Don’t Let Your Website Get Caught In a Turkey Shoot
Ah… Thanksgiving, a time of year when I so willingly gorge myself on a massive golden bird proportionate to a mini fridge, mountains of Stove Top stuffing, bowls full of cranberry sauce flowing like the salmon of Capistrano, finally to be washed down by copious amounts of the finest boxed wine imaginable. But there’s nothing more recognized during this harvest festival than sharing. I only feel it’s appropriate to share with you a few helpful tips on how to successfully optimize the online presence of your website.
Your website will not only help your business to grow (much like my pant size during the holidays), but ultimately gives your business an opportunity to thrive within a competitive global market place looking to serve you up for dinner. A common mistake I see is the wasted time and effort to present a website with all flash and pizzazz, only to drop the ball by not considering usability and best practices for search engine optimization. Solely having an awe inspiring site will not attract a customer base and without a customer base you have no return. Remember, your gravy train won’t arrive until your customers do.
A significant amount of web traffic is undoubtedly generated from major search engines and you’ll miss out if your website is still sitting at the kiddie table and is ranked too low. So if you’re determined to have a successful online business, then optimizing your website is the next necessary step. Below you’ll find what needs to be done to optimize your website, laid out in an indigestion free 5 course meal… enjoy!
Keywords and Phrases
The 1st course in optimizing your site is selecting keywords and phrases that best suit what your site is all about. Simply, a keyword best describes what the content of your web page is. For example if your website is about juggling, then the best keyword to use would be “juggling.” While drafting the content of your website, always make sure that you concentrate on just a few important keywords and phrases, this is because keyword phrases play a extremely significant role in optimizing your site.
The 2nd course in optimizing your site is a piping hot plate of Meta tag optimization. Meta tags are HTML code that is found between the < HEAD > and </HEAD > tags. These tags contain a description of your site and are found in the search engine results when you key in a certain word or phrase. Keep in mind, when creating Meta tags, be sure to focus on what your website is specifically all about. Please… I repeat, PLEASE be specific. You should also make sure that your Meta tags include your most important keywords, so that your customers will know exactly what your website is offering.
Image Alt Tags
Here comes the 3rd course…mmmMMMmmm it’s Image Alt Tags. An Image Alt tag comes after a website’s graphic address or URL in your HTML code. To fully optimize your graphics and your website make sure that you insert a readable keyword phrase within the Img Alt Tags. The use of ALT descriptions also improves website accessibility which is an SEO factor that is gaining importance.
Heads UP! 4th course coming through… The title is one of the most important pieces of information search engines use to index web pages. The Title tag of your site should always contain the most important keyword phrase. This will help you in getting higher search engine ranking results. The fewer number of words you can place in the title, the more weight search engines will give to each of the keywords, and again the higher you will rank.
The 5th and final course is Text. Since your text content plays a huge role in determining your web page’s ranking, text content optimization is something not to underestimated. Remember that when composing the text for your site, it should contain plenty of important keywords and phrases used in different ways. I’d like to also stress to keep in mind your keywords and phrases should appear at least three times, but no more than seven times in your text.
Everyone always has room for dessert.
Remember this rule of thumb when building your site: “Search engines do not like to be fooled.” Do not try to manipulate the all mighty search engine eye.
These Black Hat methods have been known to cause heart burn, indigestion, and upset stomach. Here are a few important elements of manipulation you should avoid:
- Hidden Text
- Excessive Keywords
- Repeated keywords
- Doorway Pages
- Harmful Redirects
- Frame Issues – I’d recommend for sites that use frames to implement a descriptive NOFRAMES tag with relevant text content.
- Macromedia Flash Issues – Avoid making a site entire of flash pages, but rather make sure to place that content within the HTML portion of the page.
I hope you’ve enjoyed your informative meal. Have a safe, satisfying Thanksgiving everybody!