Sculpting Your Website for an SEO Boost

There comes a time in most businesses when they see their traffic start to plateau.  They've optimized pretty well and are bringing in some nice traffic, but they don't seem to see the increase in traffic that they've seen in months past.  If your website has plateaued, maybe it's time to go back to some of the basics and see if there are some 'smaller things' you can do to bump up your visits yet again.  Here are some ideas:

Headline Tags

You'd be surprised how many websites don't employ the H1 tag.  Yes, it is definitely important.  It's right up there with the page title in importance.  Why aren't you using these?

Sub Headline Tags

If you've got pages that include several portions, they need to be broken up with H2 and H3 tags.  This will help the search bots understand the 'sections' of your page, and will improve your overall page score.

Photos

Ok photos aren't going to help you out a lot in the search engine rankings, but it has been shown that readers prefer a picture that illustrates the point of the content.  Plus, you can add the ALT tags, which will give you yet another opportunity to put in a keyword or so.

Change your Underscores to Hyphens

I've talked about the underscore issue before on my St. Louis SEO blog.  It still seems to be the accepted way to make the most friendly URLs.

Use Robots.txt to Disallow Duplicate Content (WordPress)

WordPress is an amazing tool.  It interlinks everything together so nicely, and people can find your content in any number of ways.  Problem is, all these links going everywhere have different URLs, and this can cause your own site to be penalized for duplicate content.  Good news though - there's a fix.  Modify your robots.txt file to disallow these paths.  It won't hurt your rankings; in fact it'll help you.

Sculpt Internal Links with NoFollow

Since we're in the process of making our site more search engine friendly, lets take a few minutes to add some rel="nofollow" attributes to some of the pages on your site.

NoFollow my own pages? Are you serious?  Yep.  These pages would include login pages, legal disclosures, terms of service and contact forms.  No sense in letting those pages have any of your 'link juice'.

Meta Descriptions

Another one I've discussed in the past.  I'm surprised by how many web designers will ask you for your meta keywords but not put in a description for each page.  I've personally seen this simple change/addition bring in a nice jump in traffic.

Summary

These changes are worth your time.  If you've hit somewhat of a wall and are looking for things that will help you start climbing again, check them out.

With that said, don't put a ton of time into these all at once, especially if you have a big site.  Take one or two of them and start optimizing every page on your site.  Write shortcut code where necessary that can help you identify them faster.

Keep adding new content and building links as usual - don't stop doing the main things just to do these.  Consider them dessert items that you'd like to have from time to time.

About 

Will Hanke owns Saint Louis' top independent Internet Marketing firm, Red Canoe Media. In addition to helping some of St Louis' most recognizable brands with their online marketing strategy, Will also is an Amazon bestselling author, speaker and teacher.

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