50 Search Engine Marketing Techniques – Part 5

41. Don’t Use PHP Session IDs

Make sure you don’t have PHP session IDs within your URLs. If a PHP session ID is included in your site’s URLs, the search engine spiders will think it’s a new URL and can continue to send other spiders to index the same URL over and over again. Most intelligent spiders will give up indexing all the different URL variations after a while. This means that if you are using a URL structure such as ‘article.php?id=24&session_id=12345’, some spiders won’t be able to index articles 21, 22, 23 and so on.

42. Get a Reliable Server

If you’re on a shared server it will receive requests for files and serve those files in the order the requests are received. This means that if your site is slow, indexing may be affected. Ask your host how many sites reside on each server and how much traffic they receive. The sheer number of sites isn’t always the only issue to consider with shared web servers. Response time may be slower if you share space with 100 busy sites than if you share a server with 250 sites that only receive a few visits each day. Also, server downtime can have a serious impact on indexing. You could potentially miss an entire crawl if the server your site is on goes down at the wrong time, so it is worth investing in quality hosting if possible.

43. Check if You are Indexed Before Submitting Your Site

Some people still believe that you should submit your site on a periodic basis in order to ensure that the search engines are aware of it. However, submitting URLs that are already in a search engine’s database and that haven’t had any major changes is not a good idea. A general rule of thumb for submitting and resubmitting pages is to first check each search engine to see if the new page has been indexed. There is no reason to resubmit a page to an engine if the page is already in the index.

44. Automate Your Position Checking

It is important to check your search engine rankings regularly. After all, unless you monitor your rankings, you won’t know when pages have slipped from the top or fallen from the index altogether. There are some excellent programs and services to help you automate your search engine marketing and rank tracking efforts, such as Moz (www.moz.com) and Positionly (Positionly). By automating the checking task you can keep ahead of the game.

45. Don’t Use Pop-Ups

Pop-ups such as JavaScript will just hide content from the search engines and make website management more difficult. If pop-ups become indexed you’ll have a whole load of landing page issues to rectify. They can even cause problems for pay-per-click campaigns, as most PPC search engines won’t” allow click-throughs to pages with automatic pop-ups, instead landing them at a pop-up window where they may not be able to access the rest of the site.

46. Use 301 Redirects if Changing a URL

It is not uncommon for site owners to change a URL from time to time, but this will have an impact on your rankings. It is, however, possible to limit the damage of renaming a URL by redirecting visitors to the old URL to the new one via a 301 redirect. If your old URL redirects to the new one using a 301, Google’s crawler will discover the new URL and index it accordingly.

47. Use Article Exchanges

Article exchanges are almost the same as link exchanges, except you publish someone else’s article on your website with a link back to their site, instead of just the link. In return, they publish your article on their site with a link back to your website. The result is that you both have fresh content and quality, relevant links. It is important to ensure that the website that you are exchanging articles with is credible though; if they’re not, search engines might still rank you well but visitors will be turned off.

48. Accessibility & Usability

Good accessibility and usability are essential to make your website useful to visitors, but can also play a part in helping to achieve better rankings. Simple questions you should ask yourself are: “What does your website look like with images disabled?” and “Is there a simple path to the right content?”. If the answers to these questions are not positive then you risk turning visitors away, and others will be reluctant to link to you.

49. Don’t Use Automated SEO Software

While it may be tempting to use automated SEO software in order to reduce the time it takes to optimise your website and build links to your site, the most sustainable method of marketing your website will always be to carry out the tasks manually. Automated software that is used to build backlinks from blogs and social media sites can quickly get your website blacklisted and marked as a spam site, and even if a boost in ranking positions is achieved in the short-term, it is highly likely that your site will fall foul of search engine algorithm updates very quickly.

50. Stick to the Rules

Whatever search engine optimisation techniques you employ, make sure you play fair. You want your website to establish a reputation of trust and authority and be ranked highly on the best search engines, and to do that you need to avoid nefarious, “black hat” SEO techniques. If you don’t, it will not only mean an end to your listing, but it could also prevent your website from ever getting re-listed.

Other Parts

50 Search Engine Marketing Techniques – Part 1 | 50 Search Engine Marketing Techniques – Part 2 | 50 Search Engine Marketing Techniques – Part 3 | 50 Search Engine Marketing Techniques – Part 4

About MB Web

MB Web is a web design, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and digital marketing agency based in Lewes, East Sussex, and with offices in Sussex, Surrey, London and Kent.
To talk to us about your web design, SEO or Branding project, contact Jake Judd or David Park on 01273 478822 or simply send us an email instead.