This post is more of a post script to my Simple Search Engine Optimization post earlier. If you’re looking to build a website that has some built in SEO capabilities and features, you really should consider WordPress as the tool to use.
- WordPress has mod_rewrite tools built in for providing ‘permalinks’ that are related to the page title and content.
- Tags and tag management tools lend themselves very well to SEO. (Add a tag cloud if it fits your design.)
- Plug-ins for SEO are plentiful — I recommend this Google XML Sitemap Generator.
- Blogs are (normally) very full of descriptive text and links, both very strong SEO tools.
I don’t call myself a Search Engine Optimization expert, but at the same time, I do know a great deal about SEO and have had success in optimizing several sites. Search engine optimization is for most people a black art – or at least a dark one. But it’s really not hard to do some basic things that help, nor is there some sort of magically secret way to lift your ratings as your spam folder may be trying to tell you.
Over the years, experience has taught me a great deal about things that work and ways one can improve search engine rankings for specific keywords. Sometimes this learning was from trial and effort to do so, other times just luck. A past version of this website had an excellent rating for “osCommerce” and especially “osCommerce and Joomla” with rankings in the top 10, sometimes even the top 3, for several years. (Even today we’re ranking pretty high for these terms without effort behind it now.)
This post will focus on sharing what we’ve learned about SEO over the past 15 years. It’s not intended to be the be-all-end-all, but simply list some basics that everyone should do to optimize a website.
I have done SEO work in my the past, and think that if one follows some pretty simple and straight forward plans of site construction, good content will be indexed well and lead to your site being found. With some previous versions of this website, when The Design Mission was actively recruiting new customers and freelance work, we were able to get some keywords and keyword combinations (things like “osCommerce” and “Joomla and osCommerce” for example) into the top five search results for Google. A future post or two may well focus on those past SEO efforts and what we did for clients, but this post is intended to be about a tool for analyzing not only how people are finding your website, but more importantly what they are doing on it once they get there; Google Analytics.