Website optimization can be a very involved process that takes a lot of time and attention. That’s why so many busy business owners hire an experienced search engine optimization company to handle their SEO efforts for them. But there are some basic changes everyone can make to their website to increase website traffic through better search engine rankings. While there is a lot more to truly optimizing your site for Google and the other search engines, avoiding these big no-no’s is a good start.
1. Generic Page Titles – Of all the changes you can make to improve SEO performance, this might be the simplest. Your page title is located in the “title” tag of your header. For example: <title>This is my web page</title> It is interesting to note how many websites use a generic title, such as their company’s name, for every page of their website. This is not a good idea for a couple of reasons. First, a relevant, descriptive title is good for SEO. Secondly, the purpose of the title, beyond website optimization, is to give your site visitors immediate information regarding what each page is about.
So customize the title of each page on your web site. Relate it to the keywords on your page so that the search engines and your visitors can tell what every page of your site is talking about.
2. Image Files as Text – Formatting text on a page to make it unique and attractive can be a challenge. Not all browsers translate text the same way, and getting too specific with fonts can provide inconsistent experiences for your site visitors. So the solution is to put your text in an image so that everyone sees it the way you want them to, right? Well, not if you want to increase website traffic using the best SEO practices.
Search engines cannot tell what text is in an image. An image of a cat and an image of a paragraph of text look the same to them. The exception is in the “alt” and “title” tags of the image, but those are not the way to put text on your page. If you want to optimize your site for the search engines, use actual text, rather than images of text, wherever possible. Not only will this help your SEO, your site will load faster, and you page is likely to look more consistent.
3. Failing to Properly Use Google Analytics (or a comparable stats tool) – Many site owners look at their page views and stop there. While this is one measure of a site’s popularity and success with SEO, it is far from the only statistic to keep an eye on. Using a tool such as Google Analytics can give you a complete picture of your site’s activity and your visitors, including where they are coming from, how long they are staying on your site or any given page, which of your inbound and outbound links are most popular, and so much more. Any search engine optimization company you choose is going to use such a tool to measure and report their success with whichever SEO packages you have chosen, and that is a clear sign of how important this piece is. Don’t put a lot of effort into website optimization and then fail to review and analyze the results.
Again, SEO is not as simple as many believe, but just about anyone can impact their site’s popularity on the search engines to some degree, simply by avoiding the “no-no’s” above.