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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will help your site rank highly in popular search engine results.
Search engine optimization is the act of optimizing a website (in terms of code, content and links) to increase traffic from major search engines, like Google, Yahoo! and Bing.
What Do Search Engines Look For?
Search engines index content on the web with computer programs called "bots," which move through websites by "crawling" from link to link. In order to provide the most useful search results, search engines assess pages in terms of:
Relevance: The relevance of content on a site depends on how closely it matches a search query. A site's content is considered more relevant when the queried terms appear in the title or headings of the content and HTML tags.
Popularity: A website's importance is measured by the number of times other sites link back to it. These are called backlinks, and when they come from a highly respected site, like the New York Times, for example, they carry more weight.
Six Ways to Boost SEO
There are lots of ways to improve how high your site ranks on major search engines, and we've highlighted six to get you started:
- Add Unique Content to Your Site
Brainstorm keywords that your audience might use to find you. Anytime you add content to your site — blog posts, product descriptions, an "About Us" section, etc. — it should be rich with those keywords. Unique, quality content also gives other sites reasons to link to you, and building backlinks is part of the popularity factor search engines pay attention to.
- Place Keywords in Key Places
Those same keywords should appear in your page titles, headings and subheadings (in terms of content and code). However, that doesn't mean you should cram them anywhere you can. Use them where they're relevant, and if they aren't relevant in certain places, replace them with words that are.
- Create a Sitemap
Sitemaps can improve SEO by displaying links to pages on your site that search engine bots might miss otherwise. Structure your site's pages from broad to specific, and try to keep them no more than three clicks from the homepage. Google Webmaster Tools, available via your control panel, explains how to create sitemaps and submit them to Google.
- Add Links with Strong Anchor Text
When linking to relevant sites, tell your readers where you're sending them. The anchor text (the wording displayed in a hyperlink) should closely match the URL you are pointing to.
- Submit Your Site to Search Engines
- Call the Professionals
Search engine optimization takes time, but sticking with it will help establish a strong visitor base for your site, or expand your online business through increased sales.
6 Ongoing Link Building Techniques You Should Be Employing
(Posted on September 21, 2011)
Finding effective and sustainable methods of building links to your website can prove challenging. However, with some effort or investment on your part, it is possible to enjoy an boost in direct traffic as well as a boost to your link profile and search engine rankings through an ongoing link building strategy.
Social Media Marketing Tools - Putting Your Finger on the Pulse of the Web
(Posted on September 21, 2011)
Time makes a mockery of most predictions. Once derided as the tools and hobbies of hopeless shut-ins and intellectual ivory tower sorts, social media sites such as PayPal, Facebook and LinkedIn have become the home of an entirely new, powerhouse economy.
Is Your Brand Worth Professional Treatment?
(Posted on September 21, 2011)
You may not remember the 1950s but the so-called "Golden Age" of television was in general pretty bad. Yes, there were some great, groundbreaking programs, but there was also a lot of crap, especially the commercials that for the most part were emotionally and psychologically clumsy despite their pseudo-innocence.
How to Create the Perfect Domain Name
(Posted on March 14, 2011)
If you are starting a new business, chances are that you are starting a new website as well. As a tech-savvy person, you realize how important creating the image of your company and your brand online is, as the Internet is the way that most businesses thrive (or, alternately, fail) in this day and age.
Does Your Marketing Stop When Your Content Starts?
(Posted on July 23, 2010)
Your website's content will get noticed, get read, and get customers if you use your headline and first paragraph to let readers know what is in it for them. Here, I'll introduce you to some techniques you can use to make that happen.
5 Common Facebook Tactics That Don't Work!
(Posted on July 22, 2010)
There are about ten common Facebook marketing tactics. (You can probably think of more, but most are a derivative of one of these ten.) It may surprise you to learn that five of these tactics don't even work -- that's fully half! Now, no Fire God will suddenly appear to smite you if you happen to have done one of the following things. They are definitely mistakes, but they aren't irreversible. In fact, they're really only mistakes in one sense of the word.
SEO Tips to Double Rankings, Traffic and Conversion
(Posted on July 21, 2010)
The only thing better than one search result in the top 3 positions in Google is two search results from a double ranking. This SEO tip works by pushing a competitor off the first page, broadening your websites keyword funnel and thereby doubling traffic and conversions.
9 Steps to Diagnosing Lost Search Engine Traffic
(Posted on July 20, 2010)
For the past few weeks I've been tasked with reviewing a few different sites that have seen a loss in traffic - their owners hoped to find out why. I love these kinds of reviews because it's like solving a mystery or figuring out a puzzle. While it's not always possible to determine the exact cause for the traffic loss, I can usually make some educated guesses based on what I dig up in Google Analytics.
All You Need to Know About YouTube's Promoted Videos
(Posted on July 19, 2010)
Way back in 2006, Google purchased YouTube.com for an alleged reported figure of 1.65 billíon dollars. And, like with everything Google does, they've added their own special "Google Touches" over the last several years, turning it into one of the most popular video destination websites online today.
10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Designing a Website
(Posted on June 30, 2010)
Many site owners make the mistake of building a website without laying out a clear plan for their online business. This is a sure set-up for failure. There are 1000s of abandoned sites on the web due to lack of careful planning. Before designing your website you should ask yourself some questions to avoid making mistakes down the road.
How to Rank Higher in Google's New Search Engines
(Posted on June 14, 2010)
Recent changes to Google make it seem like Google is no longer just one search engine but a combination of 6 or 7 different search engines all rolled into one. Your SEO efforts should now be geared to ranking high in these search engines as well as in traditional organic search.
What to Include in Your Social Media Marketing Strategy?
(Posted on June 14, 2010)
Creating a "buzz" around products, services, businesses or an event is a requirement from all clients. There is no social media marketing wand that someone will wave and a target audience will automatically start coming to your site. And what works for one brand may not work for another.
Google's Local Business Center:
A Major Update & A New Name - Places
(Posted on June 13, 2010)
If you have a brick and mortar store, and rely on walk-in traffic for your survival, you may be wondering what the Internet can do for your business. Believe it or not, a lot - and you don't even need a website.
HTML5 - The Future of the Web
(Posted on June 1, 2010)
Steve Jobs was recently quoted as saying "No one will be using Flash. The world is moving to HTML5" igniting interest in HTML5 and sparking numerous debates online in blogs and forums.
An Informal Look at Writing Online Content
(Posted on June 1, 2010)
I get many questions about my job as a copywriter and SEO practitioner, and for the most part they follow a similar theme- 'what do you do?' and 'could I do it?' In an attempt to address these questions once and for all and possibly also give an insight into the life of an internet marketer I've put together this article.
Top 10 Tips for Using Twitter
(Posted on May 19, 2010)
When it comes to social media, no one "gets it" as well as Twitter. According to Econsultancy, as of Jan 2010, Twitter has 75 million user accounts, with about 15 million of that total being active users. See "20+ Mind-Blowing Social Media Statistics Revisited". That's a lot of people sending a lot of Tweets. This micro-blogging service makes it easy for small businesses and entrepreneurs to stay in touch with those who choose to follow them, and stay updated on new products, services, specíal offers, industry news and more. It's a win-win for both the Tweeter, and their followers.
10 Tips for Launching your Business Blog
(Posted on May 19, 2010)
Are you thinking about launching your business blog? You're not alone. A recent study by GuideWireGroup revealed that approximately 89 percent of businesses polled use blogs as a way to communicate with their customers. In another survey, Burson-Marsteller found that 15% of Fortune 500 companies have blogs. A successful business blog can generate tens of thousands of dollars in revenue each year, with figures for large corporations typically much higher.
Dummies Guide to Facebook Marketing
(Posted on May 18, 2010)
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past 4 years, you know how popular and widely used Facebook is today. Just a couple of years ago, you had to relentlessly encourage family and friends to join this social networking website (shortly after others had convinced you to join). Nowadays, it's rare to find someone who hasn't got a Facebook account.
8 Things Bing Won't Tell You
(Posted on May 17, 2010)
Every major search engine provides hints and tips about how to optimize your pages for improved rankings on their sites. But when you read these guidelines you quickly see that most of it is just their own wish list. Things like 'Write for humans not search engine bots - or - do not hide keywords with a font matching the background color.'
(Posted on May 4, 2010)
The definition of a landing page is simply "the first page that visitors hit on your site," so it is not strictly a certain page but any page that a user "lands" on. All websites have landing pages, whether they like it or not, even if it was not specifically designed as such.
How to Hard-Wire Your Site to Google
(Posted on May 4, 2010)
Until Bing turns into David and slays Goliath, the only search engine game in town is Google. While the other search engines can't be ignored or forgotten, when it comes to online search, Google will deliver the majority of your quality organic traffic. For webmasters and especially for online marketers, having your website virtually hard-wired to Google is a marketing Must-Do.
18 Effective Search Engine Optimization Techniques
(Posted on April 28, 2010)
Proper Search Engine Optimization, otherwise known as SEO, has quickly become a popular topic of conversation among website owners and entrepreneurs. The difference between having a successful website, and hosting a flop, is often the difference between whether or not you've incorporated proper keywords and phrases into your webpages.
15 Important Web Design Tips
(Posted on April 18, 2010)
Here are 15 important website design tips that you might not be aware of or have overlooked. Consider taking advantage of them if you haven't already done so...
Top 10 Issues in Website Design and Usability
(Posted on February 17, 2010)
Video: How to Use Google Buzz Strategically »
You've tested your website, you've visited it a few times, you've gotten some feedback on it, and you have a bit of data about your visitors.
Social Media Business Plan for Small Business
(Posted on February 16, 2010)
Every day I can guarantee that you will be impacted in some way by social media, there will be experts telling you, you need a profile on social networks like Facebook, and that Twitter is the best thing since sliced bread was invented.
So you create a profile and you start to tell everyone and anyone who will listen about your latest product or service, but is that really the way to approach social media, doing the same thing you do every day on more traditional mediums?
What To Include In Your Social Media Marketing Strategy?
(Posted on February 11, 2010)
Creating a "buzz" around products, services, businesses or events is a requirement from all clients. There is no social media marketing wand that someone will wave and target audience will automatically start coming to your site. And what works for one brand may not work for another.
The next 10 online trends
(Posted on February 11, 2010)
It's never been harder to keep up with the latest web trends - with the expansion onto mobile platforms, the growth of social media and the need for start ups to be aware of new SEO techniques.
Internet 2009 in numbers
(Posted on January 27, 2010)
What happened with the Internet in 2009? How many websites were added? How many emails were sent? How many Internet users were there? This post will answer all of those questions and many more. Prepare for information overload, but in a good way.
The Easiest Way to Increase Search Engine Rankings and Drive Website Traffic
(Posted on January 21st, 2010)
To learn how to increase search engine rankings and drive website traffic you need to understand the concepts that govern the way the search engines work. Without an understanding of these principles and a system to incorporate them into everything you do online, you will not get the success you are seeking. On the other hand, learn how to effectively utilize them and you will start dominating niches all over the Internet driving thousands of visitors to your site on a daily basis. So what are the principles that rule search engine rankings and how do I improve mine? Here they are:
Relevancy is something defined as having relationship to. For example if your website was about golf, related content would include information about such things as golf clubs, golf courses and golf lessons.
Content about anything other than the topic of the website or related topics would not score for relevancy, thereby having no chance of ranking in the search engines. Search engines check your site for relevancy.
You need to be right on topic for whatever it is you are targeting with the content you create. A final word of caution about relevancy: Relevancy alone will not rank your site. You could have the most highly relevant, best original content ever written posted at your site, however if there are no sites pointing to it, it will never rank in the search engines. Relevancy does not work without the concepts of popularity and original content.
How To Increase Search Engine Rankings and Drive Website Traffic with Relevant Content:
The first step is to choose the keyword or keyword phrase you want your content to target. Let's say you're trying to get a higher ranking for this keyword phrase, the topic I am currently writing about, "Improve Search Engine Ranking". Firstly, you would want to find what people are searching for and specifically target that keyword if you want your content to rank for that phrase.
Make sure you include the keyword phrase in the title of the article, for example your title could be "Strategies To Improve Search Engine Ranking". Always try to put the keyword or keyword phrase as the first few words of the article title. Always remember to use the keyword phrase, several times throughout the article. Finally make sure your content remains 100% relevant to the keyword phrase.
Popularity works together with relevancy to improve search engine rankings. Popularity is based on two key measures:
How many sites link to your site:
A site's popularity is measured firstly by the number of sites that directly link to your site.
To demonstrate popularity let's take a quick look at YouTube. YouTube is one of the most popular sites on the Internet, Why? All links and embed codes taken from YouTube and embedded on other sites, whether that be Facebook, Myspace, a blog, a sales page or a website, creates an automatic link back to YouTube where the video is hosted. Every time someone shares a YouTube video a link is created.
With the number of videos shared Youtube gets thousands of new incoming links daily. This is one of the reasons why YouTube videos rank very highly on the search engines. Their site is super popular.
The Popularity of The Sites Linking To You:
The more popular the site linking to you is, the better the score given by the search engines.
How To Create Link Popularity To Improve Search Engine Ranking and Drive Website Traffic:
The more incoming links to your site the more popular it is. It is therefore always important to syndicate the content of your site (with a direct link to the content on your site), to as many sites as possible. The Internet presents a host of sites where you can post your content for free to increase your search engine rankings, including popular high ranking sites like article directories, blogs, social bookmarking sites, video sites, press release and social network pages.
Originality basically refers to unique content. In simple terms the search engines ask the question, is this same piece of content all over the Internet? As an example if I took a highly relevant and popular article from my site and posted it to hundreds of sites it would not rank high in the search engines as it would no longer be deemed unique.
How To Maintain Unique Content And Share It To Improve Search Engine Rankings and Drive Website Traffic:
There is no doubt that spreading your unique content across the Internet is important for driving traffic to your site. The secret is to make several unique versions of the same information all with a backlink to your original article posted on your site. Spinning is a popular term used to describe the process of changing the titles, key words and phrases throughout your article to make several unique versions. Placing these all over the Internet with a back link to your site will improve rankings.
Follow the steps above and I guarantee you will see an increase in the number of visitors to your site.
About the Author: Chris Hopkins - To learn more about how you can improve search engine ranking and drive more traffic to your site it is important to learn all you can to rank highly.
A Brief History of SEO
(Posted on January 20, 2010)
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of designing and creating content that will result in increased amounts of quality traffic to a website via "organic" or un-paid search engine results.
Webmasters and internet content providers started doing SEO in the mid-90s. However, what actually constitutes SEO work has changed as the field evolved over the years, sometimes rather drastically.
Is Your Website Springing A Leak?
(Posted on January 1st, 2010)
Imagine that you own a beautifully designed yacht. It looks great on the surface of the water, with superb lines, gleaming decks, a well-appointed galley... but you're having real trouble getting out of the harbor and you can't figure out why!
7 Tips to Maintain Your Website Reputation
(Posted on December 27, 2009)
In order to succeed and combat the competitive online world, you need to maintain a good reputation online. A good reputation does not only require a good website design but a lot more to build confidence, to grow sales and ultimately leads to better revenues and higher profitability.
SEO - Cutting Through the Clutter to Get You Results
(Posted on December 20, 2009)
If you had to guess, how many websites would you say are in the world? One million? Ten million? Internet experts differ wildly in their estimates.
Guesses range from between one hundred million to more than three hundred million active websites today. So with all this competition, how are you going to get your website noticed?
The answer is clear: Search Engine Optimization.
What is Search Engine Optimization? Basically, it is industry speak for anything that makes your site more attractive to search engines. Websites like Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and others send out programs called "crawlers." These "crawlers" search for new websites and content. When they find anything new, they add it to their database and make it possible for people to find it using them. This is called indexing. But you have to do it correctly, or Google will skip right past you.
For example, let's say you own a small shoe company called Seattle Treks. You just put up a website. How can you make sure people find you on Google?
Be sure the purpose of your site is clear
In the code of your site, there is a place for "meta" information. This is the information that Google and other search engines look for first. There are two types of meta information: Meta descriptions and meta tags (more on meta tags in step 2). The meta description is what people read below your name in Google. Describe the purpose of your site and your company in a short, succinct phrase. "Seattle Treks - Buy fine custom footwear made in Seattle, Washington" will attract Google and tell people what to expect from your site.
Fill in the meta tags
These are words that are associated with what you are. They go in the code on the main index page of your site. These words give Google clues as to what your site is about. If people type these clue words into Google, your site will pop up. So for your imaginary shoe company, you would put words like "shoes, usa made shoes, leather shoes, hiking books, A-TRAK shoes, treks, treks seattle, shoes seattle, outdoor shoes," etc.
Try to picture the words people might type into Google. This SEO work will ensure that when people are looking for shoes made in USA, or maybe for hiking boots, your website will pop up. Every site, no matter what it is for, needs to have solid meta tag information.
Put dynamic content on your site.
This means anything that changes. The Internet is like a pile of sand that you have to keep climbing and climbing. The moment you stop going up, you start sliding down. So add content to your site constantly. The more new content you have, the more often Google's crawlers come by. The more often they come, the more often you get indexed. The more you get indexed, the higher you show in the search results. This is why big companies pay lots of money for SEO experts to keep them on top.
How can you have dynamic content? Easy. Start a blog. Blogs are a painless way to add new content. Talk about your new shoe models. Take pictures of your community activities and write about them. Add to your blog at least once a month. Be sure that when Google comes around again, it finds a lot of new things to index.
In the writing of your site, be keyword rich.
What does that mean? It's SEO speak for having a lot of the words that Google looks for. For example, images are an often overlooked keyword opportunity. Don't call a picture of your new shoe "img3.jpg." Try "new_shoe_model_XTRAC4_seattle_treks_shoe.jpg." If someone searches any of those words on Google, chances are good they will stumble across your picture and come to your site.
When you write on the site, use lots of keywords. "Our shoes are made right here in Seattle, using the finest nubuck and space-age materials," will help Google. Keep that in mind when you write on your blog, and be sure to put "tags" on your entries.
Set up company pages with Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.
Backlink them to your site and add as many friends as you can. Google loves sites that link to other sites.
Make a site map.
This is an .xml file that goes in the root directory of your site and tells Google what all the pages are for. If you don't understand .xml, it's probably something you should have an expert do.
Use a Search Engine Optimization service.
These people are experts who know how to make search engines find you. They can also help you to create a site map.
About the Author: Troy Childers
Google Caffeine And The New Ranking Factors
(Posted on December 12, 2009)
Google Caffeine is the name given to Google's "Next Generation" search engine, which it will use to rank and index all the pages on the wonderful world wide web. According to all indications, this is not just another one of Google's infamous Updates, but a major "Overhaul" of its index and algorithm, the complex formula and calculations Google uses to rank all web pages, including yours.