.htaccess File in SEO, Title Meta description in SEO and How to use SEO Tools

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what is .HTACCESS FILE , How to Handle it in SEO

.htaccess is a configuration file for use on web servers running Apache software. Usually all public hosting providers use Apache.

You can take advantage of .htaccess by creating or changing this file in your “public_html” directory.

Optimizing 404 errors with .htaccess

Websites tend to lose content or change urls from time to time. Not working urls stays in google cache and when google bot crawls them they receive 404 not found error instead of 200 ok. It is better to avoid giving google and most of all your visitors, broken links.

For example we recently removed “http://www.cheapseoservices.org/directory-submission-service/” from our website, but google has it listed and people may find it with keywords like: “cheap directory submission service”, so it is more convenient for the visitor if we redirect him to related or current services we are offering.

.htaccess file

We add this line to our .htaccess file:

ErrorDocument 404 /404.php

and create 404.php file in “public_html”

 

404.php:

 

This will redirect all our 404 not found pages to homepage, where user will be able to see what we currently offer. Google also sees this as a benefit, because we are making sure visitor is not left alone and he gets at least related information he was looking for.

Enabling Gzip compression

Gzip compression is a feature nowadays websites and browsers use to improve website load time. One of google ranking factors is page speed, so if you can, use this method. Most modern hosting providers have mod_gzip module running on their Apache.

To enable gzip compression add this code to your .htaccess file:

mod_gzip_on Yes

mod_gzip_dechunk Yes

mod_gzip_item_include file \.(html?|txt|css|js|php|pl)$

mod_gzip_item_include handler ^cgi-script$

mod_gzip_item_include mime ^text/.*

mod_gzip_item_include mime ^application/x-javascript.*

mod_gzip_item_exclude mime ^image/.*

mod_gzip_item_exclude rspheader ^Content-Encoding:.*gzip.*

Forcing www.

Technically urls “www.website.com” and “website.com” are duplicates and sometimes if you enter website url without “www.” you get an error.

To avoid errors and inconvenience for the user, choose if you want to use www. or not and add this code to your .htaccess file:

 

301 Redirect (redirect non-www to www):

RewriteEngine On

RewriteBase /

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^seoservicesoptimization.com[NC]

RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.cheapseoservices.org/$1 [L,R=301]

 

301 Redirect (redirect www to non-www):

RewriteEngine On

RewriteBase /

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www.seoservicesoptimization.com[NC]

RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://cheapseoservices.org/$1 [L,R=301]

Creating SEO friendly URLS

Instead of having urls like: ”www.mywebsite.com/index.php?page=contacts&id=9999″ it is better to use seo friendly urls like: “www.mywebsite.com/contacts/”. SEO friendly urls are more convenient for the user, because he can easily indentify what is the website about, just by looking at the address bar.

 

To create SEO friendly urls add this code to your .htaccess files:

 

RewriteEngine on

RewriteRule ^/ index.php

RewriteRule ^portfolio/ index2.php?page=portfolio

301 permanently moved redirect for moved content

Sometimes you have to change location of your content. For example www.seoservicesoptimization.com/some-topic/ has to be changed to www.cheapseoservices.org/some-topic-and-additional-features/. To avoid serving your visitors page not found errors, use this kind of code in your .htaccess file:

How to write TITLE, META Description of your website

Always create titles and meta descriptions, that describe page content very well.

Main goal of these two html tags are to let users decide what the page is all about. While browsing through websites, browsers show your title in the title bar and as a tab name.

Another very important thing, title is always shown in search engine results and meta description is shown if google decides it is descriptive enough for the given keyword.

title meta description

Use unique titles and meta descriptions for every page.

This is quite obvious, if you have to create descriptive titles, they need to be unique, there is no point in having two pages about exactly the same thing.

Do not stuff a bunch of keywords, just because you want them to rank well.

This is a very common newbie “SEOS” mistake. They add a bunch of keywords in the title and rank a lot lower than they could. Having lots of usually slightly related keywords in the title is not useful for the common user. There are some exceptions for websites which rank really well or do not have high competition, or really have a lot of different content on the same page.

Titles should be short and meta descriptions can be a little longer.

Google shows title in 69 characters and meta description in 156 characters. This is not a strict limit, but an advisable length.

Titles and meta descriptions play a very important role, when it comes to choosing which search engine result to go for.

This one is a very powerful tip. You can receive more traffic, than your competitors receive in higher search engine positions. For example keyword “affordable seo services” on google.com:

7th result- has a great title, everyone loves to pay upon results and low prices, decent meta description.

