[S]EO is as hot a topic these days as Social Media. It just so happens that we love talking about both.
We are a website company and a social media company so SEO is something that we must consider at all times. While we are not a full-time SEO company we sure are passionate about the topic. As a result here are a few of our top tips on how to SEO a website for those of us who can not afford to hire a full time professional.
What is SEO?
In the most simple terms, SEO is a series of steps done in reference to a website that helps search engines find it easier. For example, it may be something as simple as making sure that you are using words on your pages that people are actually searching for. Another example of SEO is submitting a sitemap of your navigation to Google to make sure that they know your site exists.
A sitemap is basically what it says. It is a list of your website pages. Go check out our sitemap here to see what we mean. If you have a Google Webmaster account for your website you can log in and submit your sitemap to google. We use a plug-in to create our sitemap and update Google but you can also do it manually by using the tool on this page: http://www.xml-sitemaps.com/. Just doing this step alone will help Google find you better.
Bing and Yahoo
Do not think that you should ignore Bing and Yahoo. They are important to search engines to consider when working on your SEO plan. We highly recommend that you submit your sitemap to Bing Web Master Tools as well. You do not need to do a submission for Yahoo because they work with Bing for their information.
This may be the single most important thing that you need to think about when considering SEO for your website. Without a good solid site navigation, the steps above will not mean nearly as much. it is crucial to make sure that your navigation is easy to read, easy to understand and easy to find. This is not the place to try and get fancy or cute with your website design. People have certain expectations and they expect the nav to be clear, easy and right near the top. Our big hint here in regards to SEO is to make sure that you have a lot of pages for the Google crawlers and for those to be structured in a way that makes sense. For example, don’t mix up your navigation too much. Do not have cupcakes in the same silo as steaks unless they are steak flavored cupcakes. It will confuse the humans and the robots.
Having a good link structure is important.
Outbound: You need to be generous with your outbound links. An outbound link is when you link from one of your website pages to a web page that does not belong to you. It is what we did above with the Google Webmaster Tool. We linked out to another site.
Onsite: Make sure that you link to your other internal pages. This way you give strength from one page to another. Plus you offer up people information from one page to another that may be quite helpful to them. If you are working on a Silo Structure you will want to study the idea of onsite linking in more detail.
Naming What you name things matters a great deal. This is not just about how you name your pages but also how you name your images and your categories. You want to make sure that not only does your naming system make sense but that it also helps with your page rank. You want to use words that people are searching for. For example, people are not going to search “homepage DFW Website Designers” but they may search “website company Dallas.”
These are just a few of the tips and ideas that we share with all of our clients. We never hold back on a tip or an idea. Our core philosophy is to share everything that we know, so stay tuned to our blogs as we share all of our tips, tactics, and ideas.
If you are looking for a new website or a redesign of your current website and want more happening behind the scenes than just a pretty picture we are the team for you. Your website is our passion. Contact, visit, email or call us.