Straight Talk about SEO

We get a lot of calls and emails about Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. And that's understandable, because what good is a great website if no one can find you online?

Search Engine Optimization basically means building and maintaining a website in such a way that you get high rankings on Google, Yahoo, and all of the other search engines. SEO is vitally important to bringing customers to your site, and fortunately it's not difficult to achieve.

Here are our top 5 recommendations for improving your search engine rankings:

1. Be sure your website has a Content Management System (CMS). A CMS gives you the power to update your site regularly, ensuring fresh and relevant content. And you don't have to be a web programmer to use a good CMS. We recommend Movable Type for most sites. Heideldesign will be glad to install it and train you how to use this easy, web-based software.

2. Identify your target keywords, and create appropriate content. Think about what your customers may be typing in that search bar, and make sure you use those words on your site. This is where your CMS comes in handy, because you have the ability to add content and ensure keywords are used. A blog can be especially helpful as an addition to your site, because blog articles are an appropriate place to use keywords. For example, if your website sells baby gifts, a simple 200 - 300 word article about the hottest baby gifts of 2009 provides numerous opportunities to mention your keywords, while at the same time providing useful information to your visitors.

3. Links make you stronger. Links are another way search engines determine your ranking. When other websites link to yours, your site is perceived to be more important. So the more inbound links your site has, the better. Likewise, it can be helpful for you to link to other relevant (but non-competing) sites.

4. Clean code gives you more SEO opportunities. Website that are coded using clear, semantic, valid code give you, the content provider, more opportunities to let your message stand out. When website code is less cluttered, it's easier for search engines to read (and to maintain and upgrade). 

5. Remember, your home page is the most important. This is true from SEO and user standpoints. Search engines look at your home page first to see what kind of content you provide, and this goes a long way toward determining your ranking for target keywords. Also, consider your home page as your virtual front door. It creates a first impression with users, so be sure you have enough information about who you are, what you offer, and why they should keep clicking around on your site.

If you're ready to improve your search engine results and want some assistance, we can help! Let's talk.