Search Engine Optimization is a hot topic in our industry right now. Our clients seem to have become more aware that they need some sort of SEO for their website, but they are not always sure what constitutes good, productive SEO practice. In our experience and research, we have become aware of two major players in SEO: keywords and functionality.
Keywords seem to be a well-known component of SEO. The idea with keywords is to identify what a potential customer might plausibly type into a search engine if he/she were looking for your service/product. Many website owners already know to use meta-tags on their homepage with relevant words relating to their product/service. However, there is certainly more depth to using keywords to generate traffic than just meta-tags.
"The best keywords are words and phrases that are being searched, but that may have been overlooked by other websites," says Jill Whalen of the SEO consultancy, High Rankings.
While words are helpful, phrases shouldn't be overlooked either, and when you are seeking local business, you will do well to include geographic markers on top-level pages. INC.com offers a mathematical approach to coming up with the words and phrases that are right for you: they say to calculate the ratio of the number of pages a search (for keywords) returns, to the popularity of the search term. The ration should be 500 to 1, or less! Not only that, but each page of a website should have it's own keywords because each page will have a different focus, or objective.
Once you have developed keywords that are appropriate for the different pages of your website, you will want to place them throughout your site. It is advisable to include keywords in your content, but caution should be taken here. If your content is so overloaded with keywords that it is not "readable," search engines will not favor it. There are legitimate and illegitimate means to developing SEO, and sites that use illegitimate means put themselves in danger of being blacklisted on search engines (meaning the engines will not list your site at all, thus defeating your SEO efforts). Another action to avoid is keyword repetition in your meta tags. Put simply, if it seems like you are cheating, you probably are and it will cost you in the end. More is not necessarily better when it comes to SEO.
Another important component of SEO is website functionality. Website content should be organized and lined up in keeping with the way people search for your site or items on your site. Similar pages should be grouped together into separate directories of folders and subfolders, or sites should have virtual silos with links that direct readers from one page to the next. A sitemap, which can be generated and submitted to Google, helps search engines find all the different pages on your website. Adding a sitemap also helps speed up the time it takes between launching a new website and having the search engines fully crawl your site. That being said, properly organizing your internal linking structure should go a long way in helping search engines list your site (don't rely on the sitemap!).
Regularly updating your content will keep your site "fresh" and a fresh website is much more search-engine-friendly than a stale one. This is where SEO is linked to some of the services YCP provides: updated design, functional development, and a CMS that allows users to easily update their sites. If you have something to sell (a product or service) or something to tell, then getting that information onto your website regularly will be one of your best SEO tools. In addition to web design and development, and content management, YCP also provides advanced SEO services. Let us know how we can help you!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO), SEO, Keywords, Functionality, Meta-tags, Content, Websites, Sitemap, Directories