Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto: 5 tips for improving your site’s SEO

Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto: 5 tips for improving your site’s SEO

By Paul Lester

Congratulations! After spending plenty of time and money, you have finally launched your company’s website. Now all you have to do is sit back and watch the visitors — and page views — roll in, right? Well, not exactly.

With apologies to the 1989 baseball film “Field of Dreams,” if you build it, they won’t necessarily come. Your site needs to have a high search-engine ranking to stand out among billions of other sites on the World Wide Web. Not doing so could result in lost revenue, spelling disaster for your business’ bottom line.

One way to improve a website’s ranking is through search engine optimization (SEO), which can make your website more visible in search results. Search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo! seek information contained in Web pages. They utilize robots, essentially computer programs, to scour the Internet, index sites and serve up results.

With this in mind, here are five tips to boost your SEO juice so those friendly neighborhood robots will index your site and give it a high ranking.

  1. Keyword like crazy. Add a healthy dose of SEO-friendly keywords to every nook and cranny of your site including page titles, headings, intro paragraphs, URLs, image file names, alt tags and hyperlink text. Here’s how you can determine which keywords to use:
    • Think of a term your target audience would use to search for content on a particular page of your site.
    • Go to Google, begin typing the term into the search box and see what the autofill results are.
    • The phrase that ranks the highest — and describes the page’s content the most — is the most SEO-friendly.
    • Also, check out Google Trends to compare search rankings of different keywords and view a list of hot topics.
  2. Freshen up your content. Search engines love new stuff, so make sure to update your site’s content regularly. If your site doesn’t have a blog, launch one. In addition to serving as a platform to launch new content, blogs help get your organization’s message out and forge a personal connection with your target audience.
  3. Link in. Link out. Contact webmasters from highly-ranked, well-respected sites related to your industry and ask them to link to your content. Return the favor by linking to their site. The result? Improved search ranking for both sites.
  4. Build a super sitemap. Google’s bots have to sort through millions of sites when indexing the web. Make their job easier by creating a page that links to your site’s main sections.
  5. No Flash, please. Since search engine robots can only recognize text, sites built using Flash do not rank high in search results. Try to avoid using Flash on your site as much as possible. If you absolutely, positively have to use Flash, make sure to add descriptive text and links underneath the object.

Need more SEO advice? Visit Google’s Webmaster Tools Help site and download the Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide.

Looking for someone to conduct an SEO audit on your current website? Contact us to learn more.

Image courtesy Flickr user AlexDixon

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