Basic Web Site Optimization for the Search Engines
Posted by Support on 29 October 2008 04:25 PM
What is Search Engine Optimization?
Search engine optimization (or SEO as it's affectionately called) is the ongoing process of tweaking and modifying your website in an effort to rank competitively in the search engines for one of more keyowords that people will use to search for your business.
As a web site owner or web site designer I'm sure you'd agree that if more people were able to find your site in the search engines then you could dramatically increase the number of clients you have, right? Well it's the same for most businesses, and a good SEO plan is where you should start.
The "One Hour a Day, 30 Day" SEO Plan
Search engine optimization is part science, part art and part luck. The good news is that we can use a proven scientific approach to help your website rank better in the search engines, but you first have to decide which keyword(s) you want your site to rank for.
If you're a web designer in Los Angeles, then here are a few examples of keywords you absolutely would want to be on the front page of the search engines for:
To determine which keywords you want to rank for just ask yourself: "If I were one of my potential customers, which words would I use to find my company?". You should be able to come up with at least a handful of keywords.
If you can dedicate just one hour a day (for 30 days) to the search engine optimization plan I'm about to show you then there's a great chance that you'll be able to significantly improve how your web site ranks in the search engines for the keywords people are using to find you.
#1: Getting Links Back to Your Website
This is hands down the most important search engine optimization strategy you can spend your time on. When another website links back to yours, Google sees this as a positive vote for your website, and as such will take this into account when determining which sites should be at the top of the pile.
The more sites you have that link back to you, the higher your site will appear in the search results, however there is one main factor to consider with this strategy, and that's the credibility of the sites linking back to yours.
Google's PageRank algorithm is a measure of the popularity of a website. If you download the Google toolbar
you can see the PageRank of any site you visit. It's just a measure
between 0 and 10 - 0 means the site is new and has no popularity and a
PageRank of 10 means the site is one of the most trusted and popular
sites on the Internet.
The quickest and cheapest way to get sites linking back to your site is to send them an e-mail and just ask for it, but what type of sites should you request links from? In general they should be similar in topic to your site, so as a web designer you might request links back from sites that talk about web design, marketing, attracting new leads and customers, etc.
A link acquisition strategy over the medium/long term is to get serious about publishing high quality articles on your web site that others will link back to.
So what should you write about and how often should you write? One article a week is a great start. Aim for 500-1,000 words and write about what you know: how to choose a web designer, why it's important to have a usable website, how to create a web page in Dreamweaver, etc. These are topics your potential customers will expect you to know about and after reading your articles they will come to respect you as an authority on web design.
#2: On-Page Search Engine Optimization
On-page keyword optimization involves making changes to existing pages on your website so they include the keywords you want to rank in the search engines for. On-page optimization includes a number of different "sub strategies", which are:
There's a lot more to search engine optimization than I've talked about here, however what I've mentioned above is a good place to start if you can't afford to hire an SEO company or want to get started learning about SEO so that you can eventually offer it to your clients as an additional paid service.