How do you find information on the web? The typical answer is Google, Yahoo or Bing. In fact, recent research shows that around 91% of internet users find the info they need by utilizing a search engine. Just having a website doesn’t mean that you will be found in a search engine. Hours of work actually goes into the process of just getting into a search engine and quite a bit more if you want to improve your rankings to be on page one of the results list (how often do you click through to page two?). If you’ve invested in a website for your organization, be sure to make the most of that investment and implement search engine optimization (SEO) into your website’s content, code and monthly maintenance plan.
There is a definite art to fine-tuning your site’s SEO. A number of tools need to be utilized to get the best results, and a certain amount of knowledge is required to make your optimization efforts effective. Here are some ‘must-have’ tips to get you started on your own, but if you would like more information, Peak can provide you with a free consultation to understand your website’s current search engine perfomance and suggestions to help improve your rankings.
- Every page of your website should contain unique meta data. Meta data provide the title, keyword and descriptions for the content on that particular page. Meta data is implemented within the code of your website and is used by search engine ‘spiders’ for quick reference to the content available on that page.
- Optimize your content. The verbiage on a particular page should correspond with the meta data for that page. The first one hundred words and ‘headings’ are the most spidered content. Images and inline linking to other pages within your website should also be optimized.
- Create sitemaps and robot files to improve your sites indexing within search engines. Common files are sitemap.xml and robots.txt, once these files are created and uploaded to your web server, you will want to create various webtools accounts and link these files within those accounts (see next tip).
- Google and Yahoo!/Bing provide free webmaster tool accounts so that you can submit your site to the search engines, and properly manage the SEO required for proper indexing and improved rankings on each respective engine. The tools provide you with information about your sites search ranking, as well as any errors that are reported.
- External linking is one of the most efficient ways to improve your sites ranking, and providing reciprocal links trumps that further. See this blog post for more details on external linking >>
- Sign up for a free Google Analytics account!!! If you really want to improve your sites ranking Google Analytics is key. After all the work is done this tool will tell you how your site is performing, providing cross-statistical analysis for how and where your site is being used and being found. You will use the reports from Google Analytics to continue ‘tweaking’ your site’s meta data, content and external linking, further improving your website’s ranking.