Change Management-2

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Google SEO

Title Tag

To tell users what the topic of particular page is should be placed within the head tag

<html>

<head>

<title> Top University in Australia /</title>

<meta name=”description=” content=” Destuni talks about best universities in Australia”>

</head>

<body>

Best Practices:

  1. Accurately describe the page’s content
  2. Unique title tag for each page
  3. Brief, descriptive titles

https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35624?rd=1

Description Meta Tags

Best Practices:

  1. Accurately summarize the page’s content

Avoid: Writing a description meta tag that has no relation to the content on the page using generic descriptions like “This is a web page” or “Page about baseball cards” filling the description with only keywords copying and pasting the entire content of the document into the description meta tag.

  1. Use unique description for each page

Avoid: Using a single description meta tag across all of your site’s pages or a large group of pages

URL

Keep it as simple as possible for both users and search engines can help – https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/76329

Best Practices:

  1. Create simple directory structure

 Avoid:

– Having deep nesting of subdirectories like “…/dir1/dir2/dir3/dir4/dir5/dir6/page.html”.

– Using directory names that have no relation to the content in them

Improving Site Structure

  1. XML Sitemaphttps://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/156184

Best Practices:

  1. Create naturally flowing hierarchy
  2. Using text for navigation
  3. Put an HTML site map page on your site, and use an XML Sitemap file

Avoid:

– Letting your HTML site map page become out of date with broken links

– Creating an HTML sitemap that simply lists pages without organizing them, for example by subject

  1. Useful 404 page – Google provides a 404 widget that you can embed in your 404 page to automatically populate it with many useful features. You can also use Google Webmaster Tools to find the sources of URLs causing “not found” errors.

Avoid:

– Allowing your 404 pages to be indexed in search engines (make sure that your webserver is configured to give a 404 HTTP status code when non-existent pages are requested)

– Providing only a vague message like “Not found”, “404”, or no 404 page at all.

– Using a design for your 404 pages that isn’t consistent with the rest of your site

Optimizing Content

Google AdWords provides a handy Keyword Tool that helps you discover new keyword variations and see the approximate search volume for each keyword (2). Also, Google Webmaster Tools provides you with the top search queries your site appears for and the ones that led the most users to your site.

Write better anchor text

Eg: <a href=”http://www.brandonsbaseballcards.com/articles/ten-rarest-baseballcards.

htm”>Top Ten Rarest Baseball Cards</a>

Best Practices:

  1. Choose descriptive text
  2. Write concise text
  3. Format links so they are easy to spot – Make it easy for users to distinguish between regular text and the anchor text of your links. Avoid using CSS or text styling that make links look just like regular text.
  4. Think about anchor text for internal links too

Optimize use of images:

  1. Use “alt” attribute for images.
  2. Use proper filename for images.
  3. Don’t use too many images for links in site’s navigation when text links serve the same purpose.
  4. Optimizing your image filenames and alt text makes it easier for image search projects like Google Image Search to better understand your images.
  5. Store all images in one directory and manage them using common file formats like JPEG

Best Practices:

  1. Short and descriptive alt text
  2. Supply an Image sitemap filehttps://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/178636

Using heading tags to emphasize important text:

Heading tags (not to be confused with the <head> HTML tag or HTTP headers) are used to present structure on the page to users. There are six sizes of heading tags, beginning with <h1>, the most important, and ending with <h6>, the least important.

Best Practices:

Use headings sparingly across the page

Avoid:

  • excessively using heading tags throughout the page
  • putting all of the page’s text into a heading tag
  • using heading tags only for styling text and not presenting the structure.

Dealing with Crawlers

  1. txt
    • “robots.txt” file tells search engines whether they can access and therefore crawl parts of your site. Google Webmaster Tools has a friendly robots.txt generator to help you create this file.
  2. Combat spam with “nofollow”.

Promotion and Analysis

Share over social media sites.

