Monday, January 28, 2008
2. Create and update your site map.
Developing a site map is a simple way of giving search engines the information they need to crawl your entire website. There are plenty of free software packages on the web that can help you generate a sitemap. Once you create a site map, submit it to Google and Yahoo.
3. Ensure that all navigation is in HTML.
All too often, navigational items are in the form of java script. Even though navigation technically still works in this format, it’s not optimized. Create your navigation in HTML to enhance internal links throughout your website.
4. Check that all images include ALT text.
Your image’s alt text is spidered by search engines. If you’re not including your keywords in alt text, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity for improved search engine result placements. Label all of your images properly.
5. Use Flash content sparingly.
Content generated through java script or flash is a big no-no. Some webmasters like to use flash because of the presentation. If you must, use it sparingly, but only after your site has been properly optimized with basic search engine optimization in mind.
6. Make sure that your website code is clean.
Keep in mind when optimizing a web page crawlers are basically only looking at your source code. When programming your web pages, having W3C compliant code can make all the difference. Run your code through a W3C validator before promoting.
7. Place keywords in your page content.
Search engines scan your website and web pages for keywords. Shoot for a keyword density of between two and eight percent. Google likes your page to be at the lower end of this scale and Yahoo at the upper end.
8. Submit your website to search engine directories.
It’s always a good idea to let large search engine directories know that you’re out there. Submit your website URL to directories like Google, Yahoo, and DMOZ.
9. Build links to your website.
Consider building a link exchange program or create one-way links to your site using articles or forum posts. All major search engines value the importance of your website based on how many others websites are linking to it.
10. Stay the course.
Good optimization takes time. People expect to see results immediately. You may very well see improvements in a short period, but reaching the number one position takes time. Be patient.
Learning to optimize your website for search engines takes time and patience. Start by applying basic search engine optimization principles. If you’re new to website optimization, or even a well seasoned veteran, begin by prioritizing which pages are most important to you and go from there. Soon you’ll find yourself moving up the rankings.
*Michael Fleischner is a Marketing Expert and Search Engine Optimization Specialist. He has more than 13 years of marketing experience and had appeared on The TODAY Show, Bloomberg Radio, and other major media.