Building, hosting and maintaining a website is an ongoing job. Many businesses think they can build a website, post content and move on to the next project. However, just because a website looks good, it doesn’t mean that it’s functioning properly in the search engines. Interestingly, some of the most outdated looking websites do amazingly well in search result pages because the SEO work is being done properly and the content is good.
In this blog post, we’ll touch on two important SEO topics that will help ensure your website is getting noticed by the search engines: XML sitemaps and Spamming.
A sitemap is a page that is made up of links to all the other pages on your site. There are a couple of different types of sitemaps for websites. Traditional sitemaps need to be updated on a regular basis and require that you manually submit your updated sitemap to individual search engines, so they can send their spiders to crawl through it.
Today, XML sitemaps have simplified the process by notifying search engines about changes to your website. So instead of feeding the changes to your site, it is done automatically every time a change occurs.
An XML sitemap is hugely important for the success of your website as it communicates to the search engines that there is new content to be reviewed and indexed. Think of it as a direct communication line to search engines informing them when new pages have been added and older pages have been updated.
The takeaway: Search engines like optimization. A missing XML sitemap means you are not getting the regular attention of the search engines, and missing opportunities to appear in a search.
Spamming is big business and unfortunately a lot of people get burned. Search engines prevent company websites hit by spam from making an appearance on the search results page. If your website is overloaded with spam, the search engines are likely blocking your web pages from getting found. If your website has many pages with spam, then the entire site could be blocked.
IP Blocking – Depending on the software you are using, there are many different add-ons that can block users IP addresses. This is a daily task but is worth it in the end.
Country Blocking – Depending on the software you are using, there are many different add-ons that can block countries where a lot of the spam comes from, such as Russia, China, Brazil, etc.
.htaccess file code – This file is what every visitor goes through when they first enter your website. Adding code here can bounce out the spammers before they enter. Be careful, if the code is not perfect, you can shut down your website.
The takeaway: These few tips are great if you know what you are doing and have the time to maintain your site. The safest and easiest way would be to hire a SEO company to do it for you. Interview a few of them before you decide, as qualification, process and services vary.At the end of the day, you want your website to aim for consistent and quality content that delivers a clear vision and shows attention to detail. When evaluating options for website optimization; put yourself in the shoes of your customers. Your goal should be to provide compelling content (that is easily found) while making sure search engines are presenting your site without any spam blocks.
IBC is dedicated to assisting its members in maximizing exposure to their website in order to increase sales. We have created a series of articles to help you understand SEO in a whole new light.