Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on January 26th, 2009

SEO Tips That Will Bump You Up

hans_franz_0.jpgIn recessionary times pants fit a little tighter, there is less creamer in the break room, and you may be balancing the budget on the edge of your desk. That is an optimistic day for some people, when accountability is buzzing around the office like a bee on a pollen binge. There are ways to optimize your site and increase your conversion rates without having to drop the bucks on a fancy new application or economic advisor. These tips are often overlooked when it comes to redefining your site for search engine optimization and higher rankings, so it never hurts to have a refresher. I might not be Hans and Franz, but I’m about to BUMP (clap) YOU UP!

Search engine spiders, and humans, prefer easy-to-navigate sites with an understanding on where to find information on your site. You should provide clear pathways to all the pages on your site. By eliminating these navigation barriers, you are creating essential “findability”. Create an XML site map for the spiders and a user-friendly map for the humans. These maps provide clear and specific guidance to what exists on your site, and tell the spiders how often you update it. This will bump (clap) you up.

Make sure your code page doesn’t have any errors. If the spiders don’t understand your code due to some simple errors, they will miss your entire site. Also, make sure your code is valid. You can validate your code using tools available from W3C. Check your robots.txt file to make sure that it’s not blocking spiders. This can happen by simply misplacing a backslash, so don’t let that happen to you. It would be embarrassing, not only for you, but for the spiders.

Another simple tip is one that I discussed last week... targeting lateral keywords. Find your rankings on engines that have you just outside of the top 20 for phrases or keywords and target those for additional efforts. Use additional content on your site to emphasize these lateral words will help bump you up.

Title tags are one of the most important elements in most search engines’ algorithms. Keep title tags under 128 characters and keep any branding to the end. Every page on your site should have a unique title and description based on the page’s content.

The final tip to help bump you up in the rankings is a simple one: Be Accessible. Put extensive contact information on the site. On average, 7 percent of searches include some sort of location modifier. Place your address, or at least the city and state information. Let everyone know where you exist and how to contact you. I realize its the internet, but people still like to visualize the area where you are sipping that creamer-less coffee, stretching out those pants and balancing things on the edge of your desk. Volacci stresses the importance of establishing a purposeful, proactive communications platform with each and every customer.

Volacci. Your Profit. Our Passion.