SEO and your website
Where does your website rank?
So you have some great ideas for your business and now you need to promote it. You've got adverts and eye catching flyer's, but to keep up to date and professional you have to have your own website.
Creating a website doesn't have to be daunting if you're doing it for the first time. There are options to either pay for someone to do it for you or you can have a go at doing it yourself.
There are free blogging sites which can be customized to look personal and professional or there are many companies out there who will design and host your website for a sum. Some will design your website and write the content as you want it, or leave you with the source code to blog away. Having a go at writing the content yourself could not only be a learning curve, but rather fun too!
So, where do you start? Of course your domain name needs to be relevant to your website. This helps with the keyword search and ensures you are practicing ethical (or White Hat) SEO. You wouldn't want to stumble across a site which has nothing to do with it's title..
Your website has to be informative too. An interesting well written and up to date site stands a better chance with popularity. Don't leave it dormant and make sure visitors can see it is active with fresh ideas and updated blogs.
The net is changing all the time and what people search for alters. They may be quite specific in their search or just type in some basic keywords. Make sure you know the most common keywords and phrases (do a keyword check using the SEO tool book or Google Adwords Keyword Tool to check popular searches and keywords). Don't compete with common subjects as many, many sites will be listed. Instead go for those more specific words and phrases that people are looking for to stand a better chance. Again check and update regularly and place words on the main page towards the top and in the heading.
By keeping your keywords in your headings and near to the top of the page means the search engines can find them. They are not human so images and flash do not register with them, so keep the text separate.
Key words must not be repetitive and kept to around five percent of the content, otherwise the search engine will see it as spam and disregard it.
Web content is different to reading a newspaper or magazine. When people search the internet they skim over web articles so the information needs to be clear and concise. Paragraphs need to be shorter but interesting to read and of course have the important key words to help rank highly. The traffic comes when the site is interesting or includes all the information needed. The more popular the site, the higher it will rank.
Other than having good quality blogs, avoid having flashy graphics on your website and bright text which will put people off or just simply be unreadable. If a website is good, people will come back and you'll get more hits.
You can link your site to other sites (linking back is called reciprocal linking) for a chance of more hits, but in regards to SEO, some search engines don't rate it as well as they once did.
Leave comments on relevant blogging sites that are helpful and insightful. You can place a link to your site in a signature box after your comment for other visitors to click on.
Backlinks are the way forward to strengthen your site. Having another website link to yours is a must for SEO, as long as it is from another good quality site. You don't need many sites doing this to see results but there are many different techniques used to ensure yours gets the traffic it deserves. Doing it ethically and over a period of time is the only way to keep you on the search engine list for a good length of time.
By asking website owners (relevant to your own) to link back to you, or by writing articles and linking using a signature box (or linking within the text) are ways to backlink. If you can include two links then link to the main page and deep within the site.
Bookmarking and Social Networks
Don't forget to use social networking sites to ping your blog posts. Twitter, Google Plus and Facebook are great places to sign up to do this and get extra traffic. Don't spam your followers with links (no one likes a robot, and that's what they'll think you are), but supportive or just plain nosy friends may take a look.
Keep a link to your website on your profile so followers can take a look freely. It is also a permanent feature on there.
Bookmarking your site to social bookmarking sites, such as Digg and Delicious is another way to draw attention to your website. The link will stay on your page so visitors are able to see it, rather than disappear quickly in the timeline on your social network. Again, use various links rather than just to your site, so that people don't get bored of what they see from you.
Also register your site to directories. If someone is looking for something specific, they may go there to find it (a bit like an old fashioned telephone directory). Technorati is a good one to join.
Be patient and keep at it. If you use automated backlinks or try to spam the net by using Black Hat techniques, your initial success will come crashing down, bringing your site and your name with it.
Don't try to do too much too quickly, but don't ever neglect your site either.
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