It goes without saying that the internet, web sites and optimization are all important components to business today. The internet is a great source of leads, but it is not always easy to get those leads. The process of making your website visible to search traffic is known by the blanket term of search engine optimization, or SEO. This term can refer to many methods of increasing web site visibility, traffic and leads. There are two broad categories of SEO that all practices fall into; on-page optimization and off-page optimization.
- On-page optimization – all techniques and tricks for optimization that focus on your web site, home page, landing page or other primary web presence.
- Off-page optimization – all techniques and tricks for optimization that focus on driving traffic to your site. This includes but is not limited to social media, article/blog posting, pay-per-click campaigns and any other form of internet marketing that is not on your website, home page or landing pages.
Over the years, Google and the other major internet search engines have changed, altered, and modified their search parameters in order to better serve the internet community. The good news is that despite all the changes, the factors that made a good, well optimized web site in the past are still the factors that make up a good, well optimized web site today.
Search engines and their crawlers are searching the internet for content displayed in HTML. This includes the textual content displayed on the page as well as the coding that defines your websites appearance. Make sure that your HTML is “clean” and contains no mistakes. It is also important to make sure that there is no hidden code or hidden text. There are some unscrupulous methods of on-page SEO that use hidden text and code and your site could be penalized for it. There are some other features of web pages that are not immediately indexable by search engines including pictures and Java. In order to optimize these in search engines, include captions describing each non-text capsule.
Content has long been king of the internet. The best websites with the best content have always been favored in search returns. In order to fully optimize your site only use the highest quality content. Only the best written, informational and relevant content should be used. The text should include long tail key words and evergreen text. It is also important to have current, up to date material on your site, but the real heart of it should be long lasting, informational and should answer the questions your target audience is asking.
Formatting is very important to web site visibility. Not only does good formatting allow users to easily view, navigate and assimilate your content, it also helps the web crawlers to index and rank it. Imagine a web page that delivers its message in one long text script. I know you all have seen one. The page is probably full of info but it is really hard to find it. Now, imagine that same page broken up by headings and sub headings with pertinent data listed in bullet or numbered form. The first example may appear to Google as a one line title or description with nothing but text. The second will appear as an HTML version of a research outline with easily indexable categories and sub categories.
Your site map is very important. It not only provides users with an easy-to-view listing of your pages, it also does the same for search engines. Your site map should list each page of your site by its name with a contextual link to each page from each name. This will establish the skeleton of your link network and allow search spiders to reach and index every page of your site.
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