Archive for January, 2012

Is Your Website Relevant in the Search Engine’s Eyes?

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

One of the most frequently asked questions that we hear is , “How do I improve my search engine rankings?” That’s a tough question to answer in a 60 minute meeting, but there are certain things that a client can keep in mind when creating or contributing to their website. This might include a combination of things including making sure your site has good page structure, making sure the pages have relevant content and most importantly, making sure your site is relevant for the keyword phrases that you are trying to target.

The search engines can look at several different factors when deciding if your site is relevant for your industry. Search engine optimization is an ever changing process, but there are several tips that we like to pass along to our clients as ‘good practice’:

  • Are you making an effort to generate credible inbound and outbound links? In the past, everyone advised for you to link to a site and get them to link back to you. Reciprocal links would help boost your website’s rankings. Now, while that practice is still important, you will now want to find linking partners who can provide a link that is actually relevant to you. For example, lets say that you are a doctor’s office. If you can develop some linking relationships from other medical professionals, the major search engines will see this partner site as saying, “We trust this site enough to refer our website visitors to them.” That’s bonus points for Google and Bing. If the referring site is a site that gets a decent amount of traffic and/or has a good page rank, that’s even better. When it makes sense, provide a link back to their website, but make sure to check these links from time to time to make sure their site is still functioning. Broken external links can negatively impact your search engine rankings.
  • Are you using Google Webmaster tools? If not, you should be . This free tool can give you some great insight as to broken pages on your site, which can also negatively affect your rankings. In addition, be sure to check your website traffic analytics to watch for site errors including broken images. Closely monitor any of these conditions which might affect your website credibility.
  • Are you getting any traffic to your site and is it proportional to the online marketing dollars that you spend? If you don’t know how to answer this question, quit spending your money until you can get an online marketing professional to give you some insight. Higher traffic numbers can contribute to your site relevance and you don’t want to throw away money if your traffic numbers aren’t increasing.
  • You may or may not be able to answer this without consulting an search engine optimization expert, but structurally, is your website search engine friendly? Are your pages coded in a way that the search engines can easily pick out your top keyword phrases? Is your navigation providing an easy way of getting around your site? Are you using search engine friendly page names? Do you have a sitemap? These are just a few of the factors that we analyze when optimizing an existing site and all of these are crucial to search engine ranking performance.
  • Are you using social media? Why you might be of the opinion that social media, including Twitter, Facebook, Google + and others are not a good fit for your business, these mediums can now affect how Google and Bing choose to rate your site. Over time, we feel like your social media presence will have more impact on rankings. As it stands, Google does use social media as a ranking factor, but Bing uses it more. Why not start utilizing it now by earning more ‘Likes’, gaining more followers and getting more participation from those in your circle? You will only be making your site stronger in the long run.

For more information on how we can make your site more relevant in the search engines, contact Indianapolis search engine company, a&g, at www.consultagc.com.