Search Engine Optimization: Make the Making the Most of your Webpage
Waiting, clicking, waiting some more ... Using a company's website can be an efficient way to get what you need, or an exercise in frustration. Optimize your business's website so that it jumps to the top of a client's Google search, allows them expedient access to the information they need, and leaves them feeling satisfied that you are on top of every last detail.
Although you may be wondering if you need to hire someone to address this for you, "Search engine optimization is often about making small modifications to parts of your website," according to Google's SEO starter guide, and you can likely handle those small modifications yourself.
These small changes, used consistently, could make the most of your website:
- Create a sitemap for each page of your website. Google's support page contains specific instructions on how to do so. A sitemap helps your website to be found and indexed. For more information about establishing sitemaps, click here.
- Keep your URLs simple. Readable words in a Web address are much more meaningful to viewers than random jumbles of letters and numbers. Hyphens between the words in your URLs may also help make them more appealing to viewers. For help creating simple URLs, click here.
- Use accurate title tags for each of your website pages. Your title tags should refer specifically to each page's content, and each page should have a unique tag. These tags are what help your pages show up in a search engine query, so think about what a client might be using to do their keyword search. Do not use tags that are vague, such as "page 1," and do not include extraneous words.
- Use description meta tags for each page. These provide you with the opportunity to briefly describe, in a couple of sentences or a short paragraph, what that page is about. Key words the client searched for in their query will be highlighted or bold-faced in the meta tag, when your page is listed amongst the search engine findings. Meta tags should be short, specific, and written so viewers will have a clear idea of what they will find if they click on your link.
- Weave keywords strategically through the content of each page. While the creative writer in you may desire a unique word choice, consistent use of keywords helps search engines establish the theme of your page(s).
- Use alt attributes or tags to describe your photos, providing a text alternative to the image. Alt attributes are a good place to use a keyword as part of the description, when appropriate, and should provide helpful information for someone who cannot see the image.
- Thoroughly check your website each time you make updates. Check for broken links and other design flaws. There's nothing more annoying than clicking on a link to nowhere!
In addition to managing these details, websites must be dynamic, with current information, new additions, and connections through social media that help search engines identify your Web pages as valuable sites. In an article for Forbes magazine, contributor Jayson DeMers discussed other facets of successful SEO: "Success in SEO hinges on businesses putting together a robust combination strategy that brings together an integrated web of great content, credible links, and social signals," he advised. "Each of these pieces supports the other, providing tremendous value to readers, building your authority and brand value, and distributing your content across new channels."