11 Jan 5 Essential SEO Website Updates for 2012
It is a new year, and it is time to take a look at your website, set some goals, and make some changes and updates. Don’t wait another minute to make the simple updates to your site that will make a big difference. Here are 5 simple website improvements you can implement today. They could be just what you need to make your website very successful.
So let’s jump right in…
1. Have Up-to-date Content
We’ve all heard the cliche “Content is King,” but on the Internet, Google is actually king, and King Google gives priority to websites that have content that is relevant and up-to-date. Probably one of the most basic and easiest updates that you can make to your site is adding new content. Make sure that your contact information is current and correct. Are there any recent changes to your organization or business? Add to or update those on your “About us” page, or even write a blog post about recent happenings. Fresh content on your website will go a long way toward improving your visibility within the search engines.
2. Use Unique and Descriptive Titles
Google likes things that are unique; that includes the title of your web pages. Don’t get scared here, but specifically, I’m referring to the <title> tag that appears in the source code of your website. The title tag is very important because it’s what tells site visitors and search engines what the topic of your page is. In fact, the information within your title tag is what usually displays in the first line of the search results on Google. It’s important to include your keywords in the title so that searchers see that your web page is relevant to their search. In short, Google suggests that your title be descriptive, brief, and unique. Get those things right and Google will love you.
3. Write Effective Description Tags
The younger brother of the title tag is the “description” meta tag, and according to Google, their relationship is tight. It’s so tight, in fact, that the “snippet” of text that shows up in Google search results right under the link to your site is usually pulled from the description meta tag. Just like the title tag, the description tag should be unique and should accurately summarize the content on the page. The major difference is that the description tag should be slightly more detailed. Accurate and compelling description tags can greatly improve the click-through and conversion rates of your website. That means more money for you. So make sure you get this right.
4. Choose the Right Keyword and Use It
The biggest mistake you can make with SEO is choosing the wrong keyword and/or using it incorrectly. The first thing that you will want to do is think about your target visitor. Who are they? What would they type into Google to get to your site? Sit down for a few minutes and brainstorm, writing any search terms that come to mind. When you have a handful of ideas, go through and look for words or phrases that are specific rather than general. For example, if you sell mp3 players on your website, choose a phrase like “Sanyo mp3 players” or “buy cheap mp3 players” rather than “mp3 players”. The more specific you are, the better off you will be.
Once you have chosen a main keyword phrase for your web page, make sure that you have content on that page containing the exact keyword phrase that you have chosen. You’ll want to use that phrase about twice per 100 words that you include on the page. You should also include the exact keyword phrase in your <h1> tags, <alt> tags, and anywhere else you think it’s relevant. Just don’t go overboard here, Google hates that. It should read naturally.
5. Use Google Analytics
If you don’t know how your website is performing, you really can’t improve anything. A goal you don’t track isn’t really a goal at all. That’s where Google Analytics come in. Google Analytics is a free service provided by Google that lets you view, track, and analyze vital traffic statistics for your website. It’s a powerhouse and very easy to set up. Once you set up your account, all you have to do is paste a piece of code onto each page of your site. Google will then track important things like where people are coming from to get to your website, what they search on Google to get there, how long they spend on the site, and which pages they go to.
Put it All Together!
Are you feeling overwhelmed yet? You shouldn’t. These few suggestions are actually very easy and even fun to implement. If you implement these few suggestions, you’re going to be ahead of the game. I suggest putting together a short list of to-dos, then go from item to item crossing things off as you go. Crossing them off will help you see your progress visually and feels good. If you ever feel overwhelmed or confused, try and take a step back and look at your overall goal for your website and see how everything fits in to the big picture. Spending the time to implement these simple suggestions will definitely pay off.