For both SEO and readership purposes, you should regularly perform a checkup on your website. Much like our cars need regular maintenance, your website may need small adjustments or even major revamping to improve your SEO and stay in good favor with major search engine indexes.
What might happen if you do not regularly tend to your website’s technical and design qualities? The biggest reason for regular maintenance is to prevent major search engines like Google or Yahoo from dropping and banning your site from their indexes. Also, you want to make sure your visitors and customers have an easy and pleasant experience on your site. You do not want confused and frustrated prospects that are unable to navigate your site effectively.
To enhance their natural listings, website owners may hire online firms that specialize in search engine optimization. These businesses are designed to help a website gain more traffic, and ultimately more sales, by improving the way your website is found by search engines. But beware: many of these SEO firms, reputable and un-reputable, use practices that are not acceptable to search engine policies. Using sneaky scripts, hidden links, doorway pages, and keyword stuffing, a site could be banned from major search engines.
If you have enlisted the help of an SEO firm for your website, be sure to check the “improvement” work they have performed. Never simply depend on an SEO firm to do the work they promise, leaving your site unchecked in full faith. Ensure that the work you paid them to do was actually performed – and that it conforms to search engine guidelines. Also, check for other site improvements that were conducted unbeknownst to you. Some dastardly SEO firms will hide scripts or links to their own website that could potentially be damaging to your own site’s ranking!
Remember that you want visitors to turn into paying customers. Make sure your design is uncomplicated and that the navigation is clear. When creating new pages, webmasters often use existing pages as templates, but forget to update meta tag information. Be sure that each web page has unique metadata, as duplicate data can negatively affect search engine rankings.
Check links regularly within your site. As sites grow and develop, web pages are often updated and URLs change frequently. Make sure your site map and all menus have accurate links, especially after you perform changes.
In addition, links can often be overlooked over time when the software is updated, particularly blogging or forum software and files are oftentimes renamed or deleted in the process. The same is true for images, and therefore, you should often check to ensure all file names are correct and are still showing properly on your site.
Not only do broken links not serve your visitors well, but you could also lose potential traffic. Broken links can impede search engine spiders from collecting complete and accurate information about your website, and your ranking could suffer as a result.
You can easily check for broken links and other programming issues on your website, such as duplicate meta tags, with free tools provided by Google at: www.google.com/webmasters/tools/
Not only does Google’s Webmaster Tools help you maintain your website, but it also provides a free service to verified owners of websites that keeps them updated on their Google rank status, which websites are linking to your site, the best keywords for your site, and other helpful features.
The content you provide to your visitors should be clear and concise. Writing good copy requires the use of proper grammar, as well as a composition style that is smooth and easy to read. Your copy should not be bogged down with wordy descriptions and lengthy paragraphs. Remember that web users are impatient, and if your copy cannot hold their attention, another website is only a click away.
Include keywords in your content that help search engines find your site. Never overstuff keywords, but use a density of about 3% to 6% within a text body to ensure accurate indexing.
Your keywords and key phrases are important to get noticed and indexed by search engine bots. Keywords implanted properly can be extremely helpful, but keywords that are utilized improperly can get your website removed from a search engine index.
Do not be mistaken: search engines have ways of discovering websites that ignore or blatantly disregard their search policies. Understand that your website is being monitored through sophisticated algorithmic technologies by major search engines. Take the time and care to ensure that your website complies with search policies and technical guidelines.