As we begin 2013, optimization still plays a vital role for any business that wants to rank high and be successful in the search engines.

Here are FIVE basic tips for optimizing your website in 2013:

1. Check Index Status on Top Search Engines

Webmasters can check on Google’s Webmaster Tools to make sure that their site’s pages are being indexed correctly in the search engines.  Log into Webmaster Tools and click on, “Health” and then “Index Status.”

Once you have established that your website has been indexed, now it’s time to optimize.

2. Verify Google and Bing Listings

Web users are using the Internet for localized searches and Google and Bing professional listings get priority on the top of most search engines.  Every business with a local market should have one!

3. Keyword Research: Optimize Content on Website

Your focused keywords should be well researched and sparingly implemented throughout high-quality and informative content on the website.  This will help to rank your site in the search engines based on relevant information.  It also makes learning about your product/service easier for customers.

4. Meta Tags

Your Meta Tags tell the search engines and your customers what your website is about.  Title tags are important because they describe each page.  This is what customers see, and ultimately helps them to determine if the site is what they are looking for, even before they click.

5. Call to Action on the Site

Most customers need an invitation to contact a company to discuss in detail.  Phone numbers have been shown effective when they are placed on every page of the site, in addition to quick contact forms and a site that navigates easily to company information, addresses and locations. If customers cannot navigate through your website and do not have a clear call to action, they will quickly bounce off your website and go to one where they can find the necessary information they are looking for.

Bonus Tip

One of the biggest changes we will see in 2013 is more websites being redesigned with mobile usage in mind.  More customers are using their Smartphones and tablets to shop online and a site should be built to display on a variety of platforms and in multiple browsers.

These basic optimization tips for 2013 will keep your business on the edge of developments in SEO and design strategy.