SEO

Website SEO is increasingly becoming a concern for all sorts of business owners. For those building their own sites, managing their own pages, or consulting to a web designer may find the following tips helpful to better ensure proper website SEO. There are mistakes that can be made from initial development and even towards further implementation.  Nurture your online marketing strategy and avoid these potential website SEO mistakes!

1) A Flash Website: Creating a website entirely of Flash might look and do some pretty snazzy things, but search engines find it hard to index flash sites. Even having a Flash menu will impede your SEO efforts. Think of all that valuable text you worked so hard to create, hidden behind flash but nowhere to be seen in search results! Another big problem with flash is that not everyone will consistently be downloading the latest version of Flash. The only way users will be able to see your website is if they have the latest version.  Thus, you might be missing out on SEO value as well as valuable viewers.

2) Too Many Ads: Google made an update in early January 2012 called the “page layout algorithm” with this update came the penalization of websites with too many ads above the fold (too many ads upon arrival of the site page without scrolling). For people with ads that are unsure if they have too many you can use Google’s BrowserSize tool to check. The tool will be gone in about a month however, and replaced with a different tool that will be accessible through your Google Analytics dashboard.

3) Page Errors: If you decide at some point or another to redesign your web site, make sure to tell the designer what you have been doing, and make sure that they know what they are doing. Some people might see disappearing traffic after a site change, before you correlate it to the new layout, make sure that if pages have been changed or moved that they are redirected. You do not want to loose valuable link juice that you may have gotten from old pages. You can use 301 redirects to point back to your old pages in this case.

4) Slow Load Time: Some SEO experts will say this doesn’t matter and others say it does matter.  The two reach a common ground with the following sentiment. While slow page load time can effect SEO for websites Google reported in 2010 that, “Fewer than 1% of search queries will change as a result of incorporating site speed into our ranking.” What doesn’t change with either thought on this is that a slow load time will also turn users away from your page and it wont be good for your conversion rate. You might as well work on speeding up load time, if not for SEO, then for your viewers. You can also check your sites speed by using many free online tools.

5) Odd URL’s: URL’s are an important part of the optimization process. Having dynamic URL’s for example: ‘yoursite.com/detail?id=1” are a disadvantage. While Google has said their bots can index a site with dynamic URL’s, it can be trickier as a business owner to make adjustments to your site URL in order to make sure that it does, or to make sure making any changes will hinder the process. Overall, you will want a URL that utilizes keywords you want to rank for as an added boost to your on-site SEO efforts. A strong URL helps your user identify a page and search engines can identify it as well. It also supports any other on-site SEO you have done on that page.