All right, this is it! The last part of our series on web tricks and tips. I hope that you have found these articles informative and helpful in designing your web site. Now it is time to make your site work for you! You’ve done it…you have this beautifully designed site that is ready for visitors, so…how do you get them there? What is the best way to attract search targeted visitors who need your services? From my experience and the people that I have spoke with in the field…the answer is… there is no one true method. You just have to be persistent and be willing to try different things and find out what is producing the most effective results.
The initial step is usually the submission of your site to various search engines. This can take some time, so this step should be done early on in the process . It can sometimes take up to 2-4 weeks for your site to get indexed. There are many free sites who will be willing to submit your link for you, or you can pay for a company that will give you faster results and greater exposure. Keep in mind through, if your site is out there, the spiders and search engines will find you. How? Through the use of keywords and proper code on your site. There are certain aspects of your site which will allow your site to become more attractive to spiders. For example, proper page tags and indexing can play a big role in making your site search engine friendly. Ask your web designer for specific details. Keywords and meta tags play a significant role in your site coming up higher in search engine results. What can you do? Think about and come up with the best 5 or 6 words or phrases that best describe your site and the services it has to offer, and use them as a focal point for your keywords and tags. In addition, search in your field on Google, Yahoo, and MSN, and find out how your competitors are coming up in searches. Remember the old saying from the Godfather, “keep your friends close, but your enemies closer” =J I am not saying to simply copy what your competitors are doing, but it may give you a skeleton and other ideas that will make your company stand out from the rest.
The next step involves being listed on directories, not only in your field, but location. For example, being in the web design business, I am listed on many web designer directories. I also made sure that I am listed on the Philadelphia business directories as well since I am based in that area. Those directories are not only a great way to advertise your business where specific consumers are looking for your services, but will get your site noticed by the web crawlers and in turn lead to higher search results. There are many free sites out there. Keep in mind however, that sites are free for a reason. Sometimes, being listed on a bunch of a free directories may not always lead to better results than being listed on paid ones that are more search engine friendly. I have had a great experience with the free sites and will continue to use them but sometimes you do need to pay up.
Another step in successful search engine optimization is social networking. Making sure that you have a site created on Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, and even videos posted on YouTube can really get your business noted. Along those same lines, blogs, press releases, and articles really provide a nice boost to your search engine rankings if done in the correct manner. It allows other business to interact with you and establishes a professional presence online that you are an expert in your field. Other companies and clients will begin to respect you and recognize your company name. In addition, these sites also have great tags and tend to rank very high in the major search engines. I know from my experience, the press releases I have produced and written sometimes rank higher than my home site in some Google searches.
In conclusion, the trick is to be diverse and not to optimize the same way. There are so many users who searching under so many different sites and in so many different ways. The only way to be successful and reach those customers is to be diverse yourself.
I hope this article has been helpful to you. It is meant to provide a brief overview of the steps involved in search engine optimization. There is much more involved and much more that could be written about of course. In next month’s article, I would like to explore Web 2.0. I want to continue to utilize and research this tool before I write an article on the effectiveness. Thank you as always for reading, and I look forward to your feedback and comments!