Hits coming from search engines are called organic visits. If you’re a business, however, you might as well call them new customers. Most businesses invest in a website to expand their customer base, unfortunately, without proper attention to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) a nice website can sit unnoticed.
Each click that leads to your website is a vote. These votes are weighed with additional factors that ultimately determine a page rank by a search engine. The process of ranking every website is so elaborate, an independent industry has developed to provide search engine optimization. Companies can now guarantee page rank results by adjusting html files and adding specific content. Optimizing a website can run up to $3,000 and can turn a business into a multi-national company within a year. For the best explanations, visit Wikipedia’s search engine optimization and PageRank definitions.
In Search Engine Optimization, Content is King
Search Engine Optimization often involves something that most web designers avoid. Writing copy. The content of a website will always be the main factor in search engine results. Search engines will read and analyze your content, determine common phrases and store the results among millions of other sites. Researching key words and including them within your content is a standard way to improve your stats. Keyword density in document text is most effective when your keywords appear more than 3% of the time. Anything near 10% may indicate keyword stuffing and cause your site to be flagged. A good way to check your site’s keyword density is to visit http://www.webconfs.com. Keywords that are used at the beginning of the document are also considered more important. Keywords that are used together are called key phrases and add extra value to a page rank, especially if the phrase is repeated on multiple pages within a website. I have been adding content to my site for over five years and have finally noticed the benefits in my page rank.
Using key phrases and words within the html is a science to be mastered. Links may be the most important part of html on your site. URL titles are also considered by search engines. Luckily, the content management systems I use to build my sites add URL titles, file names and meta data automatically. A website that names for html files with keywords will be rewarded with a higher page rank. There are a number of tags that can be labeled with key words. Here are a list of tags that I use to optimize websites.
- Title Tag – This is one of the most important places to have a keyword. What is written in the title tag shows in search results as your page title. The title tag must be short and words towards the front are given more emphasis.
- Heading Tags – There are 3 or 4 levels of heading tags that can be utilized on a page. Most content management systems will automatically put your page title in a heading page.
- URL Title Tag – This tag defines the box of text that appears when a pointer is moved over a link.
- Image Alt Tag – The images that are used in your site can drive traffic from image searches. Keywords placed in IMG ALT tags will add to the importance of those words.
- Meta Tags – These tags are typically hidden from view and give information about the content. These tags are becoming less important over time yet are still automatically filled out by most content management systems.
Outside Links to Your Site
You want more people to link to your site. Not only do you want more links, but you want links from websites that are popular and have a strong page rank. Links from popular sites will add points to your ranking. To find where backlinks are coming from, type in “linkdomain:www.yourdomain.com” in the search field at yahoo.com.
There are only so many things you can do to add links to your site, but here are a few ideas.
- Take part in online forums – If you have opinions or experience in a field related to your keywords you may be able to drive traffic to your site by helping others solve problems. The internet is full of forums debating politics, revealing scientific breakthroughs and defining history. Contribute to your online community and search engines will reward you for it. Just make sure to include a link to your website in each post and interested readers will want to learn more about you.
- Write articles for online magazines – Not only will this help your page rank, it can be profitable.
- Get involved with a nonprofit or your local government – Get involved and make sure your website is credited with a link. Links from .gov or .org websites have a better reputation and carry a stronger vote for your site.
- Get listed in directories – Having your organization listed with yahoo.com, DMOZ, citysearch.com or uscity.net and add more links to your site from other domains. Directories can also help drive new visitors to your site without using a search engine.
If you are placing a link to your website from an outside source, include it only once and it will become more important to the search engines. In any case, professionals discourage attempts to trick the search engines. Chances are, Google has already thought of it. Attempting to trick a search engine with mirrored content, hidden text and high-jacked rss feeds will hurt your ranking and perhaps lock your website out of future search engine results. Manipulating computer language compromises the search engine service. Organizations like http://www.seopros.org are working to expose hackers and standardize appropriate methods for optimizing web sites.
I can help you grow your web site’s page rank. Give me a call if you would like a free estimate on any search engine optimization.