 

8th result- has a usual stuffed title most of the websites have and an average meta description.

 

9th result- has an average title – “seocycle.co.uk” in title is unnecessary, because you can already see the url. Description is bad because we do not want to know if they are new and what their mission is.

 

10th result- our website, average boring title and in the description we play the “FREE SEO consultation” card, which attracts as much traffic as 7th position receives and 2 to 4 times more, than 8th and 9th position gets.

After this example you can see how much psychological things could influence your search engine traffic.

We are all used to ignore spammy search results, stuffed with keywords like;”seo powersuite download, serial, keygen, full version, etc.”

Google is getting better and better at recognizing spammy websites,so useful, descriptive titles and meta descriptions for the user gives you an advantage.

Everyone who owns a website, which represents their business and/or operates in competitive niche should find these tools very useful.

How to Use Different SEO Tools

Website maintenance areas:

 

  •    Tracking and analyzing website traffic (Google Analytics)
  •    Tracking various SEO parameters (SeoQuake)
  •    Listening to Google signals (Google Webmaster Tools)
  •    Keeping website clean from errors (AnalogX LinkExaminer)
  •    Providing fast page load time (GoogleLabs Page Speed)
  •    Creating sitemaps (Xml-Sitemaps.com)
  • Tracking and analyzing website traffic with Google Analytics

So you have your Google Analytics account registered and tracking code installed.

 

First lets get familiar with the dashboard. When you login to your account you will see something like this:

This will list the websites you are tracking, together with some basic information. Clicking “View report” will open detailed dashboard like this:

By default you will see a graph of visitors during last 30 days, site usage statistics, visitors overview, map overlay, traffic sources overview and content overview.

You can change the places of these smaller dashboards by dragging them with the mouse.

Adjusting time range:

By clicking on current time range a calendar will open, which will allow you to set any time range you want. There is also a comparison feature, where you can compare traffic statistics to the past in order to see your progress.

Measurement and analysis features:

On the left sidebar you can see this menu, which allows you to measure various parameters.

Visitors: This is the place, where you get to know your visitor in details. It shows geographical location, language, OS, browser, how often they visit your site, etc.

Traffic Sources: Here you will see how people found your website. This is very useful for tracking, which sources are sending you traffic, which keywords are bringing more visitors, etc.

Content: This tab shows how people react to your content. It can be used to see how people navigate, what exactly are they interested in.

Goals: If you have objectives for your website, reports from the goals section can be very helpful to you. You will find information about wanted actions from users. This includes: sales, downloads, subscriptions.

Tracking various SEO parameters with SeoQuake

First we will need to download Google Chrome or Firefox web browser, if we do not use one.

When we have the right browser lets download SeoQuake. Start the installation and follow the instructions until you are asked to restart your browser.

Now you should have a toolbar similar to this:

or this:

When this plugin is activated, every time you visit a website, you will see pagerank, indexed page quantity, yahoo links, alexa rank and some other stuff, which is crucial while looking for backlink partners or tracking your own progress.

Listening to Google signals with Google Webmaster Tools

If you do not have Google Webmaster account, click here to create one.

Google webmaster tools gives you a lot of insight how your website ranks and suggests ways to improve it. It covers page speed statistics, sitemap, crawl speed, various diagnostics, etc.

This video shows how to use Google Webmaster tools for SEO purposes.

Keeping website clean from errors with Analogx LinkExaminer

Download Analogx LinkExaminer here. Install and run.

google webmaster tools

When software loads you should see a window like this:

Click on Scan –>> Set Url. Enter your website’s full url and hit ok. Then click Scan –>> Start

Software starts scanning your website and it takes from a few seconds to a few hours to finish, depending on the size of the website.

was scanned in 10 seconds. Here are the results:

Grey rows represents outgoing links. Green rows represents well working pages of your website. Red rows represents broken links and incorrect redirects.

Also you can arrange your website by titles and easily find duplicates. Basically this software is best for checking navigation errors before launching a website.

Providing fast page load time with Page Speed tool

Google has launched http://pagespeed.googlelabs.com/ This tool analyzes given websites and generates suggestions to improve page speed.

Most common error is loosely compressed images, which considerably increases overall load time.

Creating Sitemaps with Xml-Sitemaps.com

At http://www.xml-sitemaps.com/ you can generate sitemaps for small websites in seconds.

We recommend choosing automatic priority calculation and later on manually editing priorities in notepad. Priority number should be set from 0.01 to 1.00 accordingly how important each page is.

 

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