Sunday - Coffee and Cake
weekly musings, articles and mostly babble...
Doppleganger Week I love it when there's some really random, jolly fad going around that seems to grab everyone's attention for a fun reason and since "International Talk Like a Pirate Day", nothing has entertained me as much as "Doppleganger Week!" What a crazy idea! I don't know if it's a new thing or what but the way I found out about it was when one at a time, all my friends on Facebook started posting famous people and celebrities as their profile pictures. Besides being hella confused for a few hours, I finally learned about the reason behind their randomness and thought I'd join in all the fun! I didn't really know at the time who I looked like as over the years people have likened me to a host of people for normally a single feature that has stood out about me. But I wouldn't have said I looked like any of these people so I thought I'd search for that face-recognition tool on myheritage.com to see if technology would have any ideas. and to my horror it gave me 7 or 8 results, some of whom were VERY different from me and one or two did have a likeness. So I thought I'd average out a few photographs of myself and see who came up consistently. And to my surprise the thing likened me, on average, to Halle Berry. Who'd have thought! LOL!
SEO This week hasn't all been fun and games however. There is a more sensible point to todays post as I have been very busy finding more ways to add to my small collection of traffic increasing tutorials on my blog. And the one way that I have finally managed to get my butt in gear with, has been Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). So far, my journey in all of this has seen the term SEO crop up pretty much all the time, and I admit fear had initally gotten the better of me with the concept of it until now. Search engines like Google like clean, responsive, non spammy sites that if one would like to be acknowledged and accepted by such a major searching facility, would have to optimise and perfect their website in order to avoid the bin. A lot of people totally overlook making their websites respectable enough to even make it to the major engines and unless you want to sit about with no visitors whatsoever, you do have to follow the rules a bit to make it even to the bottom of the pile. Google can give you an idea of how much it "likes" your page by giving it a Page Rank from 1-10. 10 is obviously what you want to achieve. 1 should give you a few hints! It can take a major engine a couple of months even after optimising your page to a decent standard to consider changing your Page Rank as it has to go through the process of crawling and checking through it... along with thousands of others eventually. So that's something you'll notice a change with in time. I wondered to myself this week, just how much can I alter my blog to make it good enough for a major search engine? I know that my site is listed in Google, but I want to rank higher in order to gain more visitors. So I battled my fear of time consumption and found myself a decent SEO Meta Tag Analyser to give me some clues as to where I can make changes. (I recommend the one I've linked to!) Firstly I discovered I hadn't any Meta tags nor Meta description. I know that these spiderbots pick up information from your page, but as far as I've learned having both of these and making them decent will make a difference to where your page sits in a search list. Eventually (as with all things 'search engine'). I also had a page rank of 2... Eek! LOL. Oh and my blog was pretty big and had too many links. This particular analyser was very specific about what "most" search engines are willing to accept as a good standard so check it out for your page to see exactly what changes you can make. I have to admit, unless you have someone doing your site/blog for you or you know how to write simple html you're not going to really know where to begin with meta tags. But here's the way to have a go on your blog. Both the Meta tags and Meta Description are literally about 20 tags, and a shortish (180-200 characters) description of what your page is about. You want to make these detailed and very descriptive, trying not to repeat words in both sections to make the most of how many describing words you can throw out there about your page. The more there are, and the better the quality wil make a difference believe me. Placing them on your page is done via HTML. On blogger this is done by visiting your Layout Tab, and clicking Edit HTML. You'll notice by looking carefully (or by holding ctrl-f and searching) for a code like this < head >, and there will be a whole bunch of codes that make up your site to follow. You Meta info will go AFTER this code. It will look something like this
< Meta content="blah blah" name="description" >
< Meta content="blah blah" name="keywords" >
...rest of site code...
Blah blah is obviously where you stick your description and tags. and they must go somewhere after the code and before the code begins. When an HTML code closes it would look like this < head > blah blah < /head> . You want it to come before it closes! But yes, do this correctly and your site will be on its way.
Make sure you don't have a zillion links on your blog, keep it to about 100-150, try and make sure the page isn't a slow loader which is hard to combat when you want to make it look attractive (flash things, widgets, large image files, music players... you know... general things that make a page cool WILL slow it down), but you'll find a balance with it when you experiment. Keep faith and hopefully one day you may get a surge of visits to your page just from optimising it. There are better detailed resources on doing things like this around the internet. One that I found helpful for this reason, and others was "Tips For New Bloggers"