Top Ten Things to Improve your SEO in 2012

  • Develop your core business keywords—find out what words people search to try and find your business online and make a list from highest to lowest priority.
  • Update your content –based on your core business keywords, review your website content to see if any of those words are used on your pages and if the content is relevant.  Does it compel a customer to continue reading, dig further into your site or contact you for more information?
  • Review your website text and structure—all of your pages should have unique titles, headings and text that relate to your core business keywords.
  • Check your website load time—ideally, you want your site to load in under 5 seconds.  Most people will not wait longer and they will be off to another site.  Use the tools at http://www.webpagetest.org/  to check your site.
  • Use Flash wisely –if your entire website it based on Flash, you need to make it more accessible as search engines cannot easily read the content.  Flash is better used as a module to show images or media within a site, not used as the full solution for the website.
  • Implement a sitemap—a sitemap will help the search engines fully index your website, and help the user navigate more easily (if you have a lot of pages on your site).  There are two types of sitemaps; XML sitemaps that are coded specifically for search engine spiders and HTML sitemaps that are designed for the end user containing a hierarchical list of links to your website pages.
  • Check your robots.txt file or implement one if you do not have one—robots.txt is simply a text file that you place on your site root.  You can discover if it is blocking things that are important to the website.   If you want more information about creating a Robots.txt file please check out http://www.robotstxt.org/
  • Optimize for Mobile—with more people finding your business through a mobile device, now is a good time to review how your site functions on these devices.  If your traffic from mobile is over 5% you should consider making changes now.
  • Claim your local business listings—do you have a Google place or Bing local account?  If you do, make sure you claim it and review it to make sure your business is in the right categories.  If you don’t have accounts, create them.  They are free and help build traffic to your site when people are searching locally.
  • Start Social—if you don’t participate in the social web, now is the time to start thinking about a strategy for your business and tying it into your website.  If the thought of Facebook or Twitter is a bit much to handle, start with a free account on Google Plus and test the waters.
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