Most website owners think that their site is either Google Optimized or not. There’s a lot more to know about how to optimize your site for the search engines than you might think. This article will give you some handy tips and advice on Google Optimization and compliance with industry standards like W3C.
Optimize your website for search engines:
– Create and post content that is relevant to your target audience.
Create and post content that is relevant to your target audience. This means creating content on your website you know people will want to read. It includes writing articles, blogs, and any other type of copy for the site – as long as the content is interesting enough to bring traffic back.
– Have a clear navigation structure (and use breadcrumbs)
A clear navigation structure is important to any site – even if it’s for a local ice cream shop. A clear and organized way of navigating your website will help users understand where they are on the site and what they can find in each section of the website.
– Use headings, subheadings, and images
When writing content for your site, use headers and subheadings to organize your content in a way that makes it easy for visitors to scan. Also, make sure you include images of the products/services you offer on your website.
– Use alt tags for images
When uploading an image to a webpage, make sure you add a “description” or “alt tag”. These tags are used by people who cannot see the pictures on your site. For example, if you’re displaying an image of a cat to display what breed of cat it is, include “cat” in the alt tag for that image.
– Use good spelling and grammar
As with any writing project, make sure you use good spelling and grammar. Use a spell checker, give it to someone who isn’t as familiar with your niche to proofread for you, or ask a friend. Misspellings and bad grammar make your website look unprofessional, which will drive search engine users away from your site.
– Have good information on each page of the website
When someone comes to a page on your website, they should be able to find out what the website is about in just one or two pages. For example, don’t use long-winded paragraphs to describe the services you offer when there’s an entire paragraph devoted to it somewhere else on the page.
– Use keywords throughout content and links
– Keep text concise
Keep sentences short and easy to read. Don’t write entire paragraphs of information about a service or product – keep it short and concise.
– Use structured data markup and schema.org microdata
Schema.org is a set of tags used to describe your business in HTML code on your website. Structured data markup is also used for this purpose, but has been developed by Google to help search engines better understand what keywords you’re using, allowing them to rank your site accordingly.
– Implement XML sitemaps
An XML Sitemap is a list of the pages on your website, with links to each page. Google uses this information to crawl all the pages on your site and update its index regularly.
– Have good internal links
Internal links are very important for SEO purposes – they tell search engines that you’re linking back to other content on your website, and are an easy way for users to find information related to what they’re looking for.
– Use Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a free tool that allows you to know exactly what content people are reading on your site, how much time they spend on each page, and where they’re coming from. This information will help you optimize your site for Google.
– Write content with users in mind
When you’re writing content, think about your audience. What do they want to see from your website? What questions will they have? Are they looking for products or services, or just general information? If it’s a service site, are visitors more likely to search for ‘services near me’ or ‘pet services’?
– Develop a search engine friendly site structure
When you design your website, make sure you use clean and easy-to-navigate URLs. You can easily do this by using keywords in URLs (service-area-keyword) and not having too much content on one page. The easiest way to accomplish this is by using a CMS system like WordPress
– Embed videos and pictures where appropriate
Embed videos and pictures on your website wherever it makes sense to do so. Search engines generally like images, and video is becoming a more popular way of finding information about products and services.
– Make sure the site can be read easily by Google’s spiders
Google has an algorithm that reads your website page by page and indexes content accordingly. If you have a lot of flash or any other multimedia on your site, make sure the text from your website is readable by this algorithm.
– Use H1 and H2 tags where appropriate
Using these tags will help search engines figure out what information on your webpage is more important than others.
– Make sitemaps available to Google
By adding an RSS feed to your XML sitemap, you’ll allow Google easy access and make sure they get the most updated version of your site’s index.
– Make sure all content is HTML validated
Using HTML validation ensures that everything on your website, including links and images, is clean and uses valid code. This will help search engines index your site properly and make sure it is easy to read.
– Have a social media presence
Many people use social media to find products and services. Make sure you’re present on all the major social sites, including (but not limited to) Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and Google+.
– Don’t have duplicate content
If you have multiple URLs pointing to the same page of content on your website, this can cause problems for search engines. They will usually show only one URL in their search results when there are multiple.
– Make all content accessible to screen readers
If you have non-text content on your website (such as embedded videos or pictures), use alt tags for images and title tags for videos. These will describe the information contained in the image or video and will help search engines understand the content better.
– Check the crawl ability of the site regularly with Google Webmaster Tools (or another tool)
This will make sure that Google can access and crawl your website’s content.
– Be aware of duplicate titles, descriptions, or URLs
If you have multiple URLs leading to the same page on your site (duplicate content), stop doing this immediately! It can get you penalized by search engines in the future. To keep search engines happy, have one URL per unique piece of content.
– Add metadata for images and videos alike
By adding a title, author, and description to your video or image file on your server, you can help search engines find the content faster. Make sure you do this consistently across all pages on your website with images and videos.
– Don’t buy or sell links
This can get you in front of a search engines’ spam team and will reflect poorly on your website. If you’re buying links to improve your rankings, chances are that you’ll be penalized by Google at some point.