SEO for mobile phones

Verify that mobile site is indexed by Google:

  1. Create a Mobile Sitemap and submit it to Google to inform us of the site’s existence. A Mobile Sitemap can be submitted using Google Webmaster Tools, just like a standard Sitemap.
  2. Please allow any User-agent including “Googlebot-Mobile” to access your site.

Verify that Google can recognize your mobile URL’s:

Check that your mobile-friendly URLs’ DTD declaration is in an appropriate mobile format such as XHTML Mobile or Compact HTML.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Search Engine Optimization

With the advent of digital marketing and social media, one of the first steps the businesses have to do is to be searchable on the web. The businesses have to be out there so that they can be seen by consumers. One of the many effective ways to accomplish this is Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

There are companies which spend a lot of resources on SEO analysts. However, I believe the amount of resources spent on SEO marketing becomes a bone of contention when someone is trying to bootstrap a startup. I also came across this in one of my ongoing projects and that’s when I decided to get my hands dirty and learn a bit of  SEO in order to save my hard earned dollar.

One of the first things in SEO marketing is to submit the website to popular search engines like Google, Bing etc so that it can index your site and report.

The most important step to make your website SEO friendly is to select appropriate and relevant keywords on your website. Keywords are the words users type in the search engine while searching for products or services. Therefore it is important relevant keywords should match end user’s aimed services/products, which your website has to offer. Once the right set of keywords have been determined they should be used carefully and wisely in the content of the web page and also the meta tags of the web page. I would recommend using the specific and focused keyword in order to achieve better results rather than general ones. So for example, for a dance class specialising in Salsa, the word “latin dance” or “dance” is too general. If we choose these words it will be competing with too many websites and many consumers who might not be looking for salsa dance lessons but for a different type of dance. One of the easy ways to hack this challenge is by determining which keywords to use, using keyword tools such as Google Webmaster Tool or Bing Webmaster Tool. The tool will give information about search volume within a selected region and/or industry, depending on your filters. For example, if your website is a digital media company delivering news in the education sector in Australia then one of your potential keyword which the tool will give based on your location is “business schools”. Based on this results, tailor the title and description of web pages to contain these keywords. In this instance, the title of the web page can be “What are best business schools in Australia”

Another important piece of this puzzle  is Meta Tag optimisation of the website. Most meta tags are included within the ‘header’ HTML code of a website. They are the title, description, keywords and robot tags, but currently, the most important two are title and description. In order to be sure that all robots will crawl your website, I advise you to add an “Index, follow” meta robot tag. Meta tags should be unique and meaningful for each separate page. If they are the same, search engines consider them as duplicate content and rank the web page lower in their search result pages. One thing to keep in mind when selecting and using keywords is that, if you target the same set of keywords with two different pages then, your pages will be fighting among each other for a position in results on the same keyword thus devaluing each other’s worth.

Apart from the above, it is a good practice to interlink your web pages by making text references or having the most important pages linked in your site footer.

The key takeaway is that we should be smart in selecting the keywords using the available tools and then use them in our content wisely.

From my personal experience I can say that for a small business, it is really difficult to justify spending resources on digital marketing at the beginning when money and time is a constraint. However, it will go a long way in ensuring visibility if the business gets its basic SEO strategy correct from the very beginning.  

Going the Scrum Way

In one of my earlier piece, I had focussed on Agile Methodology. Like every other thing the Agile Methodology also evolved and over a period of time there were variations introduced to it. But at the heart of all different type of Agile Methodologies, one thing which remained consistent was its fundamental principle to put consumers before self.

Scrum is an agile software development framework for managing projects. Scrum is an iterative and incremental method and like other agile methodology, it focuses on project management process which is more flexible and accountable.

Scrum is different from other agile methodology because it heralded the idea of “empirical process control” which in a layman’s language means that it takes into account an actual progress of the project in order to decide next course of action or deal with adversaries.

