A couple of basic SEO questions

Discussion in 'SEO, PPC and Online Marketing' started by kayak, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. kayak

    kayak UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 545 Likes: 13
    I was hoping someone could help me with a couple of SEO queries.

    I have been looking at keyword density and am looking to sort this out. I understand that my website needs to be user friendly rather than just for search engines.

    I have read a few different things on keyword density and at the moment am aiming for between 6 and 12% - does this seem right? Does it make a difference how much text the page contains?

    Secondly, I don't quite understand h1 tags. They seem to be very important but they also seem to dictate the size of your text, and therefore for a smaller header tag it seems like you have to drop down to h2 or h3. I might just be miles off the mark though!

    I have seen the normal formating for header tags but can't quite work out how to incorporate it into my source code. See below for current code - text changed, but you can find my website in my profile.
    <td align="left" valign="center" class="h1">Welcome to MY WEBSITE</td>

    Thirdly, is there a maximum length for title tags and descriptions?

    And finally, is there an optimum amount of keywords or phrases or again is it down to the density?

    I believe that is all for now.

    Many thanks in advance for any help.

    Kind regards,

    John
    Posted: Feb 5, 2008 By: kayak Member since: Jan 3, 2008
    #1
  2. pws1970

    pws1970 UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 148 Likes: 30
    For content always write for the user never the search engines.

    My opinion is that Keyword density is a myth. I mean what is the magic number? Who knows! Write naturally and employ keyword within your text. read it back to yourself and if seems that perhaps a keyword is being repetitive too much then it probably is.

    Remember, the people coming on your site will be reading this and if it comes over spammy then they'll exit asap.

    As for the headers (h1) use css style sheets to control their appearance in browsers.

    typical example

    Titles get trimmed after 64 characters in the search result pages.
    Posted: Feb 5, 2008 By: pws1970 Member since: Jan 4, 2008
    #2
  3. I, Brian

    I, Brian UKBF Regular Full Member

    Posts: 2,013 Likes: 821
    Forget keyword density - I don't know a single name SEO who thinks this is important. Keyword density seems to be one of the features that "SEO tools" offer, and therefore give an impression of importance, where none is really present.

    As above, use CSS to style these. :)


    General advice would be to keep page titles under around 60 characters, as this is the region of maximum characters displayed by Google. Do ensure they are properly human readable, though. :)

    As for descriptions - standard advice would be no more than around 150-200 words. Ideally, your description should be a Call To Action, as there's a good chance of this being displayed in search results.

    It's often a good idea to focus on individual pages on individual pages, with category pages linking out to these.

    In other words, different parts of your site should be optimised for different keywords - don't just throw everything at the homepage - it's also the area least likely to convert.

    2c. :)
    Posted: Feb 5, 2008 By: I, Brian Member since: May 18, 2005
    #3
  4. kayak

    kayak UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 545 Likes: 13
    Thank you for your reply.

    I have never opened my style sheet - maybe I will try it later if I am brave.

    On the plus side, I am guessing that means that how it shows in my editing software isn't always going to be how it shows up in real life (I am assumming the style sheet doesn't make a difference when its just in the editing software).

    Regarding the h1 tags then, does my little clip of source code show that I have already got an h1 tag on that page?

    With regards to the keyword density, if anything I am worried they are too low not too high. I understand exactly what you mean in terms of it is designed for the reader but if I am reading and someone says they sell beer, I remember that and understand it and wouldn't need the word beer in the whole website to remember what they sold but SEO doesn't seem to quite work like that (in my extremely limited experience). It almost seems like you have to remind the search engines what your website is about - hence keyword density.

    Rest assurred though (if you were ever worried), I will not be changing my website just to be SEO friendly as everyone would just leave my website as soon as they were on it!

    Many thanks again,

    John
    Posted: Feb 5, 2008 By: kayak Member since: Jan 3, 2008
    #4
  5. kayak

    kayak UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 545 Likes: 13
    Thanks Brian, crossed posts with you.

    Regarding key words, I pretty much use identical keywords for all of my pages but different titles and descriptions. From your comments I am guessing that this isn't such a good idea.

    If you are able to tell me if that piece of source code I pasted is the correct way of using an h1 tag it would be appreciated.

    Thanks again,

    John
    Posted: Feb 5, 2008 By: kayak Member since: Jan 3, 2008
    #5
  6. RedEvo

    RedEvo UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 5,858 Likes: 1,494
    Title tags explained.

    d
    Posted: Feb 5, 2008 By: RedEvo Member since: May 12, 2007
    #6
  7. sirearl

    sirearl UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 28,222 Likes: 6,265
    google displays about 60 odd characters in serp's ,but reads and indexes an awfull lot more.

    Earl
    Posted: Feb 5, 2008 By: sirearl Member since: Apr 23, 2007
    #7
  8. pws1970

    pws1970 UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 148 Likes: 30
    Yep, totally agree Earl, I can't remember the url of by heart right now but Shaun at Hobo ran a cool experiment regarding the Title tag.

    But for maximum click through rates I keep it down to 64 characters.

