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New Year's Resolutions for Your Website

As all of us view the new year, we determine various ways to improve ourselves. Whether its eliminating bad habits, or improving quality of life, January 1st is seen as a new beginning and starting point. Your website too, can use a new look. Consider taking the website to task with these down and dirty quick improvement tips for the new year.

New Year's Resolutions for Your Website
Revamp your website. The Internet is evolving at a rapid pace, and websites need constant maintenance and occasional overhauls. As the search engines improve their algorithms, website copy and designs will need to be updated. Here are some starting points:

Remove Bad Outgoing Links
It is important that you are not linking to bad neighbors. Broken links give an unprofessional image and wastes a site visitor. Be sure that all outgoing site links are still valid, and even more importantly, go where you had initially intended. Many popular websites are sold by companies with questionable content. Remove any changed links so that you are not associated with content that is not relevant to your products, service or content.

Unique Titles
Confirm each webpage on your website contains a unique title tag. Not only do unique titles allow you to optimize different sections of your site for different keywords and phrases, but also helps search engines direct traffic to specific pages on your site when specialized keywords are used.

Optimize Graphics
Optimize website graphics to decrease the website's load time. A typical web surfer will only remain on a page for a few seconds. If you do not grab their attention, you will lose them. Shaving size off of a websites graphic elements will mean that their eyes are on your website during those critical seconds.

Update Copyright Notice
A copyright notice should reflect the year the last updates were made to the website. A current copyright notice tells visitors that the content is fresh, not stale and outdated.

Clean up HTML
HTML is a markup language and with constant maintenance it is easy to have a page with an unclosed tag. While some web browsers make allowances for poorly formed HTML, not all do. Therefore, it is important that you take a look at the HTML behind the web page and make sure that it is properly formed.

Update Meta Tags
Update and optimize meta tags to avoid excessive use of keywords. While a once popular search engine optimization technique, stuffed meta tags generally result in search engine penalties. Update meta tags to be accurate and concise without redundancy and recurring words.

Automate
If your site does not currently use templates or server-side includes, it is time to bite the bullet. Spending time now, by employing server side includes or templates will mean easier maintenance and updates later. When you change one item, it will update on all pages of your site.

Links
Increase the quality and quantity of inbound links. Links coming into your site should be from websites that contain related or relevant content. Links from related .edu and .org domains are considered of a higher value than generic links. Any outbound links, should be directed to credible websites that contain related content. The relationship and relevance of links is becoming increasingly more important in most of the search engine ranking algorithms.

Wrapped Content
Links that are embedded in a paragraph rather than a free standing, generally are viewed more favorably by search engines. Consider wrapping links in content summaries.

Size Matters
A website must contain enough relevant content to stand on its own. Obviously the more the better. However, its not just about quantity it is also about quality. While size matters, relevance is equally important. A website should be able to stand on its own, once affiliate links, and pay per click advertising is removed the site should still have value.

Aged Domains
They say with age comes wisdom. Apparently the Search Engine Gods feel the same about domains. The older the domain the better it will typically perform. Give new domains time to age.

A New Years resolution is just a fancy way of saying that you are committed to doing something. Resolve to improve your website this year.

About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for NotePage http://www.notepage.net a wireless text messaging software company.

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This article may be used freely in opt-in publications and websites, provided that the resource box is included and the links are active. A courtesy copy of the issue or a link to any online posting would be greatly appreciated send an email to sharon@notepage.net .

Additional articles available for publication available at http://www.small-business-software.net/free-website-content.htm

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