Novelists, Inc. Ninc Home Ninc Facebook Ninc Twitter
   

Ninc Newsletter

“It's important to heavily load everything on your page with keywords. That's where the search engines find your page,” Wind said. “As long as you make it literate for the humans who come up there, they're not going to know that you're filling it with keywords.”

Four Types of Websites

He identified the four basic types of websites as static, graphic, dynamic CMS, and blog style dynamic CMS. The static website built with HTML allows for the greatest freedom for SEO, he said, but can be more expensive to maintain if you’re paying someone else to update it. Graphic websites, those based on graphic design with a minimum of HTML, are more difficult to optimize for SEO since search engines disregard graphics. Dynamic CMS websites are content management systems for individuals and businesses that require frequent updates. They are generally programmed using ASP, .NET, PHP, or Cold Fusion and are better for SEO than the fourth type, the blog style dynamic CMS website. This is a new breed of preset websites that use programming modules such as Wordpress and Joomla. While blog style dynamic CMS sites are the least expensive of the four, they are the most difficult to make work for SEO, he said.

Behind the Scenes

The most important hidden code elements for SEO are the meta tags and meta data, Wind said. None of these elements appear on the visual page, but search engines read and use this information. These elements include:

  • the title, description, and keyword tags for the page

  • the robot tags that tell which pages the search engines are allowed to go into and which they are not allowed to go into

  • GEO tags, which provide geographical location information for the webpage

Graphics

“Images keep people happy,” he said, and suggested book covers and a small picture of the author for the home page. Be sure to fill in the ALT TAG for all images, he added, and not just with a file name. Instead, use a keyword-filled description such as “A Rose in the Mist, a historical romance by [author name] available now on [retailer name].” Put a link in the image so it moves the reader to a page in your site that has a list of all your books available with a buy link, preferably with a buy link that has your affiliate information attached.

Website Navigation

Wind said having just one location for site navigation links was bad. Navigation links at both the top and bottom of the page is good, but having top/side/bottom navigation is better since it’s more user friendly.

Drop-down links are usually graphic and run by a “script,” and thus are not SEO friendly. Text links are straight HTML and can be read by a search engine.

Some other important tips from Wind:

  • Use correctly sized headers and make sure they contain keywords. Make sure that you use a single header on your home page.

  • Never use all caps. Search engines ignore all caps and may associate the page with spammers.

  • Include an XML map, aka a site map.

  • If you have Spanish or other language pages, mark those on the XML map so the search engines see them.

  • If you already have invested in a graphic website that has no search-engine friendly headings, you can compensate some with keyword rich ALT TAG descriptions.

  • You do not want your pages archived. Make sure your websites meta data includes that instruction. Otherwise, your readers may see an old page until a new crawl by the search engine bots.

  • Go to the Bing and Google sites, find the Webmaster Tools pages, and read them. Learn about the tools, consider setting up an account, read the help pages, and be prepared to either be thorough or hire someone who will be thorough in their SEO efforts on your behalf.

Wind’s Powerpoint presentation on SEO may be downloaded at www.windco.com/ninc/index.html.

Laura Phillips writes women’s fiction and is still in the process of digitizing her backlist. She will be the editor of Nink
in 2013.  

TOC ->  Page 8 ->