Search Engine Optimization – Page Optimization

Page Titles – Make sure that your site’s page titles say something other than just your company name or “welcome.” Ideally, they need to lead off with your targeted phrase for that page and then follow with your company name.

Text-Based Navigation – Search engines cannot read images. If your site’s navigation system is done with images (lots are), you will need a text-based navigation system that the search engines can follow to ensure that all the important service and product-related sub-pages of your site are indexed by the search engines.

Prominence of Targeted Keyword Phrases – It is not enough to have your keyword phrase(s) somewhere on the web page, the placement and prominence given to them also affects your search engine placement. For example, leading off the site’s first paragraph with your keyword phrase gives it more weight than burying it half way down the page in the middle of a paragraph. Also, using larger font sizes and bolding the text can emphasize its importance and positively affect the page’s ranking for that phrase.

Site Map – Developing a site map that includes a well-organized list of links to all the important pages of your site and includes a text link to the site map on your home page is the ideal way to make sure that all the site’s pages are indexed by the search engines when they visit the subject site. Google’s Webmaster Tools is ideal for this purpose.

ALT and META data – These are tags not seen by the site’s users; they are embedded in the site’s code. ALT tags refer to the text that describes an image – words that you see pop up as you mouse over some images. In optimizing your company’s name, an ALT tag placed behind the image of your company’s logo is ideal. Meta tags are lines of code included in the uppermost section of your site’s code. They communicate the page’s subject matter and relevancy to the search engines. Further, the short description of your site included in some search results is pulled from the meta description tag of the home page and should, therefore, be used to the site’s advantage.

Clean up the Code – Navigation rollover scripts, other JavaScript-based code, and all CSS scripts should be taken out of the code of each page and put into external files to which each page of the site is referenced. Doing this has several advantages, but one of the most compelling is that your site’s keywords and content all move up, up, up in the code, communicating their importance to the search engines and boosting your site’s relevancy ratings. In other words, this can boost your search engine rankings by improving the code to text ratio of the page. This is a simple and relatively inexpensive thing to do, depending on the total number of pages in your site.