I have a number of clients who are somewhat mystified by how to get their websites to be on the first page of a Google or Yahoo! search. You can buy pay-per click, or other forms of advertising to get your site ranked higher, or you can optimize your site “organically” to achieve higher rankings (or do both). Organically means to have your site designed in such a way that the search engines rank your site higher based upon your site’s own merits without outside help.
References to search engine optimization or SEO refer to this process of making your site more visible on the web without paid advertising. This is one of the things we do at RED DRAGONFLY Web Design: Optimizing your site so that it will rank high on the search results page of the search engines. For more on this, check out our SEO Packages.
SEO isn’t an exact science. No SEO specialist can guarantee any client an exact position on the search engines though optimization. There are however, things we can do to give your site a higher ranking.
There are three main things you need to pay attention to if you want your site to have a higher ranking:
Let’s talk about the first:
Keywords and Meta Tags.
Keywords are the words you put on your website pages that tell the search engines what your site content is, and how to index it in their systems. These search engines send out web crawlers that visit web sites, and index their content. They basically take a picture of your website and send it back to their server to be stored. These indexes then provide fast searches on the internet for users of those search engines.
When you type search words on Google, the web sites that pop up on the results list were all previously found, and indexed by Google’s web crawlers (affectionately called, “Googlebots”). These are the websites with words on them that match the ones you typed on your search. Making sure that you place popular search keywords in your website content and meta tags is very important in getting your site noticed. For more information on what we offer to help you get better keywording, click here.
Linking To and From Other Sites
Link is short for hyperlink. A hyperlink allows a user to click on something on a web page that takes them somewhere else. The thing you click on is called the anchor. Where it goes is called the target. There are internal links, and external links. In the previous paragraph, where it says “click here for more on keywording”, the word “here” contains an internal link which will take you to another page within our website. An external link would take you from this website to a different website. As strange as it may seem, this is considered very important to the search engines. It is a way that search engines determine how important your site is. A site that has lots of links is given more weight than one that does not. In the past year, it has become more important than ever to have links coming into your site, and linking your site to other sites to properly optimize your site.
Adding Content to your Site Occasionally
Adding or changing content to your site is important in keeping your ranking on the search engines. A little goes a long way. Keeping your content fresh, or adding new information or links tells the search engines that your site is being adequately maintained. If you don’t make changes to your site, it will eventually start to drop in rankings.
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