SEO which stands for Search Engine Optimization and is the organic method of bringing leads to your business. Search engines have become the core resource for individuals looking for business. Search engines such as Google, Yahoo & Bing are a larger source of business referrals than the Yellow Pages, advertising in directories and magazines. In order to make sure that your website is search engine friendly you must first follow a few careful steps.
Keywords are the foundation for any inbound marketing strategy. When consumers are shopping or researching for a product or service they type in a set of keywords and then the search engines will use those keywords to serve up pages that are relevant and have authority. Whether you intend it or not your website is already targeting certain keywords that the search engines extract from you site through the on-page text and other factors however it may not be your intention to rank for those keywords. Choosing the right keywords is what will make the difference between being found in the search engines and not getting found.
The primary selection of keywords should pass these three main points. First you want to make sure that they keyword terms or phrases have sufficient search volumes. If you are ranking for a keyword that does not have any search volume then you are doing your website zero justice. Instead you want to pick keywords that your consumers are searching for in order to provide them with relevant information that will ultimately lead to conversion.
The second step to having a search engine friendly site is to make sure your code is clean and your site map is organized. Search engine algorithms require a clean, easy to navigate website structure. If the navigation is complicated or without reason, search engines like Google will discontinue crawling your site after the second page reached. Because of this it is likely that a large percentage of your existing website is not included in the search engine indexes and therefore can not be found by your market pool through search engine queries. As it currently stands a large portion of the website has not been cached and is handicapping your ability to fully optimize for rankings. It is important to note that those additional pages WILL NOT show up in search results and are damaging your search engine rankings.
In order for search engines to properly cache and index (read) your website we recommend starting with a complete analysis and restructuring of your site map using SEO friendly URLs. Unidentifiable URL addresses (such ashttp://www.examplesite.com/cru_332?515!) hinder search engine readability and prevent search engine crawlers from caching these second and third tier web pages. In other words, URLs like the example above force search engines to stop reading immediately after .com preventing valuable information from reaching your audience.
Additionally, web usability research studies have shown that website visitors are more likely to follow and trust identifiable hyperlinks and URLs. A better site map design includes urls that are aptly named and search engine friendly such ashttp://www.examplesite.com/products/our-greatest-product-ever.html. Not only does this URL labeling allow search engine software to crawl the entire site, it provides a clean and clear label for site visitors to reference before following a link or visiting a page.
There are many steps to making sure that your site is SEO friendly. Keyword research, clean site code and SEO friendly sitemaps are only the tip of the iceberg. In future blog posts we will continue to explain the many factors that go into making sure your website is seen as an authority within the search engine algorithms.