Search Engine Optimization

Q: What's the bees knees these days?

A: Being the first search result for a particular set of keywords!

OPP takes care of all of the technical aspects of keeping your site appealing to Google and other search engines. We constantly read about and updates things so that the tech stays in tip-top shape.

However, you, as your website content manager, actually have more influence and must also take some steps to keep your site appealing to search engines. Here are some great tips to keep you in the running:

Text, Text, Text.

  • The absolute number one key thing to do is to make sure that the text content on your site is detailed, specific and relevant to the keywords you want people to use in Google (especially your name), since this is how Google decides what your site is all about. For example, if you only have 'untitled' images on your site and no text or descriptions, Google would have very few good ways to know what your site or work was about or who it was by. Same thing goes for a Home Page with no text on it. Home Pages are one of the top places that Google looks for keywords, and where Google gets the description of your site for its listing, so your name and most important keywords should definitely be in your Home Page text!
  • Another important step to take is to make sure that your Website Title (which you can set via your Control Panel) has your name and what you do in it. 'Dennis Hopper - Watercolor Artist' would be an example of a good title. Be sure not to have spaces or dots etc in between the letters of your name, since then Google will not be able to read it. The title is a VERY important place where Google gets info from.
  • Something to be aware of is that Google has also stopped using 'behind-the-scenes' keywords (technically <meta tags>), such as the ones you may have entered into the Keywords section of your Control Panel — so that makes it all the more important to have your content/keywords visible in the text on your website itself. Make the most of the 'Description' field for each image – content rich text near your images will help to get your Images indexed by Google Images.
  • It's important to fill in the 'Caption' sections on each Image page. Like all content on your site, these should be honest and descriptive, as Google is good at spotting tricks. :) A good description would consist of something like “photograph of galaxies rainbows kittens and sunset by Your Name.” This will help Google get more info about your site and can assist in getting your images on Google Image search. Remember though that Google Image Search is designed to find images OF something not BY someone. A search for your name is more likely to bring up a photo of you, as opposed to by you.
  • If you haven't already, we recommend that you switch your “Image Settings” to using Shared (Yes) images. Having public images is also just a good thing in general as bloggers, galleries and curators can grab your images for their files/articles this way. Feel free to add a watermark with our easy system to your Zoom Images to be sure you get credit. Public Images with Captions (see the next step) can be VERY helpful.
  • If you are using one of our old-school Flash skins, we *highly* recommend that you switch to using an HTML Template, as our Templates allows Google's robots to 'read' the text on your site, therefore finding your name and keywords more easily. Google's increasing prejudice against Flash-based is part of the reason we designed the new Templates.
    • You'll only see the Flash skins as an option in your Control Panel if you've been using one for a long time. If you don't see this option, don't worry – this means you're using the mobile-friendly Templates!

Get the word out!

  • Once you have made sure that the content on your site is rich, detailed and relevant, and you have taken all the steps listed in our Google Help section, you can ask Google to reconsider your site. Directions on how to do this, and a link to the page to request reconsideration are below. No need to worry about the technical or code related stuff here, as we take care of making sure that all this is in compliance with Google's webmaster guidelines:
  • If you do not currently have a Google Webmaster Tools account, be *sure* to sign up for one. Check out the help section here.
If you already have a GWT account, please check it regularly to see if you have any messages from Google regarding your site.
  • If you have not yet submitted your URL to Google, you may do that using the link below, which may help Google recognize their error.
  • You can also request submission to Yahoo:
  • When submitting to Bing, please scroll to the bottom of the below page, and submit your URL in the 'deprecated tool' area.
  • You should also submit your URL to this independent, non-profit Web monitoring project that links to Google's directory.

Remember that all changes to your site will take some time to be reflected in Google's index…but if you're having problems, let's hope Google gets things sorted out soon!

If you want tips straight from the horse's mouth – check out Google's SEO tips.

See Also

help/cp/search-engine-optimization.txt · Last modified: 2015/06/05 22:17 by debbie