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SEO Series: Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide

ASPE-ROI is excited to announce that we will be starting a new SEO whitepaper series. We will be posting a series of SEO whitepapers to help readers both understand SEO better and help rank their content higher. These whitepapers will be available for FREE on our Free Resources page under the “ROI White Papers” section. Here is a brief overview of what our first one covered, “Search Engine Optimization Start Guide”. If you wish to view the entire 22 page white paper in detail, please go to this form and select the option for “Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide.” This whitepaper is meant for those who are new to SEO but have some basic understanding of SEO concepts and systems. It discussed good and bad practices for each and provided visual, real – life examples. The following are topics the paper discussed:

  1. Page Titles – discussed proper placement in the HTML document and the basic anatomy of a Google search result. Practices to aim for with creating page title tags include accurately and uniquely titling each page while also being brief and to the point. Description meta tags are also important for telling Google what to use your page for and will often be used as the brief description under your title in a Google search if Google can not find a better description for a given query in your actual content
  2. URL Structure – explains how Google uses URLs to read and sort your content and how a URL affects site optimization and search results. Some good practices for URL structure include using words in the URL that are relevant to your site’s content and creating a simple directory structure. When it comes to URLs, you want to avoid something confusing and lengthy with unnecessary parameters that could seem unfriendly and confusing to visitors. Providing only one version of a URL to reach a specific page or document is also important for building a strong reputation on search engines. To avoid splitting your contents reputation, set up a 301 redirect from non-preferred URLs to the dominant URL.
  3. Site Navigation – reviews how to organize your site so it is friendly for users and optimal for search engines to crawl. Creating a naturally flowing and simplified hierarchy on your site makes it easier for users to go from general content to more specific content on your site. Some other good practices can include using “breadcrumb” navigation, putting an HTML sitemap page on your site, and having a useful 404 page. Each of these are discussed in detail in the white paper.
  4. Offer strong quality content and services – provides tips on producing strong content including using easy to read text, using relevant language, centering your topics around keywords, and creating unique or exclusive content. Your sites reputation is built up more than perhaps any other way by users directing others to your sites through blog posts, email, forums, or some other means. This will rarely come without quality content
  5. Anchor Text – explains what good anchor text looks like and how they effect your site. Anchor text is the clickable text that users will see as a result of a link that tells users and Google something about the page that is being linked. Anchor texts should be descriptive, concise, and formatted so they’re easy to spot.
  6. Optimize your use of images – provides helpful information on how to optimize your images including the “alt” attribute which allows you to specify alternative text for an image if it cannot be displayed on a certain browser or some other reason. Using commonly supported filetypes (JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP) and storing images in their own directory are also both good ideas.
  7. “Robots.txt” and “rel=”nofollow” for links – discusses in detail ways you can protect your site’s reputation by telling Google which pages and links to crawl and consider when ranking your site.
  8. Free webmaster tools and web analytics services – provides several links for free webmaster tools that can help better control how Google interacts with your site. also provides several links and information on analytics services that can provide you with insights and discoveries to help improve your work efforts.

To read about all of these topics and more, request to receive the free  ”Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide” whitepaper on our free resources page.

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