Why optimize your site?

  • October 24, 2014
  • Bradley Taylor

Improving Search Engine RankingSo you’ve got a pretty nice site. It shows your business information.  It shows contact information and it shows some information about what you sell.  It should do you for a while, right?  Wrong. The fact is that your site needs to be a dynamically changing marketing tool or you won’t be getting the traffic you want.

It’s been reported that over 50% of online shoppers start by doing a web search through one of the major search engines.  And of those searchers, 75% will not go past the first page to find what they’re looking for.  If you want your site to get part of this online shopping business, you need to optimize your site.  This means that you need to make your site easy to find and easy to use. 

What does optimization mean?

Optimization is not just one activity.  It actually means taking a broad look at your site and refining or updating as needed.  Basically what the search engines are doing is trying to find sites that the users, or searchers, will find valuable and will place those higher in the ranks.  So what you want to do is to think like a searcher and figure out what is it you will be searching for and what is it you wish to see on a web page.

To do this, you need to look at four primary points to optimize:

Quality Content.  No user wants to click on a website for home improvement services and see a bunch of junk about yard sales or something.  Your website needs to proclaim that you are the expert at what you do.  It needs to give the user a sense of confidence that you are who you say you are and that you can do what you say you can do.

Keywords.  These are the words that someone uses to search.  Search engines go through all the content in your site and look for keywords that they can use to associate with your website.  If you want to be known as the person who sells the best bacon cheeseburger in your area, those words need to be on your site.  But not too much.  Any website that “stuffs” keywords or uses them in appropriately will be flagged as a spammed site and dropped in the rankings.

Not only that, but those words need to be in the hidden text as well. When a web page is created or when an image is uploaded, there are tags and headers associated with each.  A user doesn’t necessarily see these tags and headers but search engines will grab them and use them to help identify you.

Inbound Links.  One of the things search engines do is to see how many other high quality websites link to yours.  They figure that good sites will only link to other good sites.  To make your site eligible to be linked from other sites, concentrate on great content.

You can also sign up on professional forums and local directories in order to start building inbound links.

Ease of Use.  A site where information is easy to find for users will also be a site that is easy for an automated program to “read” and classify. There should be a Contact Us page that has contact information, maps and directions.  There should be a Products or Services page. There should also be a News or Blog page where you can easily update content.