"SEO" is a buzz term that gets thrown around a lot these days. It stands for "search engine optimization," and basically refers to steps you can take to increase your website's rankings on prominent search engines, such as Google and Yahoo!. You can follow our recommendations below to help optimize your site for better search engine rankings.
We also offer SEO Services if you'd like our help with this.
1. MAKE SEO FRIENDLY URLS
Use our "friendly URL" feature to create simple SEO friendly URLs for each page of your site. Be sure the URLs reflect a logical organizational structure related to the section of your site and the page title. For example: http://www.gutensite.com/support/tutorial/basic. To do this, simply type out your desired URL in the "Friendly URL" field when you Add or Edit a page.
2. ADD PAGE TITLES, KEYWORDS, AND DESCRIPTIONS
a. Determine what keywords are important to you. Which search terms do you want to rank high for? "Burlingame real estate"? "Presbyterian churches in Bradenton"?
b. Integrate these keywords naturally into the content of your website, via articles about these topics, news items, statistics, blogs, informational pages, etc.
c. Also, add these keywords in page titles and descriptions of individual pages on your site. Page titles, lists of keywords, and descriptions can be added to each page, under the advanced Page Settings tab (when editing a page from the back office of your site). (See "Page by Page SEO" below for more details on how to add these).
3. SITE MAPS
A site map is an organized list of the pages of your website, and they help your website get better search engine rankings. Your site map is created automatically by our system, but for each page of your site, you can edit certain settings related to the site map. These are: "update frequency" (how often that page changes), and "priority" (how important is this page compared to the others on your site). This can be done by editing the relevant “Page Settings” in the CMS Admin (Edit Site > Settings > Page Settings: edit relevant page from list).
Your sitemap is advertised to search engines on each page (in the header), but it's still good practice to submit it to the search engines. Here's how:
Google Webmaster Tools
1. Login (using your Google account) at: http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools
2. Add the site to the Dashboard
3. Verify the site by using the metatag method. Get the metatag information, and login to your Gutensite account and go to Admin > Settings > Metadata: Add a new record with the name and value of the tag given by Google.
4. Return to Google webmaster tools and verify the site.
5. Submit the sitemap by going to that site’s dashboard > Sitemap > and Submit the sitemap of /sitemap.xml
Yahoo! Site Explorer
1. Go to: https://siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com/submit
2. Submit the sitemap: /sitemap.xml
MSN Live Webmaster Center
1. Login: http://webmaster.live.com/
2. Submit the sitemap: /sitemap.xml
4. SUBMIT SITE TO SEARCH ENGINES
Submit your website to the major search engines:
5. TRACK SITE STATISTICS
You can follow and analyze traffic to your website by tracking and statistics code on your site. We recommend Google Analytics, which is free and very powerful. It will show you the number of times any given page on your site was viewed in any given period, as well as how people found your site, what part of the world they are in, etc. See our article on Traffic Analysis and Tracking Statistics for detailed instructions.
PAGE BY PAGE SEO
Edit the Page Settings for all the active pages on the website (Edit Site > Settings > Page Settings).
- Add SEO Friendly URL (see #1 above)
- Add Descriptive Browser and/or Page Title (see #2 above)
- Add Relevant Keywords (see #2 above). Google doesn't reference these anymore, but it can be helpful for classification and a reminder about what keywords you are trying to rank for the current content. Limit to a handful of important keywords that describe this page’s content and possibly coincide with some of the overall desired site keywords. These keywords should also be in the page itself, otherwise a page rewrite is recommended because there is no use listing a keyword in the metatags, when the word isn’t even mentioned in the page itself.
- Add Relevant Description of Page. Limit to a brief sentence or two describing in librarian language (not self promotional) what a visitor might expect to read on the given page.
- Modify Sitemap Settings. Modify the default “update frequency” and “priority” (in relation to other pages on the site) settings for the sitemap.
NOTE: As you go through the pages, be sure to turn off pages that are made available for use, but not currently in use, so that the sitemap doesn’t report pages that are not actively linked on the site or populated with information.
IF YOU'D LIKE HELP IMPLEMENTING THESE IMPROVEMENTS ON YOUR WEBSITE, WE HAVE A NUMBER OF PARTNERS THAT SPECIALIZE IN PROFESSIONAL SEO SERVICES.