Up and Coming Corner
Information Architecture


 Past Issues 

February, 2013
January, 2013
November, 2012
October, 2012
August, 2012
June, 2012
May, 2012
April, 2012
March, 2012
February, 2012
December, 2011
November, 2011
October, 2011
September, 2011
August, 2011
June, 2011
April, 2011
February, 2011
January, 2011
August, 2010
July, 2010
June, 2010
May, 2010
April, 2010
March, 2010
February, 2010
January, 2010
December, 2009
November, 2009
October, 2009
September, 2009
July, 2009
June, 2009
May, 2009
April, 2009
March, 2009
February, 2009
December, 2008
October, 2008
September, 2008
May, 2008
April, 2008
February, 2008
January, 2008
November, 2007
September, 2007
August, 2007
April, 2007
March, 2007
January, 2007

Program Review - M.Mewdell on SEO

Share on Facebook :: Printer Friendly Version

Bonnie Willimott

Published: February 2013 in Career Development, Core Competencies, Meeting Reviews, Technologies, Information Architecture

The Talk and Techniques behind SEO presented by Melissa Mewdell - Tuesday, February 19

Search Engine Optimization

Are meta tags just a place to stuff keywords? Where can I get some of that link juice? How do I get to the top of a search engine results page (aka SERP)? By the end of her presentation on search engine optimization, Melissa Mewdell made sure we knew the answers to those questions and many more. Melissa’s presentation was packed full of takeaways to help us achieve high search rankings, whether for web pages, help systems, user interfaces, or intranets.

What about meta tags?

Search engines are much smarter than they used to be. The meta keyword tag is as good as dead, and there is no point in stuffing it full of keywords. Leaving it out of your HTML won’t affect your search rankings. If you keep yours, be warned—keyword tags stuffed full of keywords could lead some search engines to interpret your page as spam.

These days, search engines are more interested in the meta description tag, so craft it carefully. Though the meta description tag isn’t used to determine page ranking, its content is what searchers see as a description of your page on a SERP. Encourage searchers to click through to your site by including your call to action in your meta description tag.

If you don’t want search engines to crawl a page, or follow its links, the meta robots tag is what you need. You can use one or both of the noindex and nofollow attributes in the robots meta tag to communicate to the search engine.

Don’t under-estimate the value of a well-crafted title tag

Although title tags are not strictly meta tags, they are often included in discussions about meta tags. That’s because search engines pay a lot of attention to them. But so do searchers, because they are displayed on a SERP. Include your key words and key phrases in your title tags to help search engines understand what a page is about. But write your title tags in plain English to help searchers.

What about keywords?

When it comes to keywords and keyword phrases, the name of the game is variation. Don’t over-optimize for any single keyword. Vary the keywords in your tags, headings, and content.

Do your research and select your keywords carefully. Which keyword phrases do you tend to use? What about your customers? Which phrases are the most relevant to them? How many other pages are competing for a keyword or keyword phrase?

The best tools for researching keywords are Wordtracker, Trillium, and Google Adwords, which is a free keyword generator.

How juicy is your link juice?

Link juice? Yes, it’s an SEO term, and some incoming links are “juicier” than others. The juiciest links are those from sites with the highest Google Page Rank because they are the links that will boost up your own Page Rank.

How do you get links from quality sources? It’s not always easy, but Melissa suggested asking for links from your happy customers, posting on social networking sites, and using PR channels.

Other tips and tricks

Here are just a few more of the interesting and helpful suggestions Melissa shared:

  • Use heading tags help search engines group concepts.
  • Write descriptive anchor text and image alt tags for images that are links.
  • Make your URLs human-readable.
  • Ensure your navigation is clear and logical, as this helps search engines index your entire site.
  • Use 301 redirects when you replace pages or install a new site. They might be a lot of work, but are worth it if you want to keep the link juice from the old pages or site.
  • Experiment with the document properties in non-HTML documents such as PDFs, as this is the most efficient way to optimize these documents.

What should your SEO KPIs be?

How do you evaluate the success of your optimization efforts? Melissa suggested that increased traffic and conversions may be better key performance indicators and more important than achieving a higher SERP ranking. This is because search and search results are becoming more personalized.

Want to find out more?

There are plenty of good resources on the web including Google, Search Engine World, Search Engine Journal, and SEO Moz’s free beginner guides. Melissa’s presentation was very informative. She is an engaging presenter and an expert in the care and feeding of search engines .As she notes on her Twitter profile @mmewdell, it’s clear she loves SEO.

Previous: XML Review January 2013 Program night with Tom Magliery


 Subscribe via RSS

Visit the main STC website.

STC advances the theory and practice of technical communication across all user abilities and all media.


STC-related links

Note: You may need to be logged into these services to view the pages.

©2018 STC CWC | Home | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)