But at the core of Scrum Methodology still lies the cardinal belief that the there is no leader and the team decides how to go past a hurdle. It’s a collective effort of the team to meet the goal.

First, reason why Scrum works smoothly and efficiently is because in it project is divided into Sprints. Secondly, there are set of roles, responsibilities, and meetings that never change. The two clubbed together form a project management methodology in which people relish working.

There has been some confusion regarding Sprint and Scrum and there are folks out there who think both are same (I was also one of them) but that isn’t true.

A Sprint is a basic and essential subsidiary of Scrum Methodology. In Sprint, the team decides the amount of work which needs to be accomplished in certain time period. Sprint length varies from 3 to 4 weeks.  Once a Sprint has set it goals and framed its timelines then it’s not altered unless and until there is something really important.

In Scrum methodology there are three principal roles: Product Owner, Scrum Master, and Team Member.

Product Owner is the go-to man in Scrum. She/he is the person responsible to bring the product to a potentially shippable state at the end of each Scrum sprint. Product Owner is the man who communicates vision to the team and makes sure that product meets it requirement.  Product Owner prioritizes product backlog and micro-manages other nitty-gritty’s of the sprint.

Scrum Master acts as a facilitator for Product Owner and Team. The fundament role of Scrum Master is to shield the team from distractions and motivate the members to achieve the goals of the sprint.

In Scrum, Team is responsible for building the product which is good to be shipped. A team consists of mix of all professionals required to complete sprint product backlog. Tam members are self-organizing group and there is no hierarchy among them.

Building products using Scrum is fun and interactive. Product Owner takes care of preparing product backlog. Product backlog contains new set of features and enhancements which need to be implemented and some spill over of previous sprint, if any.

Sprint planning meeting is performed at the start of each sprint where priority for product backlog items and sprint length is decided based on opinion of all team members.

During Sprint, daily meetings (10-15mins) are conducted where members pick items from product backlog. It’s a good habit to conduct Sprint review at the end of each sprint.

The fabric of Scrum Methodology lies in teamwork and conviction. And in the process you get the pleasure of creating something which adds value to our life.

Building Great Products using Agile

In any industry, the process of building a product from scratch requires vision and process. Effort is needed to make a product, meet the deadlines, and comply with the quality standards. All this tied together in a tightly knit format delivers a product which meets the expectation of masses.

In Software Industry, the term given to this whole cycle from beginning to the completion of product is known as Software Development Cycle. There are several traditional Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) methodologies in our industry like Watefall Model, V-Model…. to name a few. These SDLC methodologies have been here for long and have stood the test of time.

Agile model is a late entry into this set up. Agile model is based on the principle of giving regular quality products which satisfy customer’s aspirations and their need.

Traditional SDLC model tend to be slow, bureaucratic and at times inconsistent. This created a space for an alternative project management process which is more adaptive in nature and is accountable.

Someone who has working on traditional SDLC models will have an impression that Agile team comprises of group of people who go about their things in their own chaotic way. But there is a method in this madness and hence off late organizations have started using Agile Methodology.

In the heart of Agile project management lies the fact that working software is delivered frequently to customers and as team you leave no stone unturned to achieve this primary goal.

The way to assess team’s progress is status of the product being build. Software is only measure of progress.

It is impossible to gather all the requirements at the beginning of a project and whatever requirements are gathered can change as the product evolves. Since practically requirements are never frozen and therefore even late changes are welcome in product lifecycle.

Most Agile development teams comprise 5-10 employees which work together to promote teamwork and cooperation. The idea here is that people work in collaboration and knowledge is shared across the board. There is constant cooperation between business people and developers.

In any SDLC there will always be too many things to do and time and money will act as a roadblock. The moment team accepts this fact stress won’t be an issue when to-do list exceeds time and resources to deliver.

You are then able to think and innovate with a level of focus and clarity that escapes most in our industry.

Using Agile you can make great products and if you don’t stick to principles it can really get messy and you  end up making disastrous products.