02 Aug Don’t get caught out by spammy HTML techniques
Even with a search engine friendly shopping cart, how your website is seen by the search engines can significantly affect the ranking of your website by search engines in your given market.
Whether you are writing the content yourself or outsourcing content development to someone else, here are some things you should make sure that your site avoids.
If you don’t avoid these things, you run the risk that your website could be seen as spam and be penalised. This could hurt your search engine rankings, traffic and ultimately your sales.
3 things to avoid in your HTML
Too many major (“h1”) headings
Headings are helpful for your website visitors as they break up a content page or product description. In HTML headings are defined by tags called “H-tags” which are referred to in the source code of your page like this: h1, h2, h3 etc…
h1 tags are considered to be the major heading for the page and in general the search engines only expect one of these per page. So it’s not a good idea to have multiple h1 tags on your page as this could be viewed as trying to manipulate search results.
What you whould do is leave the h1 tag generated by your shopping cart product page automatically (in Ozcart this will be your product name or the title of your content page (e.g. Shipping and Returns) and use h2 tags to separate major sections. Never use h-tags to bold a piece of text inside a paragraph. This is a big no-no!
Over-use of link text (“anchor text”)
Link-text is very helpful for search engines as it defines for search engines what a link is about. For example, a link text that reads “shipping and returns” is more useful for a search engine and a person than a link called “click here”. But if every single link on your website has the same text and there are lots of identical ones on the same page, then the search engine could view your page as attempting to influence the search engine results and be treated as spam.
Over-use of image descriptions (“alt tags”) in your content pages
A common search-engine technique is to use search terms in image description tags (called “alt tags”) that are used to help optimise your website for a given search term. These have been abused by spammers who have stuffed keywords into every image on their website, even when the image is not related to the content of the page which has forced search engines to change the way they handle these alt tags. It IS important to put image description tags into your images as this helps with usability and with search engine optimisation, but you need to make sure that each tag does describe what that image actually is and does not over use the search term keyword that you are trying to optimise the page for. Search engines are getting very good at detecting when images and their descriptions do not match up.