Search Engines (SEO)

You get emails about it, you read about it on chat boards and forums, you know it's what makes your site "successful" but what does it really mean?

Search Engine Optimization is the art of taking your site's content and making sure it mathematically reflects the value it offers to your target market. There are companies making huge profits by promising you THEY can get you the best results. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of websites that talk about it. But the bottom line is this:

You have a website and you want your website to be seen by as many people as possible. In order for your site to be found when someone searches for what you are promoting on your website, the search engines (computers) have to believe that your site has the best answers to their request. Search engines are run by computers, therefore, they make determinations on black and white statistics. They don't care how pretty your site is, they don't even like "high tech." What they care about is the math - what percentage of your site matches the search criteria and how many related sites link back to you? This is often referred to as "keyword relevance."

Example: If the potential customer types in "Red Shoes", the search engine (computer) scans its database (which is constantly updated using their "robot" or "spider" technology) to find a site that has the highest percentage of the phrase "red shoes" within its content as well as several other sites that talk about Red Shoes and/or items that relate to Red Shoes referring back to your site.   Keep in mind - computers cannot "read" pictures, JavaScript or flash. They can only read text so all the search engine recognizes on your site is the written word - which includes alt tags on your images. So, if you want to be the first site listed in the search results for a keyword search of "Red Shoes" your site has to use that phrase more times within the text on your page (especially in the top half) than anyone else on the web and other sites have to also be telling their visitors that your site is of interest. That is why a site that is focused on a smaller market and carefully writes their content to address that market will perform better than a site that wants to sell to a larger market. The search engines will find a lot more sites selling "shoes" than they will selling "red shoes". And if you specialize in selling Red Shoes in Vancouver, Washington - the search engines will know that too! It's the "be a big fish in a little pond" theory at its best! (if you want to test this strategy go to Google and do a search for 'Red Shoes Vancouver WA' and guess who's website and what page it will be linked to in the top ten results!?

Also consider this, it is not just how often the word is used, but how often it is used within the amount of text given. A page that has 1,000 words and uses "red shoes" ten (a .01% ratio) times may not rank as high as a page that has 60 words and uses "red shoes" three times (a .05% ratio).

I hear you asking yourself "well then why don't I just write 'Red Shoes' 30 times? Aha! Because then the search engine (computer) would think you were a key word spammer. They would say "well, obviously this site has no valuable content because the only words they write are "red shoes" - so, as you can see, it's a precarious balancing act. An art. But it is not an art that should cost you your first five years profits to master.

SiteBuilder Now includes basic search engine optimization in every website we develop. We can also be contracted to optimize existing websites.

We believe in old fashioned growth and promotion of your website because we know if you build your business, just like you would a brick and mortar store, by deciding what it is you do best and doing it best, then you will ultimately win.
Because of this belief, we work hard to educate our clients on how to build their website traffic using the many free resources already out there including search engines and social networking sites. If you are interested in paid advertising we can help you there too - and we encourage our clients to consider their budgets before they embark on any of these paths.   We will also provide you information about how to submit your website to the top three search engines and are available for advanced web promotion and marketing consulting and action including the importance of getting complimentary content websites to link to you.

About Links. Second in search engine positioning success only to keyword relevance, the number of links that refer to your website from other websites with similar content plays a huge role in search engine rankings. Many of the "SEO Specialists" will tell you that they can "guarantee" hundreds of links back to your site - this is true, they run software that sends spam to millions of webmasters asking to add a link to your site on theirs. They also include your site in pages like you see when you type a url in wrong and you get a page that has a bunch of random links (and most likely annoying pop up ads!). Our personal opinion of these practices is that, though they may increase your site ranking quickly for the short term, they are wrong. Based on what we're reading in our trade publications and news forums, search engines hold the same opinion. The major search engines are writing their software to detect this type of "link abuse" and are actually blocking those sites from their directories. If you are setting up a website for a "quick in and quick out" this type of business may be worth the risk for you but we strongly discourage our clients from buying into these (usually very expensive) services.

Instead we encourage you to market your Internet business in the same way you would a brick and mortar business - by networking with complimentary websites, participating in quality social networking sites, advertising on the Internet (Google Ad Words are great! We can help.) and in other mediums, submitting articles and news to online and offline publications that your target audience might subscribe to, joining chat groups and providing better customer service than your competitors. For our clients, we will be providing written, detailed "how to" guides in the very near future.

Recommended Reading:

101 Ways to Promote Your Website by Susan Sweeney

Contact Us

Harmony Coburn - Founder

Local Vancouver WA: (360) 721-1017

Email: Harmony *at* CoburnEnterprises *dot* Com

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