DIY Optimization Tactics for the Average Website Owner
Having a clean and modern looking website is a huge milestone in the grand scheme of your company’s future. However, like many ventures in the business world, the rabbit hole can go much deeper than one would expect. What makes a website tick? If you are a website owner then surely you have guessed by now that pictures and styles only add up to so much for an online presence. The most important part of your website is, in a nutshell, the words on the screen!
Content is the primary piece that creates distinction among the towering numbers of websites out there that are attempting to conquer similar areas of interest. In fact, content is so important that it can make or break your chances of standing out in the crowd. Sounds pretty daunting, doesn’t it? It may seem like this is as far as you can truly go in understanding what a website is made of. Fortunately for you, the “Alice” of internet wonderland, this rabbit hole is about to open up into a much wider space: one that we will refer to from now on as “optimization”.
What is Optimization and how does it affect my business?
Simply put, optimization is the piece of that puzzle you’ve been missing after putting all those long hours into building your business an aesthetically pleasing website. Content is a two-way street that speaks to two very different audiences. First and foremost, web content should be written to be informative and visually pleasing for visitors on your website because no one likes to saturate their noggin with badly written content! The second audience is none other than Google, whose purpose is to rank your website based on a variety of factors.
Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI)
Let’s get real, Google doesn’t care all that much about how pretty your website site looks. If Google were a human it would be the most un-shallow person you could meet, looking past outward appearances and judging you entirely on what comes out of your mouth (for slang enthusiasts, that might not be such a good thing). Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) is an indexing method used by Google and other major search engines that “crawls” through a web page for the most common words or phrases and identifies those as the keywords which will be used to find your website in search engine results.
All this means is that if you plan to optimize your website, you should mostly concern yourself with keywords related to your business and keyword distribution. Figure out what words pertain the most to what your website is all about and include them in as many appropriate locations as possible without being too redundant. You’ll be wanting to pat yourself on the back later when your moz.org keyword analyzer shows up green.
What more can I do to optimize my website?
In the past, Google weighed more heavily on other factors such as having relevant page titles and descriptions but it is still important to incorporate them into your on-site optimization if you’re serious about getting the best results. User experience is valuable to no end; having organized headings (h1’s and h2’s) and easy-to-read content is by far one of the best things you can do in order to attain a solid presence on the web. Below are four of the basics to onsite optimization.
Keyword In The URL
From a user’s perspective, the URL is the first view of your page they get. The URL immediately tells the user, “This page is about _________!” Adding your keywords into the URL will help increase the Click Through Rate (CTR) of that particular page. Don’t keyword stuff, but make the page URL that a user would like to see.
Keywords On The Page
Adding keywords into the page will show users that the page is about what they were searching for. There are a number of places to add your keywords:
Header Tags – Make your H1 tag have your targeted keyword in it, and only have 1 H1 tag per page.
Title Tags – Title tags on your website should only be 55 characters in length so that the title will fit on the search results page.
Meta Description Tag – Your Meta description should only be 155 characters
Body Text – Keywords should be placed in the body of your web page, but also be sure to include those latent semantic terms we talked about before. No keyword stuffing…
Keywords In Images
Lastly, don’t forget about those image tags. Every image on the page should have a clear title and alt tag. Don’t keyword stuff here as well, and make sure the titles are descriptive. Images are also a great place to add in keywords from your latent semantic indexing research.
While this only scratches the surface of what can be termed Onsite Optimization, these three basics are the very least of what should be completed for your site to rank for the correct terms in the search engines. Next steps would include getting links from local authoritative sites and getting a content calendar put together so that you can start producing some great website content.