Small Things That Drastically Affect SEO

Most people who have done the smallest amount of research on organic SEO know all the basic mantras and their importance. You will likely know that content is king and that you should use relevant keywords in moderation, build links with respected websites and that meta- data is becoming less important.

But it’s often the tiny details of your website that can make that pivotal difference between being above or below that precious fold. We look at some of these slight search engine quirks below.

Keep Your Path Names Simple

Do not use capital letter, special character (%, &, $, etc.) or spaces in any of your subpage names. While search engines don’t directly have a problem with it, many of the content management systems of websites linking to you might encode them differently, essentially taking away any of their SEO value.

Also some CMS’s and analytics tools will have problems reading pages that have mixed cases and symbols, resulting in the data you get back from them being flawed.

Avoid an All Flash Website

Search engines have made great strides in being able to read content embedded in flash animation, but the practice is still rife with problems. Also, many mobile browsers aren’t compatible with Flash, which could limit your market.

Rather just use Flash related animation to place multimedia in your website and keep the rest as regular HTML content.

Ensure Visible Text Matches the Markup

Google takes a very hard line on cloaking, even on websites that claim it to be white-hat cloaking. Cloaking is when the content seen on the website by human visitors is different from that submitted to webcrawlers. Spammers use this method to impractically optimise their site, while still seeming readable to visitors.

If the HTML markkup is different from visible text, it’s a big red flag for search engines. Even if it’s done innocently, as is sometimes the case with product catalogues.

Use Piping Instead of Dashes in Titles

As mentioned earlier in the article, search engines view dashes (-) as a space between two words. So if you include a dash to separate the keywords in your meta-titles, webcrawlers will just see it as one big long keyword, diluting your relevance for those keywords.

Rather use piping (|) in your titles, as this will effectively separate the keywords. It’s also seen as a web-industry standard, so your website will look more professional.

Use Dashes Instead of Underscores in Subpages

While often the more popular naming and coding convention, many search engine view an underscore (_) in the pathname as a joiner for the two terms. So, for example, used_cars will be seen as usedcars by Google. Which isn’t a particularly popular keyword.

The more effective method is to use dashes (-) instead. Try to keep your primary subpage names down to no more than 4 words.

So something like:
Should be changed to: