Entries tagged with “keywords”.

by Wendy Montes de Oca

Don’t let your site get lost in Internet obscurity. Here’s the last of five simple ways to help boost your website’s traffic and optimization.

5. List your site in online directories by related category or region.

This is an effective way to increase exposure and get found by prospects searching specifically for information on your product or service by keyword topic. Popular directories (like Business.com) typically have a nominal fee. But there are many other directories (like Dmoz.org, Info.com, and Superpages.com) that are free.

Most important, before you start your SEO initiatives, don’t forget to establish a baseline for your site so you can measure pre- vs. post-SEO tactics. Upload a site counter (which counts the number of visits to your website), obtain your site’s Alexa traffic ranking at Alexa.com, or get your site’s daily visit average (from Google Analytics or another application) and then chart your weekly progress in Excel. Understand that it typically takes two to three months for a site to be optimized…so be patient. You will eventually see results.

by Wendy Montes de Oca

Don’t let your site get lost in Internet obscurity. Here’s the fourth of five simple ways to help boost your website’s traffic and optimization.

4. Website pages should be keyword rich and related to your business.

Make a list of your top 20 keywords and variations of those words, and incorporate them into the copy on your site (avoiding the obvious repetition of words). Search engine “spiders” crawl Web pages from top to bottom, so your strongest keywords should be in that order on your home page and sub-pages (the most relevant on the top, the least relevant on the bottom).

You’ll want to do the same for your tagging. Make sure your title tags (the descriptions at the top of each page) and meta tags are unique and chock full of keywords. And your alt tags (images) should have relevant descriptions as well.

If not, you’re missing out on one of the most powerful, easy, and not to mention, cheap marketing tools available to you.

Most people choose who they do business with through referrals. A good testimonial can help your potential clients to see that your product or service helped someone just like them that has the same problem or is in a similar situation.

What do people who’ve actually used your product or service think about the experience working with you? If you know you’ve got a satisfied customer, ask for a recommendation, or if they’ve already thanked you, ask for permission to use their words on your website.

Using the words of others can sometimes persuade potential clients to call. Put your accolades to work!

If your site has been published to a server and attached to a URL (your domain name), it will automatically be picked up by the search engines like Google, Yahoo!, MSN Live Search, Ask.com, dogpile, and Alta Vista, also known as web crawlers, spiders, or web bots. The real questions is “What can I do to help someone looking for me, find me?” With the literally billions of websites out there, realistically, you can’t always be number one.

Early search engines ranked pages based on page content and formatting and based on the content of metadata tags. Webmasters attempting to increase visibility packed their pages with hidden words to try to trick the search engines. This practice, while still used by some, unfortunately, can get your website banned from search results.

Thus the advent of the paid inclusion system, companies charging set fees or “pay-per-click” advertising to buy your way to better position on search results. Such programs usually guarantee inclusion in the database, but do not guarantee specific ranking within the search results.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO), the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to your website, is not necessarily an appropriate strategy for every website. At a minimum, a website should be optimized to create content for users, not for search engines, and then making that content easily accessible to the spiders, rather than attempting to “trick” the search engine algorithm from its intended purpose.

The best practice is to basically build high quality web pages to engage and persuade, while addressing any technical issues that may prevent search engines from crawling and indexing those sites. With that, set up of site analytics programs enable site owners to measure their successes and make any modifications to improve the the site’s effectiveness as another tool to market their wares.