    Must dig it out :)
    Posted: Feb 5, 2008 By: pws1970 Member since: Jan 4, 2008
    #8
  9. freelancer

    freelancer UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 494 Likes: 20
    This what you need to do.

    I presume you know a touch of HTML?

    Basically, type this in your HTML file (or ASP, PHP whatever)

    HTML:
    .....<h1 class="h1style">Hello, this is my Keyworded H1 tag</h1>
    
    Then in your CSS, scroll to the bottom and add this below the the other stuff like this:

    Code:
    #this_is_allready in the stylesheet {
    float: left;
    clear: both;
    width: 200px;
    height: 6ft :D
    }
    #this_is_also_allready in the stylesheet {
    float: right;
    clear: nope;
    width: 10st;
    height: 4ft :D
    }
    /* Now you can enter your info, make sure you dont overlap those squiggly line things, which names elude me */
    .h1style {
    font-size: 14px;
    }
    
    This will make the H1 tag 14px in size, which is just slighty larger than normal text.


    Posted: Feb 5, 2008 By: freelancer Member since: Oct 2, 2007
    #9
  10. freelancer

    freelancer UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 494 Likes: 20
    Yep, and always make sure it attracts people to click it.

    Couple with your description, these are the only tags that allow you to pull in the visitors, in terms of on the actual SERP page.

    Imagine this scenario.

    Lets do a search for swiss cheese.

    http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&rlz=1B3GGGL_enGB251GB252&q=swiss cheese&btnG=Search&meta=

    Now look at the results:

    Which would you pick? For me, its the 3rd one down, as it isnt stuffed with keywords, it reads natural, and make sense. The page looks like it really serves a purpose, and this is backed up by the description.

    Posted: Feb 5, 2008 By: freelancer Member since: Oct 2, 2007
    #10
  11. kayak

    kayak UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 545 Likes: 13
    BODY

    { background-color:#009C81; }

    .date { font-family: Verdana; font-size: 10px; color:FFFFFF; }

    a { font-family: Verdana, Geneva, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; color:#FFFFFF; text-decoration:underline; }

    a:hover { font-family: Verdana, Geneva, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; color:#009C81; }

    .footer { font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10px; font-weight:bold; color: #333333; }

    .ind_footer { font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 9px; font-weight:bold; color: #FFFFFF; }

    .h1 { font-family: Trebuchet MS; font-size: 20px; font-weight: bold; color: #FFFFFF; }

    .h11 { font-family: Trebuchet MS; font-size: 19px; font-weight: bold; color: #FFFFFF; }

    .h12 { font-family: Trebuchet MS; font-size: 18px; font-weight: bold; color: #FFFFFF; }

    .h2 { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold; color: #FF8A8A;}

    .h3 { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 11pt; font-weight: bold; color: #ffffff; font-style: italic;}

    p { font-family: Verdana, Geneva, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; color:#FFFFFF; }

    .para { font-family: Verdana, Geneva, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; color:#FFFFFF; }

    .small { font-family: Verdana, Geneva, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; color:#FFFFFF; }

    .tbllink{
    font-family: Verdana, Geneva, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
    font-size: 10px;
    font-weight: bold;
    text-decoration: none;
    color:#FFFFFF;
    }
    .tbllink:hover{
    font-family: Verdana, Geneva, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
    font-size: 10px;
    font-weight: bold;
    text-decoration: none;
    color:#CCCCCC;
    }
    .tbl1{
    background-color: #000000;
    border: 1px solid #CCCCCC;
    padding: 4px;
    }

    .small { font: Verdana; font-size: 9px; color: #000000; }

    .frmbtn{
    font: Verdana, Geneva, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
    font-size: 10px;
    font-weight: bold;
    color:#FFFFFF;
    background-color: #FF0101;
    border: 1px solid #808285;
    }

    .btmnav { font-family:Verdana; font-size: 9px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration: none; color: #333333; }

    .btmnav:hover { font-family:Verdana; font-size: 9px; color: #009C81; font-weight:bold; text-decoration: none; }

    .investxt { font-family: Verdana, Geneva, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 11px; color:#FFFFFF;}

    .conthead{
    background-color: #000000;
    font-family: Arial;
    font-size: 14px;
    font-weight: bold;
    color: #FFFFFF;
    padding: 2px;
    text-align: left;
    }

    .prophead{
    background-color: #000000;
    font-family: Arial;
    font-size: 14px;
    font-weight: bold;
    color: #FFFFFF;
    padding: 2px;
    text-align: center;
    }

    .formtablebg {
    background-color: #5A5A5A;
    font-family: Verdana, Geneva, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
    font-size: 11px;
    color:#FFFFFF;
    }

    .prop { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold; color: #FF0101 }

    .mainsubpage {
    font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
    font-size: 12px;
    font-weight: normal;
    color: 595959;
    line-height: normal;
    }
    .mainsubpage:hover {
    font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
    font-size: 11px;
    font-weight: normal;
    color: #CAED3B;
    line-height: normal;
    }

    .pro {
    font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
    font-size: 13px;
    font-weight: bold;
    color: #CC0000;
    }

