Is Your Website Search Engine Friendly?
Making sure your site can be found by your potential customers is essential. This is done using a number of methods, and a combination of these different methods, over time. One of the main ingredients is the actual content on your pages and the design. There are several steps you can take to ensure your actual site is drawing the attention you want.
- The actual content – The stuff humans will read has an effect on search engine ranking as well. Optimizing this content however can be a tricky task. There was a time when simply spamming keywords was helpful. This lead to extremely annoying content for the reader, but search engines seemed to like it. Luckily web crawlers have become more advanced and now look for content that more closely resembles what humans would actually write if they weren’t trying to impress a computer somewhere. Prior to optimizing the content on the page it is important you research the keywords that will be most effective, and to research where and how often to use these words. Because there are so many other ways to go about optimizing a site make sure your human readers are still your top priority when it comes to the content on the page.
- Add text to images, flash and video – These elements are places on a page using a simple HTML code which allows a “description.” Instead of describing the actual picture however, you can put in important key terms for optimization.
- Get rid of errors in HTML coding – Search engines use your HTML code to index web pages, and rely on correct code.
- Consider optimizing your tags – Titles, and headlines within your text are often given greater weight, so consider using a keyword here if possible.
- Site map and HTML Navigation – Ensuring each page of your sight has a straight HTML link to it can help overall optimization it is believed, as can a site map on your site. There are other methods of inserting navigation and using these others in places is okay, but try to have at least one HTML link to each page if you can do it without ruining the look, feel or user-friendly aspects of your site.
- Avoid duplicate content – This means both duplicate content lifted from other places online, and within your own site. Search engines hate duplicate content and penalize searchability pretty heavily whenever it is found. Because they are just dumb web crawlers searching for this content, they may not realize the difference when it is duplicate content, but duplicated from your own site, so just avoid it all together.
- Get rid of all hidden text – This used to be a trick some used to optimize their content, hiding text from the reader. Search engines quickly caught on and eliminated it as optimization criteria, actually penalizing sites that had it. In addition to this purposeful hidden text, often text is entered as kind of a place holder during development then forgotten. So make sure all hidden text is eliminated.