Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

Five Things You Should Know To Improve Your Website’s SEO

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010 by Clyde A. Lettsome, PhD, PE

Over the past few months, we have been receiving more and more inquires related to Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The questions have ranged from “What is it” to “How do I get my website listed on the top of organic searches done on search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing”. This made me ask, what caused the sudden influx of SEO related questions? Well, it appears that as many small businesses try to find new ways to find new customers, “SEO companies” see this as an opportunity to sell their “products”. I didn’t have to go any further than my junk email box to find a number of these email solicitations. Here are just a few of the teaser lines in the emails:

  • Most customers will never find your site unless you are placed on the first page of GOOGLE, MSN, OR YAHOO. If I could achieve at least 7 times more WEB traffic to your website by promoting you to the top of the search engines would you be interested?
  • Do you want to know why your competitors are showing up at the top of the three major search engines and how you can rank on top?
  • Your site can rank on the 1st page to 1st place in the search engines.
  • isn’t ranked highly in the major search engines but can be easily!
  • You are not ranked number one in the major search engines.

After each of these teasers, they all follow up with statements guaranteeing that they can help your website ranking. Well, here are a few things you should know. First, legitimate SEO companies will almost never contact you first. Second, as for these “companies’” claim, no one can guarantee a #1 ranking or even first page ranking unless you are in a very unique business or unless they will engage in shady practices that could hurt the reputation of your company.

Now, here is the truth that will save you money and increase your site hits. You have more control over search engine optimization and ranking than you think. Improving your rankings will require lots of work on your part as well as a proper web design. There are five key facts you should be aware of in order to improve your SEO ranking. These facts have been well documented by Yahoo and Google to help site owners understand how their search engines work and therefore helping the site owners improve their own SEO:

  1. When your site is being designed, provide your site designer with key pieces of information about your website.
    • Title.  Provide your web designer with a title for each page on your site. The titles should be unique, descriptive, and short.
    • Description.  Provide your web designer with a description for each page. Again, the titles should be unique, descriptive, but short.
    • Item Categories and/or company Structure. Provide your designer with an idea of how your company or products are to be laid out on the website. Think of your site as your store or your office building. If a customer walked in the front doors, you want the layout of your facilities to be easy to maneuver. Placing proper signs can help a customer to do that. Similarly, the proper file and directory structuring of a website can help search engines and customers navigate your website.
    • Limited Images and Flash Movies.  Do not request an excessive number of pictures, flash, or other types of animation. Search engines have a really difficult time interpreting them. For the images you do have on the site, provide the designer with an alternate description (text description). Also provide a file name for the image that help to convey the message you want the customer to receive when they see that image.
  2. Make sure your site is submitted to the major search engines for crawling after it is completed. The search engines may never know your site exist if you do not tell them about it.
  3. Keep the content on the site relevant, fresh, and up-to-date. As the keeper of your site, you are in charge of verifying that the content is of interest to someone (preferably interesting to many people). Update the site with the latest and greatest information. Even more importantly, make sure you maintain the site by removing dead links. These keep customers coming back to your site as well as make search engines happy. Search engines have a hard time crawling sites with numerous dead links. If you have problems maintaining your site, purchase a maintenance plan.
  4. Promote your site. I cannot emphasize this enough. Promoting your site can lead to numerous link backs to your site and thus SIGNIFICANTLY increase your organic search ranking.
  5. Revisit your site design and improve on the items listed in number 1. You may notice that the data you provided may not have been descriptive enough, you think you can improve on them now, or you may not have provided any information during the design process at all. Improve on it. If you are incapable of reading the code you may contact your designer and they can assist you or you can contact us about your SEO needs.

This is  just a synopsis of some extremely useful tips for improving your SEO ranking. If you would like to read more on this topic, you can visit these two links from Google and Yahoo on search engine optimization.

Remember you have more control over your own ranking than you think; so, do not fall for the unsolicited email you receive. They are junk, and they are just meant to take your money.

Bookmark and Share