– Redirect old pages to new ones
If you change URLs for parts of your website, make sure you’re redirecting the old URLs to their new content. This will help prevent duplicate content problems and help search engines keep track of your site’s index.
– Keep page load times to a minimum
Having large pieces of multimedia or lots of Flash on your page can really slow down your site’s load time. If this becomes a problem, you may want to consider removing some of these elements.
Compliance with industry standards & W3C:
– What is W3C?
W3C is an open non-profit organization dedicated to developing web standards. The work on W3C is done by committees made up of members from the industry and public sectors, which has resulted in the creation of many different languages that can be used to create Web content.
– What is W3C compliance?
The idea behind Website Compliance is to build your website in compliance with industry standards so that you start strongly when it comes to W3C validation.
– What makes a site compliant?
A W3C-compliant site uses the most common and accepted languages for creating Web content. If search engines cannot “interpret” or understand the content of your website, they will usually not list you.
– What is W3C validating?
Validating your website means checking if it follows the standards set by industry experts that make up the Web consortium (W3C). These rules are designed to ensure a standard and consistent way for all websites to be rendered in web browsers. By validating your site, you’re making sure that your content can be understood by different browsers and devices.
– Which elements are important for W3C compliance?
With hundreds of languages available to help develop Web content, knowing which ones are most commonly used is a good place to start. The goal is to give search engines the clearest possible picture of your website.
– How can I find out what languages are supported on my website?
Probably the easiest way to figure this out is using a tool like W3C Markup Validation Service or the free online tools from both Google and Yahoo. Take a look at the results of these services and see which language versions passed and failed validation.
– Make sure you have access to an SSL certificate for your website
If you run a shopping cart on your site, make sure you’re using an SSL certificate. This ensures that users know their information is being sent securely and can’t be accessed by others.
– Validate your site using the W3C validator
It’s critical to use a technically-based tool, like the W3C validator, that can give you an error-free report and guide you in improving your existing website.
Many people think they don’t need to validate their site because of how it looks when they should really be focused on its content. W3C Website Validation Services help you visualize and check your site’s content so that you can fix problems early on in the development stage.
– Make sure text is easy to read
Visitors will decide quickly whether or not to stay on your website, so make sure their first impressions are good ones. If you’re not an expert at designing websites, you may want to consider getting the help of a professional.
– Make sure your site is free from broken links
It’s important to check all of the links on your website before making it live. If you’ve taken all precautions when creating your site, you shouldn’t have any problems with broken links – but they can still happen.
You can check for broken links by running your website’s URL through the W3C Link Checker or a similar program designed to test links and ensure that all of the content on your site is working correctly.
– Make sure you include outgoing links
Make it easy for visitors to find more about your products or services by including links to your About Us and Contact Us pages. This will help increase both brand awareness and traffic.
– Make sure you include an e-mail address
Although most people would prefer not to receive e-mails from companies they don’t do business with, doing so makes it easier for customers to contact you – especially if you’re a smaller company.
– Make use of large, high-quality graphics
If you’re planning on adding a slideshow to your website, make sure it looks good and doesn’t take forever to load. It’s important to make sure your site runs fast so that users can access the content quickly and easily – especially mobile users.
The page should load in less than 3 seconds
– Make use of effective calls to action
Selling products and services is the main reason people build websites, so make sure your sales pitch gets across. Your call to action should be clear, concise, and stand out from the rest of your content for customers to notice it.
– Include a sitemap
A sitemap is a collection of links to all of the pages on your site, and it can help boost your search engine rankings. You don’t have to create a complex sitemap with every page represented; just make sure you include at least the most popular pages from your website. You should also include keywords that describe your website and your site’s navigation system should be easy to follow.
“What’s wrong with your website?” You might ask. Well, it looks like it’s not fully compliant with the W3C standards and best practices.
Most people think that if Google doesn’t see their site as being optimized, then they don’t need to worry about compliance with the SEO standards of W3C. That couldn’t be further from the truth. To find out whether or not your website is compliant, you will need to use a tool like the W3C Markup Validation Service or Yahoo’s validation service.
If you want to make sure that your website contains quality content that is easy to read, then make sure that you are optimizing for mobile users and loading pages in less than 3 seconds.
If you have a lot of broken links, then you need to find out which ones they are and correct them. You can do this by using the W3C Link Checker or a similar program designed to check links on Web sites.
Do your best to make sure that all outgoing links contain descriptive anchor text that helps people find what they’re looking for.
If you don’t include an e-mail address on your contact page, people won’t be able to reach you if they have questions or need more information about your products and services.
When guest blogging or writing other articles for sites like EzineArticles, make sure that the content is easy to read and has a clear and concise message.
If you want to get the most out of your website, then make sure that it complies with W3C standards. It’s not enough for Google to see your site as being optimized; users need to be able to find what they’re looking for and read about all the information on your website. If you don’t take the time to make sure your website complies with W3C, then you might end up losing money when customers are unable to find what they’re looking for.
To learn more about how W3C optimization and compliance services can be used to help optimize your website’s performance in search engine results pages (SERPs), check out Alignment Online Marketing’s list of SEO services and contact us today to get started.
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