Search Engine Optimization (SEO) doesn’t have to be a painful or tedious task. SEO is such an important step in designing a website that many website owners are afraid it will be too difficult or it will cost too much money to hire a professional SEO company. In reality, the basics of SEO are very simple and easy to implement into a website and it should never be overlooked. Every little bit helps when optimizing your site. If every month you get 500 visitors and 10% of them buy your product, imagine if you were able to get 700 or even 1000 visitors to your site how much your profits would increase. SEO can be the determining factor that decides how successful a website will be.
Obviously, the most important thing you can do to boost your rankings is to include your specific keywords into the content of your site. Often times web designers think that the more often their keywords appear the better. This is not the case! The worst thing you can do for your site is stuff it full of keywords. It is much better to write your content for people, not search engines. The staff of geniuses working at leading search engine companies like Google and Yahoo are improving the way search engines index websites everyday. Eventually they will be able to determine between the quality of site content. In the long run it will always be better to write for your users instead of the search engines.
Be Kind to Spiders
Search engine spiders crawl through websites creating a list of words and then follow other links on your site. If you remove unnecessary code and have a good navigation system they will be able to more efficiently crawl your site. Using XHTML and CSS can help reduce the size of your webpage files significantly and you should always validate your code to check for errors. Another way to improve site organization and help the spiders is to set up a consistent navigation on all your webpages so that the search engine spiders will see every page on your website. Often web designers will include a site map to help both users find their way around a site and search engine spiders.
Don’t Forget the Little Things
Including keywords into your meta tags may seem obvious to some but search engines are using them less and less because of keyword stuffers. Google, for example, focuses much more on the number of inbound links a site has then it does the keyword in the meta tags. This doesn’t mean we should forget meta tags altogether. Not yet anyways. Some search engines still use them and when optimizing a website, every little bit can help.
You should also remember to include alt text for every image on your site and the title attribute on parts of content such as links, images, etc. Search engines can’t crawl images for words but they do can crawl an images alt text or title attribute. It is important not to keyword stuff these attributes either even though they aren’t seen by visitors.
Links, Links, Links
The algorithm used by search engines to determine a websites ranking changes all the time due to keyword stuffers and another thing called link farms. Link farms are websites with hundreds and hundreds of inbound and outbound links to improve search engine ranking. Yes, it is important to have lots of inbound links but you shouldn’t have too many links. All of your inbound and outbound links should be related to your site and there should never be a lot of them on one page. Search engine will label sites with too many links as link farms and it will hurt instead of help your search engine ranking.
Optimizing you website can be fairly easy. I know there are lots of SEO’s who use a wide-variety of techniques and different skills to boost a sites rankings and many of them may work, but before spending money to hire a SEO company take some time to optimize and test your site on your own. Have good content and links that are related to your website and keep your site organized with as little code as possible. Incorporate these search engine optimization tips into your site today so more visitors will find you before they find your competitors.