Optimize Website for Better SEO

Focus on SEO to get more quality website traffic

A friend emailed asking for some SEO tips. Since I answer this question at least once a week I thought I’d blog it for anyone/everyone to cash in on. Most of these tips are common-sense to any designer, but it’s important website owners know and understand what clicks.

Here are 10 tips I can give you that will aid in your SEO efforts.

1. Copy is King:
Make sure you have a lot of text on your website for search engines to pick up on. Ensure that text is relevant, well-written, free of typos, and original.

2. Structure your website code properly:
Utilize page titles, meta descriptions, h1’s and h2’s, and ensure your keywords are plugged into each. Maintain good content-to-code ratios.

3. Choose your platform wisely:
Platforms like WordPress are good for blogs and social-content, but in our experience can be horrible for B2C especially when you need to upgrade your website into an SEO powerhouse. Find a designer to custom build and/or update our site and you’ll likely see better results.

4. Get into bed with Google:
Ensure you’re utilizing Webmaster Tools, Google Places, Google Analytics and AdWords for pay-per-click advertising. Help Google help you by subscribing to its products and teaching it everything there is to know about your website.

5. Woorank:
Use tools like woorank.com to evaluate your content as search engines see it.

6. Sync and get social:
Build a support blog, setup twitter, facebook, pintrest, etc, and ensure they’re all thoroughly linked together. Keep content, discussions and sharing relevant to your content.

7. Sitemap:
Make sure your website has a sitemap.xml file or alike.

8. Link build:
Establish a network of links on your website with other companies, vendors, suppliers, friends, etc in the industry.

9. Bounce rate:
Pay attention to what visitors are ignoring on your website, and build on what they’re focusing on. This will help improve your bounce rate and boost your ranks. Use landing pages where necessary and focus on delivering exactly what the user has searched for. Ensure the links they click take them to the right place – do not engage in bait-and-switch tactics.

10. Use images wherever you can:
Optimize your image galleries by using ALT tags and applying titles, captions and descriptions for images. Utilize tools like Picasa and Flickr to share your images with the world.

In Closing

If you’re considering outsourcing any of this, the costs are all over the map. Many SEO companies charge 10k+ to optimize a site, or charge premium monthly fees to oversee anything SEO. Others just monitor and update accordingly and bill as they go. Most of the tips above you can do yourself – I’d only outsource a pro when you’ve hit a dead end and/or aren’t satisfied with the results.

If you spend money on Google AdSense, make sure you setup conversion tracking. Once you’ve done so you won’t be afraid to spend money as you’ll know exactly which Google ads are converting to sales & bookings!

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