    .item { font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
    font-size: 12px;
    font-weight: normal;
    color: #FFFFFF;
    }

    .let {
    background-image: url(/images/let.gif);
    background-repeat: no-repeat;
    background-position: center center;}

    .onhold {
    background-image: url(/images/onhold.gif);
    background-repeat: no-repeat;
    background-position: center center;}

    .Sold {
    background-image: url(/images/sold.gif);
    background-repeat: no-repeat;
    background-position: center center;}

    .hold {
    background-image: url(/images/onhold.gif);
    background-repeat: no-repeat;
    background-position: center center;}
    Posted: Feb 5, 2008 By: kayak Member since: Jan 3, 2008
    #11
  12. kayak

    kayak UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 545 Likes: 13
    Ok Sorry for a terrible post but that is my style sheet. I can see that is has some stuff about h1 tags so I am guessing that my website already has the h1 tags (i.e. that piece of code I pasted earlier) - it just doesn't look like I was expecting it to. Basically, I just wanted to make sure that I had header tags as everyone says how important they are - now I just need to make sure they are relevant!

    I agree about the Swiss Cheese! Luckily (or not) I haven't written my website for SEO as it was designed before I knew what it meant!

    As for do I know much about HTML? Errr not really, I got this website a few months ago and resent paying someone for something I could conceivable learn, but yes I am pretty bad at it all!
    Posted: Feb 5, 2008 By: kayak Member since: Jan 3, 2008
    #12
  13. freelancer

    freelancer UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 494 Likes: 20
    You just need to edit this line:

    Code:
     .h1 {      font-family: Trebuchet MS;    font-size: 20px; font-weight: bold;    color: #FFFFFF; }
    For example, if you wanted to change it to 14px
    Code:
     .h1 {      font-family: Trebuchet MS;    font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold;    color: #FFFFFF; }
    ;)
    Posted: Feb 5, 2008 By: freelancer Member since: Oct 2, 2007
    #13
  14. pws1970

    pws1970 UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 148 Likes: 30
    Good quality descriptions are a great marketing tool - add nothing to SEO but are extremely effective if thought-out properly in CTR conversions.

    There are some that chase the long-tail who nuke the description tag altogether and leave it up to Google and co to place a snippet from there text in its place ... but my advice is understand long tail, think about it when you run your SEO but don't let it dominate you.
    Posted: Feb 5, 2008 By: pws1970 Member since: Jan 4, 2008
    #14
  15. sirearl

    sirearl UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 28,222 Likes: 6,265
    you may wish to rethink that statement.:)

    Earl
    Posted: Feb 5, 2008 By: sirearl Member since: Apr 23, 2007
    #15
  16. pws1970

    pws1970 UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 148 Likes: 30
    Earl if you can show me the benefits that a description tag has for SEO I'll give you a free link from my site.

    First let me share this with you:

    From Google's site but if you have something that I haven't seen then please share its worth a link after all :)
    Posted: Feb 5, 2008 By: pws1970 Member since: Jan 4, 2008
    #16
  17. RedEvo

    RedEvo UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 5,858 Likes: 1,494
    If SEO is about generating 'qualified' traffic, and people viewing the serps read the meta description, and this description sways their click choice, how is this not a benefit?

    d
    Posted: Feb 5, 2008 By: RedEvo Member since: May 12, 2007
    #17
  18. Scott-Copywriter

    Scott-Copywriter UKBF Regular Full Member - Verified Business

    Posts: 7,419 Likes: 1,967
    7-12% is about right. Personally I think it's quite important in measuring page relevency because content is the core part of a page for search engines so it's understandable that they would want to analyse the text to see the topic and relevency of the page.

    Search engines also penalise sites for keyword stuffing the pages so it may have some effect in the rankings.

    Generally the maximum number of characters you should aim for is 66. Yahoo uses title tags up to 120 chars but then cuts the remainder off in the SERPs.

    For most sites it best to aim for 1-3 major keywords/phrases and a few secondary keywords if you wish to do so. Many search engine related factors of a site must be optimized for your chosen keywords so the more you add in, the more it dilutes the relevancy of the page.
    Posted: Feb 5, 2008 By: Scott-Copywriter Member since: May 10, 2006
    #18
  19. RayB

    RayB Banned

    Posts: 6,474 Likes: 240
    Regarding meta descriptions, Webmaster Tools now includes a tag error report. In my case it reports my blog categories having short meta descriptions.

    So, if Google is reporting these as errors, to me it means they deem them important.

    And as a call to action, they are vital to win the click
    Posted: Feb 5, 2008 By: RayB Member since: Nov 12, 2006
    #19
  20. Scott-Copywriter

    Scott-Copywriter UKBF Regular Full Member - Verified Business

    Posts: 7,419 Likes: 1,967
    Meta descriptions dont influence rankings I believe. However it does show up on the SERPs and is vital in showing a suitable sales message so visitors click through to your site.

    In my opinion websites in position 2-5 or more for a specific search term could get more traffic than the position one website if their meta descriptions have a better call to action.
    Posted: Feb 5, 2008 By: Scott-Copywriter Member since: May 10, 2006
    #20