by: Alexandra Cortechaine, Director of Public Relations
Select a Descriptive Domain Name
If Google were a brand new company the domain name Google.com would mean absolutely nothing to a search engine crawler. Neither would Yahoo, Bing, Twitter or Amazon. It’s a trend to have a senseless name for your company and register a corresponding domain name. If you’re a new organization no one will know who you are or what you do. Are you willing to sacrifice link juice for naming trends, if the answer is yes, great. If not, you might consider choosing a descriptive domain name. If you owned a small pastry shop in Boston the domain name bostonsmallpastryshop.com would be perfect.
I’m fairly sure you have no idea what canonicalization is, right? It’s actually a big word with a pretty simple explanation. It means that one web site can have several different iterations of one domain name. For example, our site devscapesoftware.com can render as http://devscapesoftware.com or http://www.devscapesoftware.com or http://devscapesoftware.com/index.aspx or http://www.devscapesoftware.com/index.aspx. The problem with this is that each of those domain names is counted by the search engines as separate domains and they steal link juice from each other. There is a way to avoid this. A web developer can create a 301 Redirect . There are other types of redirects but this one is the most effective.
Create Site Navigation That Makes Sense
Site navigation should follow a specific structure. This structure allows the most possible link juice to get to all of the sites pages with the fewest number of links. Every page on the website should get some ranking benefit from the home page. Below is a graphic illustrating an ideal navigation structure…
Write Great Content
I’m sure you’ve heard this one before, but it’s very important. Writing good content is one of the most important things you can do to help the search engines index your site. Page content should be hyper-relevant to a specific topic. The subject of the page should be included several times in the body of your text, although not so much that is doesn’t make sense to the reader. When writing your content try to keep it as unique as possible. Ideas and concepts that haven’t been written before are more likely to be indexed by the search engines.
Make a Few Simple Modifications to Your Pages
Start with your Title Tag. Make sure every page of your site has its own unique title that summarizes the content a visitor will find on that page. Page titles should be descriptive and concise. Avoid keyword stuffing in your title. Putting the same keywords over and over in the title looks like spam to search engines.
Meta Descriptions are also important. Just like page titles, every page of your site should have a meta description. The meta description doesn't just have to be in sentence format; it's also a great place to include structured data about the page. For example, news or blog postings can list the author, date of publication, or byline information. This can give potential visitors very relevant information that might not be displayed in the snippet otherwise. Similarly, product pages might have the key bits of information—price, age, manufacturer—scattered throughout a page. A good meta description can bring all this data together.
Replace images that contain keywords with text. Words contained in images cannot be crawled by the search engines. If you do have images with keywords, it can be beneficial to include text-based captions. Include an alt=”” in each of your image tags. Include descriptions of your images that include the keywords you are using for that particular page.
There are hundreds of factors that help search engines decide how to rank a page. In actuality those factors can be broken down into two categories, relevance and popularity. Search Engines are designed to view pages the way a human reader would. With this in mind, when optimizing your site don’t try using any techniques that would artificially generate a better ranking. Search engines view these techniques as spam. Make your pages relevant and interesting and visitors will find you.