Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Top 10 Tips to Enhance Your Website for Google Search

“Movin’ on up!” like George and Weezie

Let’s face it, not everyone can be a star when it comes to creating a website that is visually appealing and ranks high in the search engines. Improving your website for Google search is not about designing with the latest whiz-bang glitz and glam, it is just plain smart business.

Enhancing your website with the goal of ranking higher in Google search is referred to as “optimizing” your website for the search engines, more formally addressed as “search engine optimization.” Getting started on this task will not require shelling out boatloads of your hard-earned money to launch a new initiative. Rather, once you have a better understanding of the critical factors that impact how your site is indexed, ensure your site is solid in those areas.

Google does not care about the visibility of your company when someone searches the Web. Search engines care only about properly organizing information discovered by their Web crawlers, a term they refer to as indexing, which is the analytical process they follow to understand the content on your website. Search engines index your site for the purpose of returning relative search results to anyone searching for anything.

Confidently define the least costly and most efficient path to enhance your website for Google search. Ensuring you have done these things right increases the likelihood that your website will be called up on the Web when a search occurs. Check these items off your list and soon your website will be movin’ on up like George and Weezie!

Top 10 Tips

1. Define your keyword and key phrase list. This list is the cornerstone from which all website page titles, headings, sub-headings and hyperlinks should be derived. If you have not yet defined this list, it should contain approximately 8 keywords and 2-3 key phrases (2-3 word combinations) regarding your product or service offerings.

2. Use a descriptive URL. Search engines and visitors can interact with your website more effectively when you use URLs that describe page content. For example:

3. Unique page titles. Every page should have its own unique page title, 10-70 characters long, using your best keywords.

4. Meta descriptions & meta keywords. Every page should have its own unique meta description and meta keywords. Meta descriptions should be concise, 70-160 characters long, and contain your best keywords. Meta keywords are a series of 5-10 of your best keywords and key phrases.

5. Assign Alt text to all images. Every image on your website should be assigned an Alt text, which allows the search engine to index the image and know what the image is.

6. Link using Anchor text. Anchor text includes hyperlinked keywords in body text that link from one page to the next. It identifies for the web crawlers what you have deemed as relevant and important content, which draws the web crawlers deeper into your website.

7. Inbound linking. Having links coming into your website from other high-ranking websites is ideal, adding credibility to your website. Use keywords and key phrases on external websites that link directly back into your site. Inbound links into pages deeper than your home page are most desirable.

8. Outbound linking. Linking to industry resources is common. When given the choice, always use keywords to link versus the more generic “CLICK HERE” as the hyperlink.

9. Fresh relevant content is critical. Adding fresh, relevant content matters to search engines. When search engines return to crawl your site again, fresh relevant content adds credibility to your site and encourages more frequent crawling.

10. Use strategy and restraint with keywords and linking. Resist the temptation to dump keywords and key phrases everywhere. Instead, insist on remaining strategic and intentional in your placement and use.

About the Author
Dr. Leslie Garrett serves Edge Marketing, Inc. as a marketing optimization analyst with expertise in marketing, public relations, and management. She is instrumental in leading Edge's corporate consulting and Search Engine Optimization website analytics services.