A website that is search engine ready for popular sites such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo is a website that will have a decent ranking and will have a reputation that is constantly gaining. In order to ensure this site is search engine optimized, proper technique and good background knowledge on what makes a site "search friendly" is imperative. When looking for a qualified SEO consultant one must make sure they find a consultant that takes into account the following:
- The site structure and/or content
- Be able to give technical advice on the following: hosting, redirects, error pages, coding structure
- Use of Content Management
- Be able to effectively deploy keywords, tags, headers, links and images
- SEO training
- Experienced in targeting select target audiences
Wise clients in the past have asked questions in order to evaluate how much of an asset my SEO skills would be to their site. Important questions that have been asked include but not limited to:
- Do you use the Google Webmaster guidelines?
- For those out there unfamiliar with the Google Webmaster Guidelines (link here) the guidelines are suggestions by Google that would aid one in obtaining a good rank on Google's search pages. It is comprised of three sections design and content, technical, and quality guidelines. Following these guidelines will give you an edge to your competitors on the internet. For example in design and content Google advises web owners to have a clear heirarchy established. Doing that ensures that your web pages will be indexed by Google and give it a ranking. In the portfolio section of this website the sites all follow the guidelines.
- What are some SEO techniques you use?
- Some techniques commonly used in my websites are the obvious utilization of keyword phrases, image tags, titles/headers, content and keyword density. The use of a site map is great because it helps search engines find important pages and store it in their database.
- In addition the content that you write on your website is highly important. Yes it is true it will be search engines that go through your pages, analyze content and index it. However, they do not read your content, do not comment on it, do not forward it to their friends on Facebook or signup for newsletter. I always advise web owners to write content with users in mind and not what would give you a higher ranking. By appealing to users and gaining more hits on the website you will already rise in rankings.
- If you have content that appeals to your intended audience, in order to gain exposure the use of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Rss feeds, Yahoo, Digg and many more; will increase reputation and popularity.
- Blogs are search engine favorites! Blogs have a nice clean structure and are always updated with new content which is something search engines are programmed to find. Adding a blog also gives a "human side" to any type of business or any generic site.