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There are two good ways you can check how accessible your website is. Simply download Lynx browser to see if you can successfully access all your pages and download Opera browser and follow their instructions to enhanced accessibility. Good SEOs focus on a few standard setting organisations’ guidelines, which are complex systems of rules on unifying coding. What SEOs make sure of is that users from other languages and cultures, and users of differing age groups are not excluded from your site because of some silly technical hiccups. Where an SEO says he’s making all difference for his clients is that he has numerous checklists to make sure your business in whatever location or segment it is, is optimised. He likely will market his services saying that he will make your site more localised than your competition.
There is a lot of scepticism on strategies in use here and it remains to be seen whether better accessible local business site optimisation will actually translate into tangible higher Return on Investment numbers. Local search appears to be performing well for national advertisers seeking to segment markets. The local dry cleaner however doesn't have (or probably need) a Web site so lead is not accurately tracked, and value remains doubtful. Don’t buy into it until you see results from comparable segments to one you are in!
All lists SEO’s use to make sure your site is technically kosher are likely variations in one form or another of lengthy, prioritised in-depth checkpoints published by World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), a forum for information, commerce, communication, and collective understanding of web. It can be found here: http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10/. It is not deemed 100% fool proof, but it’s said to be Google-proof. The checklist consists of general, common-sense priorities that designers and programmers must take heed of. The bulk of checkpoints are likely issues you’ve comply with for years already, but it’s always good to see if there’s anything new. It could give you that edge over competition you need!
Search engines increasingly take their lead from Google and use hyper linked text for relevancy so checking that your links make sense all time is not a luxury but incremental for your business. Some SEOs will run software that check that if a hyperlink is removed from text –something that easily happens in forms- and determine whether it still makes sense in general context of your site. An SEO would replace a simple hyperlinked word like ‘more’, with a more descriptive term such as ‘more news and events’, or similar. You get idea here.
Source code in general is also quite important. Again, w3 sets standard and you can run your site through their validator tool (http://validator.w3.org/) to get it analysed to see if search engine spiders/robots have any problems splitting your content/page into sections before indexing it – e.g. header, metadata tags, headings, normal text, etc. If spider has difficulty in calculating structure of your code, some of text could be misclassified or omitted. Find out and optimise!
Angelique van Engelen runs www.contentClix.com, an Amsterdam based freelance copywriting agency. She has lived and worked in the Middle East and London for over six years before returning to her home country, the Netherlands. Aside from web content, she specialises in writing sales copy, feature articles and research reports.