The obvious and not so obvious things you can do to make your site more searchable without spending money on search engine marketing & How to apply to datAvenger and dALite.
The following may be basic, or obvious- but sometimes overlooked. People used to say computers were dumb. They can only spit out what they are given. So are Search Engines. They can only know so much about your website, but what your ‘tell’ them.
The responsibility falls with the site owner, because that is who knows the most about their business, but if the site isn’t built right or doesn’t support current methodologies, then that is our responsibility.
datAvenger 4.0 CMS and daLite both have META and content features that allow content editors the ability to manage and optimize what a Search Engine can see about a business or organization to assist in indexing and ranking a site when it gets crawled.
By no means are we stating that this is the end-all/save-all to having your site rank in the top 10; but not doing these basic things can almost guarantee that you will not be in the top 10.
Here are some OBVIOUS guidelines.
- Have a somewhat recognizable URL. Abbreviations are not the best when dealing with the web. www.cooc.com is quick to say but www.coloradooutdoorcenter.com (if available) is better.
- Find and arrange to have sites that are relevant to yours link to you. And link to them. By having this in place- you tell SE’s that your site is relevant in this category when they see that other sites related to yours link to you. SE’s actually find you through those links and then if you have a link back to that site- it is even more relevant. These links should be done with individual contact with each site owner.
- Submit your site to DMOZ, Yahoo, Google, etc. and other industry sites if applicable.
- Add a crawl-able site map to your site. The Google Site Map is great and is used by SE’s to learn about the sites architecture/navigation and adds exposure to all your pages.
- Maintain the site content regularly. Doing this not only shows regular visitors that you maintain the site with current/timely information, but also demonstrates to SE’s that you are in fact still around.
- Domain Registration- If you can- renew your domains for as long as you can. Domain names registered for a long time demonstrates legacy and longstanding meaning that adds to your ranking. Renewing a domain 1 year at a time for the last 8 years is less effective than renewing a domain for 5 or 10 years into the future at a time. Having an 8 year old domain name IS fantastic- but give it more value- renew it for longer periods if you can.
For datAvenger 4.x and daLite users-
We have already taken care of clear text page names and paths for SE’s to be able to index. Again, though, refrain from Cryptic abbreviations or extra long page names when creating them.
- Title all your pages from within the Admin area look for the <M> icon for META data. Then review all pages for a good Page Title. Titles should be more than “Home” or “Contact US”. A better Page title contains your primary category for your business or Organization and the name of this page;
- When including images, make sure they all have meaningful names AND you include alt-text for ADA assisted browsers. A typical photo from a digital camera may be given the name DSC0001.jpg. Only YOU know what it is and therefore you should rename it to “snowmobiling_in_maine_08.jpg before uploading it; and include an alt-tag for ‘Snowmobiling in the North Maine Woods, Maine – Colorado Outdoor Center- 2008″
- Add links within content to other relevant sites
- Add links to associations Rotary, Professional Associations, etc.
- Have relevant, current and orginal content
- Avoid tricks and other “Sure ways to get ranked”
- hidden links or text to attempt to trick SE’s
- unnecessary or duplicate content
- doorway pages created just for search engines
- Fresh Home page content that includes links to your internal pages with in the context of the content- Whew- what does that mean – Try to have the pages linked within the actual text of the home page. This aids in showing SE’s that the site has relevance; re-using the navigation terms, which is also relevant, that is keyword density. The higher the relevance and density, the higher the rank. That’s why you dont place popular/trendy keywords on a site if they have nothing to do with the site. At one time this was a big trick. Placement of these terms almost guarenteed SE’s would rank the site- Now they know better.
- Keywords placed in the Admin Area for <Meta data> should be ordered by the relevance to the actual services provided. IF you sometimes serve lunch- dont put it # 1.
- Description should be detailed but NOT more than a sentence or two. A paragraph or marketing tagline is not what this should be.
Periodically- we will update this and share insight on the do’s and don’ts- If you have any questions please send them to email@example.com