Tuesday, February 28, 2012

5 Ways to Optimize a Website for SEO

5 Ways to Optimize a Website for SEO

In our technically-obsessed world there has arisen one major God of business success and its name is Google. It is crucial to ensure that your website is noticed by Google because it directs around 90% of all the web traffic in the US. And while Google has helped some businesses rise very high indeed, it isn’t always a benevolent deity!
The process of getting your website you to rank at the top of the Google results for a particular search phrase is known as SEO or search engine optimization and is a combination of making specific updates to your website and then getting other websites to link to you.
Today we’ll be looking at the first part of the equation, optimizing your website to give it the best chance of ranking well on Google.

1. Unique Wording On Every Page

Google’s main method of differentiating pages from one another on the Internet is by the wording that is used on them. Include 300-500 words of unique wording on each page and Google will see your site as valuable, informative and unique from any other site on the Internet. If you simply copy wording form another website (even your own) Google will not give your new site any value at all. Google actively checks for content that is duplicated across the internet, and penalizes the sites that it is found on.

2. Update The Title Tags

The title tags are the words that are displayed above the ‘file’ button on your Internet browser and are used as the headings of your SEO rankings. They are the first indication to Google of what a page is about and a critical to your SEO rankings. Use the keywords you want the site to rank for in the title tags and ensure every page is different to avoid the penalty for duplicate content.

3. Update The Meta Descriptions

While they aren’t heavily weighted in Google’s ranking algorithm, they do affect how many people click on your website in the SEO rankings. Use your meta descriptions to really sell the ‘click’ by giving users a reason to click through to your site. Look at what your competitors are saying and try to say something different, that really speaks to your prospects. Ensure that the meta description tags on each page are different to avoid duplicate content.

4. Add Footer Links For Navigation

Search engine spiders have a hard time reading Flash and Javascript content and may not realize that some of your content exists if it can only access it through Flash or Java. They go from page to page via links and plain text links are the easiest for the search engine spiders to follow. The best way to create them is with a footer menu. You would ensure that your every page on your site links to all other major pages on your site, through the footer area. And to really help your rankings include the keywords you want to rank for in those links.

5. Watch For Duplicate Content

You already know that your title tags and meta tags must be different, and your main copy different to that on other websites, but you can still get snagged by the duplicate content demon. If you have long copyright text or privacy policies repeated on different pages throughout the site, Google might see your web pages as duplicate content and drop it off their main index. If you definitely need duplicated information on a range of pages, put it in an image so the spiders can’t read it.
By implementing each of these SEO optimizations on your new website design you will ensure that it has the best chance for ranking highly in Google. A little planning and go a long way…
About The Author
Alex Cleanthous is the Head Online Strategist of Web Profits, an Australian-based online marketing firm servicing Australasia, the US and Europe. He keeps Web Profits on the cutting edge in all aspects of online marketing. Alex writes an industry blog about SEO, web design and online marketing. Follow Alex on Twitter: 

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