There are plenty of things one can do off-site to optimize their website, but we’re not going to get into that here. I’d like to focus on what you can physically do to your own website to make it more optimized.

On-site optimization could be likened to the look and feel of a traditional brick and mortar store. Imagine that you are searching for a new pair of shoes. You’ve heard about Joe’s Shoe Shack down town so you decide to check it out. However, when you arrive, this is what you find:

old building
It seems Joe’s Shoe Shack is actually a shack. Bummer.

Of course, you wouldn’t dare go looking for shoes in this scary building. You quickly make a U-turn in search for another store. That’s when you come across this location:

building with sign
Not only is Payless Shoe Source a recognizable brand, it’s clearly labeled, clean, and inviting. All the shoes are organized by gender, then age and/or size. You quickly find what you’re looking for and make a stunning purchase.

Now, to apply the metaphor, your website needs to be like the Payless store (not only for the physical viewer but for the web crawlers). If you’re website is lacking a clear title, is disorganized and lacks good content then you can bet your visitors and that Google bot will be gone in a heartbeat (if they even come at all!)

  1. Title Tag
    One of the most important things you can do for your website is to have an optimized title. If you don’t, it’s like Joe’s Shoe shack with no sign designating it as a shoe store. The search engines use the title tag, among other things, to help determine the relevance of your site to searchers. If you are an online shoe store selling new, trendy shoes, then you better be sure those words appear in your title.
  2. Header Tags
    There are 6 header tags: H1 – H6. We’ll liken these to the shelves of the Payless shoe store. Header tags were originally meant for organizing your text by importance, H1 being the biggest and baddest. To some extent, this is still true, though header tags can be formatted however you want them to be. What is important is that you only get to use ONE H1 tag. That’s it.If you use more you’re likely receiving a penalty from Google. Reason would say that if you only get one H1 tag, it must carry some importance. In deed, it carries some importance (how much is never certain) and should therefore be optimized. Furthermore, each page on your website should have it’s own, unique H1 tag. Use the other header tags as much as you’d like.
  3. Good Content
    One of the most important on-site optimization techniques is to write good, relevant content — and lot’s of it! This is like having lots of shoes in the store from which to choose. This is not only practical (no body will visit your site, or stay long, if they can’t find what they’re looking for) but search engines love fresh, relevant content.This is more easily done with a blog, but other types of websites can do their best to optimize their content, even changing it up at times if needed.

There are certainly more things to be done for on-site optimization but we’ll call this good for now. Good luck out there!

Jamie Bates