Although the following can be applied and used for any web site, I have used a number of examples with reference to Dolphin 7.
There are a number of SEO techniques you can do for your site. The more you decide to do or learn to do the more it will help your site.
You should realize SEO results are not instantaneous. It does take time for what you do to be noticed and updated by the major search engines, so don't get discouraged if you don't see results or improvements overnight. It takes time so be patient.
It is also ongoing and never ending. If you work hard and see results it is important to keep up with your SEO efforts. If you don't, you will surely start to drop.
SEO is usually broken down into 2 main categories. On-site SEO, and off-site SEO. Both of which are pretty self-explanatory. On-site refers to optimization you do to pages and content on your site. While off-site would refer to things you do elsewhere and not on your site.
Both of these anyone can do or learn to do if they want to take the time. There is no special college degree in SEO. You can hire someone or some company to do this for you. The reputable companies are spendy. You need to be careful if you hire this out because a lot of them will not do everything they claim. Some do it so fast the quality and accuracy of work performed is very low. Which really won't help you too much. You usually get what you pay for when selecting the cheapest.
You should obviously have your site put together and finished or very close to finished. You should have enough content posted to give visitors something to actually look at and read. The search engines also need some content to actually index. If you don't have any content or very little then get busy.
Dolphin isn't exactly SEO friendly to begin with. It has got a little better over time and with each new release, but it still lags behind many other scripts in terms of SEO friendliness.
Whenever you post anything on your Dolphin site you should always keep SEO in mind. Before you post anything on your site, take a moment to see if you can make it better or more SEO friendly. Just don't go overboard to the point that it starts to look more like spam than interesting or useful.
Important SEO Tips for your Dolphin 7 site: (or most any other site)
Site Title - Very important (70 Characters)
- Keyword...Site Title or Description
Meta Description - Somewhat important (155 Characters)
- Use keywords and key-phrases
Use H1/H2/H3 when possible
Make Keywords in postings Bold or Strong when possible
When posting links use key-worded anchor text
Pages / Posts:
- 150 kb text or less
Number of links per page
- 100 or less
- Very Important - 70 Characters Max
- 155 Characters or less
Links should not span more than 2 directories/folders deep when possible:
Caption (Title) recommendation:
- Keyword - Title
Using Permanent - 301 redirects (search engine preferred methods):
If you change or move a location of a page use 301 Redirects (permanent redirect) in .htaccess
Redirect 301 /oldpage.php http://www.yoursite.com/newpage.php
Redirect http://yoursite.com to http://www.yoursite.com entire domain in .htaccess - permanent (301)
Note: There is no space between the $ symbol and the 1. This is the only way I could get it to post in this tutorial. So Dolarsign1. Hope that makes sense. No spacing on the dollar symbol.
Redirect an entire domain to a new site or domain with .htaccess - permanent (301)
Redirect 301 / http://www.newsite.com/
Redirect permanent /old http://www.newsite.com/new
By default Search Engines look for Sitemaps in the following Locations:
(Check out: http://www.xml-sitemaps.com/ for a free sitemap)
In addition to the above Yahoo also looks for:
Robots Meta Tags:
ROBOT NAME can be either “robots” for all robots or the user-agent of a specific robot.
Arguments: (Example: meta name="robots" content="nosnippet" )
noindex - Google, Yahoo, Live, Ask - Page Not Indexed
nofollow - Google, Yahoo, Live, Ask - All Links on Page Become No Followed
noarchive - Google, Yahoo, Live, Ask - Page Not Cached
noodp - Google, Yahoo, Live - Stops Description and Title Tag Overwrite by DMOZ (Only for Homepage)
noydir - Yahoo - Stops Description and Title Tag Overwrite by Yahoo Directory
nosnippet - Google - Stops Google from Generating Description Based on On-page Text
Ideally keyword density should be around 3%. If you make a post of any kind with 100 words, then your keyword can appear up to 3 times. Note: that is 100 words not characters. If your post contains 200 words, then up to 6 keywords may appear. Use near the beginning of a post and near the end. Do not stuff your post full of keywords and key-phrases, too many keywords can do more harm than good.
Example Blog post for Dolphin 7 using some of the tips above:
Caption (Title): Golf Tips - 5 Simple Tips to Improve Your Swing
(This is just a quick example. I am really not much of a golfer. I thought it was kind of a neutral subject.)
You should put a little thought and effort into it before posting. This same concept can be applied to anything you post. Whether it's a blog, article, photo, video, etc. Anything really.
The Caption (Title) of your post will be the most important, and the content of the post should be directly related to the caption (title). Think about what you believe someone would actually type into google or other search if they were looking for something like this.
The h1/h2/h3 tags can get very larger in size. To compensate or to make them smaller text size, you can reduce or declare the text size each using a .css file such as:
That way the search engines see the original h1 tag and think it is important, and yet your visitors see the text size at the much more reasonable size you declare in .css.
Once you have enough content posted that utilizes SEO, then you can think about off-site SEO and optimization.
I will work on posting some off-site SEO Techniques to follow up on soon.