Search Engine Optimization Methods
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is integral to your website's success. Even the best-designed site will fail if no one sees it. Fortunately, increasing your search engine rank is based on math, not magic. Below we've explained our process for increasing your search rank. Feel free to use this method to optimize your own website.
Words of Warning: If you come across a business that claims to have some insider's edge with the major search engines, please run away. If an SEO company suggests that you buy a program that automatically fills your site's META tags with the most commonly searched terms, run. If an SEO company offers to set up mirror sites and multiple domain names to increase your search engine rank, run faster. These methods are outdated, unethical and most importantly don't work. Occasionally, employing these methods will cause your site to be removed from indexes and often the clicks you do get from search engines using these techniques will be from browsers looking for something completely different from what you offer.
Truth be told, optimizing your website for search engines takes hard work, intelligence, knowledge, time and more work. In short, developing a client base on the web will take exactly what it took to develop your non-web based clientele.
Over the time Shelly Webber Consulting has been doing website optimization, we have developed a method for optimizing webpages for search engine inclusion and rank. We share the "secret" of our method freely because, as you will see, there is no secret. Simply, there a few do's and don'ts for making your website search engine ready and few other "best practices" for drawing search engine spiders to your website.
- First define who you want to visit your website and what you want them to do once they get there. This is the often-overlooked part of search engine optimization. It's not just that you want people to come to your website, but that you want people interested in your product or service to come to your website. Further, you want them to buy your product or purchase your service or to at least contact you. Before you can sucessfully optimize your website for search engines, you need to define who you want to come to your website from search engines and what they are to do once they are there.
- Make sure your website is designed for search engines, as well as human browsers. Search engines can not see images; they can only read the text contained within the underlying code that generates your website. Human browsers prefer images with text supporting those images they see. A successful website must marry elements that appeal to both human browsers and search engines.
- Make sure your website has all the elements that search enmgines are expecting. Search engine robots expect to see certain coded elements that assist the search engine in identifying and categorizing your website. These elements include meta data on each page of your website, a robots.txt file on your server, readable website navigation, a sitemap and a declaration of what type of web document your web pages are.
- Provide quality information to people coming to your website. If your business is selling widgets in Memphis, then your website should tell the human browser what widgets are, why widgets are useful, how widgets are used in Memphis and why your widgets are the best BEFORE you ask them to buy your widget.
- Add content to your website on a regular basis. Just like you and I, search engines need to see something new on your website to keep us coming back. Generally, it is recomended that content is added to your website on a weekly basis. However, as a business owner, I realize weekly updates to a website can be a challenge if your business is strong. Monthly or quarterly updates to your website will keep the search engines coming back, too.
- Get other quality websites to links to your website. Just like a real world business, it's not what you know, but who you know. Consider links from other websites to your website as a form of referral. When looking for link partners, look to the businesses that compliment you business and who would in real world business would refer their client to you.
- Tell search engines that your website exists. Most search engines rely on spidering the world wide web to find your website. However, most search engines also have an internet location where people may submit their website for inclusion or for inclusion in the spidering que. Be careful, though. Do not use a site submission service, where your website is submitted to multiple search engines at one time. It is best to go to each search engine and make the request for inclusion by hand.
- Watch the competition. Before you begin optimizing your website for search engines, know who's number one for the keywords and keyphrases that you are competing in at search engines. Then do periodic analysis of those keywords and keyphrases at major search engines to track your progress.
Question: Why, now that you've spelled out what needs to happen to my website to make it competitive at search engines, do I need Shelly Webber Consulting to perform SEO services?
Answer: The information presented above is in broad strokes. There are specific, specialized techniques that, while they are not proprietary, require time and understanding to implement.
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