I would hardly call myself an SEO (search engine optimization) expert, in fact I am quite a newbie and had barely heard about it before I joined SAP. Thanks to our great community and contributors , SDN/BPX contains a lot of valuable information. But how can we make sure, that people who are not members of our communities yet, find us when searching the web? As this is one of my responsibilities– I have set myself a new goal – master SEO!
First thing first, what is SEO?
Wikipedia defines search engine optimization (SEO) as “ the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a website from search engines via “natural” (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results”
Another interesting definition is found in the SEO book “Search engine optimization is the art and science of publishing information and marketing it in a manner that helps search engines understand your information is relevant to relevant search queries”.
In layman’s terms, SEO is getting attention to your web site, increasing search traffic to it and improving it’s ranking in the major search engines!
But how would we go about doing that? Here are some tips I’ve gathered:
- Keywords – make sure you choose keywords that match what people would look for when searching for your site. You need to make sure that the words chosen are not too general (for example – “help” “how to”), use very specific keywords promoted in the page. The keywords for this page, should include “SEO”, for example.
- Page title – make sure your page has an understandable title that search engines can pick up; preferably the keyword should be part of that title. The title for the blog homepage, for example is “SAP Network Blogs” . The title has a major impact on understanding what the page is about.
- Short URLs –Pages with short URLs (An address to a site which is descriptive and helps users reach the site easily, a sort of shortcut to a page) get a higher ranking. Based on the relevant keywords, create and use short URLs for as many pages on your site as possible. (All SDN/BPX blogs have a short url : http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/sdn/weblogs )
- Directories – Search engines consider sites listed in the directories as more reliable. The best way to improve ranking is by submitting a page to the directories of major search engines. Start with DMOZ – the open directory project. This data is used by partner sites such as Google, AltaVista, HotBot, AOLsearch, Lyxos, Netscape search etc.
- Metatags – This is a controversial issue, as it seams that search engines don’t give much emphasis on Metatags for ranking, Your Metatags have to actually correspond with the content of the page, only then can they be useful for SEO purposes. This page, for example should be tagged: SDN, BPX, beginner.
- Quality content – referrals from other sites will increase your ranking. If your site is interesting, informative and has valuable substance – it is more likely that it will be referred to by other sites. (You are all welcome to link SDN/BPX to your sites…)
- SiteMap – create a sitemap, and link it to your homepage. This will ensure that all the pages in your site are linked, indexed and searchable by search engines.
- Pay attention to the structure of a page – Use HTML format, which is recognized by all search engines. Use headings to organize your information. Use the keywords logically in both your title and your content. Make sure your page “makes sense” and words aren’t repeated too often. Use the keywords as anchors in links in the page.
- Don’t try to outsmart the search engines – play fair, the major search engines constantly change their algorithms, so there is no point in trying to improve your ranking by questionable means. At best your site will be ignored by the search engine, at worst it could permanently be excluded.
- Keep on learning – practice makes perfect in any area, but in the SEO field, this is definitely true as it is ever changing. You have to always keep up to date with the latest trends. Take time to expand your knowledge – investigate your competitors, learn new methods, read articles, join conferences etc.
This hardly covers the whole SEO subject, but as noted I am still a rookie. I thought it would be nice to share this info with our community – as it is important for all of us to spread the word . We all benefit from having more visitors in the community. I invite you all to link SND/BPX from your personal blogs or sites. If any of you have any tips on SEO – please share.