by James A. Martin

7 Quick Tips to Make Your Site More Search Friendly

May 21, 20144 mins

Eight SEO experts share seven quick-hit tips on making your website more search-engine friendly. recently queried nearly 30 SEO experts and rounded up their advice into a list of the “Top 10 Technical SEO Issues (and How to Fix Them).” The following seven quick-hit SEO tips offer additional best practices that are well worth your attention.

SEO search spider graphic
Image Credit: William Verrill

1) Keep Your Sitemap Updated

“If you’re updating your website, make sure you keep your sitemap up to date so that it makes it easier for search engine robots to index your website correctly.” — Sameep Shah, founder of SimpleWebDesign

2) Don’t Worry Too Much About Keywords

Google’s recent “Hummingbird” algorithm shifted the general focus from keywords to topics. “No longer do you have to mention ‘blue widgets’ 20 times on the page to help drive top rankings for ‘blue widgets,’ as long as the entire content of your article closely talks about ‘blue widgets’.” — Johnny Ewton, Web analyst for

3) Don’t Overlook On-Page Optimization Opportunities

“It’s still important to ensure that each page has unique content with the right headings (such as H1, H2) and unique HTML title tags and meta descriptions. Also, make sure that on every page the visitor is able to engage in social sharing. You only have a few seconds before your visitor either leaves your site or you draw them further into it, so it’s important that every page is tweaked with that in mind.” — Mike Waller, owner of SEO Zones, Inc.

[Related: 20 SEO Tips, Trends and Predictions for 2014]

[Feature: Does Google Authorship Matter for SEO?]

Keep title tags under 65 characters and meta descriptions under 150 characters to avoid truncation in Google search results. “The title tag is an ideal place for the keyword(s) you want a given page to rank for. Think of the meta description as a headline. Use it to try and convince search users to click on your site rather than a competing site.” —’s Johnny Ewton

4) Use “robots.txt” Correctly

The “robots.txt” file exists for the sole reason of telling search engines which pages on your site shouldn’t be crawled. “I’ve seen many small business sites and some mid-market sites redesign their sites only to shoot themselves in the foot at launch with the robots meta tag. During the development process, it’s a good idea to block search engines from indexing your site when it isn’t finished, or on a development server. But forgetting to remove the ‘robots.txt’ instructions to block your site to search engines once it’s finished can be catastrophic for a successful site launch.” — Scott Benson, founder and president, Benson SEO

5) Don’t Use the Same Title Tag on all Pages

“Google takes the meta title tag very seriously and will not rank you in a competitive market if you don’t have a keyword or part of it in the meta title. It’s a hint for Google to know on what searches they should rank you for, if you support this with your content. Creating pages with different and unique content but not changing the meta title will just waste time and money on the content creation.” — Razvan Girmacea, CEO of Monitor Backlinks Ltd.

6) Configure Google and Bing Webmaster Tools

“Both Google and Bing have Webmaster Tools. Bing introduced its first, and it covers Yahoo. Even though these tools are very technical, they’re really easy to learn how to use. They will flag any issue that the search engine detects, such as if your site or Web-hosting provider has been hacked or compromised.” — David Quaid, director of inbound marketing for KEMP Technologies

[Related: Top 10 Technical SEO Issues (and How to Fix Them)]

[Feature: Does Google Authorship Matter for SEO?]

7) Stick to ‘White-Hat’ Practices

“I have been doing SEO since 1999, and the rules have changed dramatically. But the foundation has stayed the same: Make sure your website is built on an SEO-friendly platform, in that it is 100 percent ‘crawlable’ and accessible to people with disabilities. If someone with disabilities can navigate your website, so can search engine robots. ‘White hat’ SEO principles have lived through every Google algorithm update, and it’s the only way to go.” — Nataliya Yakushev, vice president of reputation management, Rubenstein Communications

James A. Martin is an SEO and social media consultant and writes the Martin on Mobile Apps blog. Follow him on Twitter. Follow everything from on Twitter @CIOonline, on Facebook, and on Google +.