Is Your Website Search Engine Friendly?
SEO is incredibly complicated in some ways – but that doesn’t mean you can’t master some basic techniques to help you rise in rank on a search engine. Usually, you want your website to be three things to a search engine: crawlable, findable, and understandable. Though these terms may initially sound strange, they represent essential factors in any website’s SEO tactics.
Can Search Engine Spiders Crawl Your Website?
Spiders – also called bots or crawlers – are programs that most search engines use to index your content. Since you want your website to be indexed, you want to fight these spiders as little as possible. One of the easiest ways to make your website crawler-friendly is to give “directions” to spiders in your robots.txt file. You can tell the robot.txt which pages the crawlers should ignore and which you wish to be indexed.
Spiders also “speak” HTML and don’t understand pictures, Java, or Flash. So if your website is all pictures, a spider will have absolutely no idea what to do with it. Everything should be in text, and if you have videos, make sure you include a transcript.
Can You Be Found on the Web?
An easy way to determine whether or not your Internet presence is sufficient is to search for your services in your area. For example, if you do dog grooming in Orlando, search for “dog grooming in Orlando”. If you can find yourself pretty easily, it’s likely a crawler can as well – but if you have trouble, then so will a bot.
To win the popularity contest of the Internet, make sure you’re tracking your reach via something like Google Analytics – or Vertical Axion’s SiteSpy – and that you’re responding appropriately to the information gathered. If your ranking is low, make sure your content is crawler-friendly and unique. If your ranking is high, then you likely don’t have much to worry about.
One of the best things you can do for your website is to create a comprehensive back-linking system. Having links on any site is good, but the more powerful the website, the more valuable the back-link is. Stay away from “spammy” link-building activities. Google has taken extra measures as of late to make sure that any site that is categorized as spam and links to your site will drag your ranking down.
Is Your Content Human Friendly?
It is true that humans read while bots crawl, but good content on a page will make both parties happy. All you need is an exceptional format and structure.
When you’re writing page titles, make sure to add description and title tags for the bots, but design unique and interesting titles for the people. A unique title for every page will not only help visitors understand what you’re all about, but bots will be able to distinguish between your pages so each one is indexed.
The body of your website should be both professional and pleasing to the eye. It should be free of grammatical and spelling errors, and the flow should be flawless. This may mean quite a bit of editing, but it’s nothing a good writer or two can’t handle.