Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is the act of improving your website’s visibility in search engine listings and is wildly important to the health of your website. If your site isn’t properly optimized, your company may never come up in the first page of search results when a customer is looking for your product or one similar.
Search engines use algorithms called ‘spiders’ that crawl through your site. These spiders will index the content on your site, look for keywords and check links to and from other sites to determine how valuable your content is to the person who is searching.
Here are 8 things you can do on your own to optimize your site:
1. Content matters. If you do not have relevant content to share with your readers, read no further and call it quits. Having good, original, timely and rich content is the single most important thing that will garner good SEO as well as keep your customers coming back.
2. Keywords. Finding out what your target audience is searching for and incorporating it into your content will boost your ratings. If you sell shoes, you can do a Google keyword search for “shoes” and find out that 13 million people a month are also searching for “women’s shoes.” Use these numbers to determine your best keywords. You may find more people are searching for "women's shoes" rather than "ladies shoes." Once you’ve identified some important keywords, you want to make sure you use them appropriately within your website copy. Instead of saying “ladies shoes” be sure to consistently say “women’s shoes”. Warning: Don’t overuse keywords in your content however, spiders can detect that and you could be banned from a search engine.
3. Build links. Spiders will index all links on your page and then visit those links to determine how credible the other sites are.
4. Receiving links. Page rank goes up when you have a lot of reputable sites pointing to yours. Because you have good rich content, hopefully others will want to share it by posting it to their facebook page, twittering about it, etc. You can exchange information with other websites, guest blog, post comments, etc. just don’t engage in link farms or anything else spammy, again, spiders can detect when you aren’t being genuine.
5. Internal deep linking. Link to other portions of your website if it’s relevant. This will help your reader engage in different areas of your site. This will help your reader explore your site and spiders will deem it as site with valuable content.
6. Title Tags. You should have very clear title tags and they preferably should include a keyword. A title tag is just basically the title of that page. “Women’s Shoes” would be a title tag that a spider will easily recognize and index.
7. Sitemap. Creating an online sitemap will also help spiders to determine what is on your site and should be located in your bottom navigation. Creating a site map in a hierarchal format is best – showing the parent pages and sub pages.
8. Social Media. Use social media to spread your valuable content. The more people that view and share your content, the more hits your website will get and this leads to linking.