Let’s start with a review of site-performance good ideas.
Good idea #1
Know where your page ranks. There are many ways that you can affect your ranking, both online — such as email, click-thru ads, and linking — and offline — such as direct mail, print advertisements, and TV and radio spots. The highest-ranking sites use a combination of many efforts.
Good idea #2: Being neighborly
Understand results. A search engine will always attempt to return the most-relevant results for the user. An important factor when gauging relevancy is location. The search engine identifies the IP address of the computer being used for the search. IP address and past searches can cause the user to receive results that are different than someone else using the same search words and phrases (these are known as keywords and keyphrases). Search-engine optimization is the process of associating your site with the appropriate keywords and keyphrases so that your site becomes the most relevant.
Good idea #3: I’m influential.
Avoid influence. Search-engine spiders (applications that browse web pages and index their content) are intelligent and remember sites that the user has visited in the past. Clicking the links of a site or the site of a competitor may change the relevancy of the site in future searches. Browsing the site’s content and clicking links will further influence how relevant the search engine finds the site to be.
Good idea #4: Help me find my keys.
Identify keywords/keyphrases. Webmasters embed keywords/keyphrases in each page of the site as a shorthand method of describing the content of the page to the search spider. Keywords and keyphrases must be accurate and correctly identify the text that is contained within the page. Keywords and keyphrases should be used that bring the right type of visitor to your site — and keeps them there. Examination of the keywords and keyphrases used by a site’s top-ranking competitors can help a company to strategically identify or modify their own keyword list in order to attract qualified visitors.
The page description will further validate the keywords and keyphrases of a site and is displayed by the search engine when the site is listed in search-engine results.
Good idea #5: Your name in lights.
Use your brand as needed. Many companies use their name as one of their most-important keywords/keyphrases, but unless the company already has wide name recognition, the site is more likely to benefit from keyword emphasis on the products or services offered. Strategically placed company names within close proximity to keywords and keyphrases within the content of the site will foster brand recognition to visitors and search engines alike.
Good idea #6: Oops!
Make it easy. Many companies with difficult-to-remember or difficult-to-spell domain names have established websites using a name that is more easily remembered and typed. Domain names that are often misspelled create an opportunity for competitors to parlay these errors into traffic for their own site. For site names prone to error, registration of the mistyped domain along with a permanent redirect ensures that traffic is properly channeled.
Good idea #7: Please come in.
Link to your site. Search engines attempt to validate sites based on relevancy and authority, among other things. Inbound links to a site from credible sources help to convince a search engine that the content of the site is authoritative and valid. The inbound links must originate from reputable and relevant sites. When correctly worded and properly linked, additional benefit is gained.
Good idea #8: Walk this way…
Link to other sites. Outbound links to sites with supporting and credible content are yet another method of validation. Link quality and quantity are both critical — it’s never enough to just add copious but random links without regard for who, what, and where.
Good idea #9: Private
Be professionally visible. Social media enables a company to connect with their customers outside the corporate site. A company’s executives and key employees might be posting to their social-media accounts information that can be used to positively affect the corporate site’s page rank and consumer confidence. While these can be validating when kept to a professional level, linking to an account containing private — and often, unfavorable — content can be devastating.
Good idea #10: Who’s there?
Know your visitors. Establishing who and why visitors come to a site is the first step in effectively meeting their needs — this is called developing personas. There must exist relevant content for each persona in order to keep that person engaged and, if selling online, to make a purchase. Generic content designed for the median visitor rarely provides appropriate and complete information. Sites that do not address specific needs will lose visitors to those that do.
Good idea #11: A great track record
Analyze and adapt. Analytics software installed within a site provides detailed information about who is visiting, what pages are visited, how long a page is viewed, from where the visitor came, and so much more. The performance of keywords and keyphrases, inbound and outbound links, persona-based content, and mistyped domain names are easily monitored. Site content can be adapted to favor pages that perform best.
Good idea #12: Put it on the map.
Map the content. There are two primary types of sitemaps, XML and HTML. The first is designed strictly for search engines and the second for visitors, but they are of equal importance. Search engines have structured processes that enable web designers to submit sitemaps that will assist search spiders in indexing the content of the site. A HTML site map is displayed on a site in a manner that makes it easy for the site visitor to find specific pages.
Good idea #13: Business attire required
Be professional. Email addresses with free services such as Yahoo!, MSN, and Hotmail are unprofessional and can diminish a company’s efforts at establishing themselves as a trustworthy service provider. Email addresses should be of the same domain as the corporate site.