10 Ways to Optimize a Website

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Is your website totally search engine optimized but still not as productive as you would like? Are you desperately trying to figure out a way to get even more hits? Here are a few SEO techniques that can get quick results, even from a site that is already optimized to the hilt.

Get rid of unnecessary code.
You may already think that you have no unnecessary code, but this is rarely the case. It never hurts—and almost always helps—to comb through code occasionally and get rid of the excess. Reducing unwanted coding will make your website load more quickly and make it easy for both visitors and search engine bots to load and evaluate pages. Plus, this will affect your code to content ratio and possibly give you the SEO boost that you are seeking.

Use html code wherever possible. Are you still using alternate coding for headers and other headlines? If so, now is the time to stop. Search engines are used to reading headlines like <h1>, etc., and they know exactly how to deal with these types of codes and the text that they contain. Give them what they want by using these easily recognizable tags.

Avoid Flash and AJAX. Are you using bad search engine programming because you think it is the only option for an attractive and fully featured website? Do you still think that HTML is boring? It’s time to either discover CSS or hop on back to the nineties. HTML may not be as flashy as Flash, but it is still the lingua franca of every major search engine. Using HTML wherever possible will make your site easier for search engines to ‘see’ you. If you feel the need to use Flash—for instance if you have an animated logo design created in this program—use it sparingly and mark it well with HTML tags and headers.

Mark your most important pages well. A common practice in the web design world is to link to all pages from the home page. If you are doing this, stop now. If you are running a site with a lot of pages, link from your home page to category landing pages that are rich with relevant text. From these you can link to the minor pages—and make sure that every page links back both to the category home and your general homepage. This will ensure that both visitors and search engines recognize which pages in your website are the most important. If you are getting paid for ad hits, place your most lucrative advertisements on the appropriate category page.

Rewrite urls. Are your urls virtually indecipherable? If so, you are missing out on a huge SEO opportunity. Your visitors should be able to look at the urls from each and every webpage and see what the topic of the page is and what category it falls under. Search engine crawlers see this as well and give this text added weight when it comes to indexing the pages in question. Rewriting urls so they are logical and keyword-heavy will make it easy for visitors to evaluate each page’s topic and importance as well.

Rid “click here” and similar text from your vocabulary. Instead of using this wording, use more descriptive text, and especially the keywords used in your title tag, in your link. If you have more than one link, use the descriptive text and keywords in the first link on any given page. Search engines ignore multiple links after the first one, so be sure they get the idea the first time. This will give the links themselves higher search engine visibility.

Get rid of tables as a web design tool. Tables are great for scores and lists, but they have no place in your web design. Modern search engines give the information in tables lesser weight, so you are down-shifting your entire website when you use the old fashioned table approach. Instead, use CSS and other more SEO friendly design tools to give your page and organized look and feeling. Save the tables for lists and other information that cannot be organized any other way.

Reconsider your keywords. Instead of thinking of keywords relevant to your side of the business, think of keywords that your potential customers will use if they are actually interested in buying your products or services. In other words, think like a customer. Once you have a list of words that are possibilities, use keyword tools such as the Google Adwords Keyword Tool to see whether people are actually looking for these terms. This will help you to narrow your list to a more manageable size. Once you have selected keywords, give them a test drive and use an analytical tool such as Google Analytics to measure how well they are working.

Stop being a cannibal. If all of your pages are using the same keywords, you re committing an error known as keyword cannibalization. Many think that using the same keyword throughout a site will make it more relevant by search engine standards, but actually it will make all of your pages rank lower as they all compete against each other for the same few words. Develop a unique and relevant set of keywords for each page and design the page (including urls, titles, headings, tags, text, and alt text) according to these words.

Update your content. Regularly updating content doesn’t just entice visitors and make them want to check back often; it shows search engines that you are legitimate and exist for content and quality rather than a few furtively stolen advertising dollars. Fill your pages with content (as much as you can without being redundant or compromising your design) and out this content in language that search engines can understand. This means writing in HTML and using keywords wherever they are appropriate.

Utilizing these ten tips, or even just a few of them, should give your site that Flash boost that you crave. Sometimes all it takes to make all the difference in a website are a few common sense changes. Make these changes and see whether they make the difference you are craving. We are willing to bet that this is a turning point for your website!