There are so many different moves to make when optimizing your website, even if you are just operating a blogging site or other similar type of site. This can be discouraging at best, but should really be your motivation to get all the information you can to ensure that you are getting everything right. Starting with these tips is a wise choice to starting SEO implementation right, and to stay on the right path from the start.
To make sure your entire website is indexed by Google, submit your sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools. A good sitemap should link to every page of your site, and listing your site map on Google will assure each of those pages is listed. A sitemap may not be necessary for a small webiste.
Tag optimization is really the key to search engine optimization, because your tags are one of the most important aspects of your website. In days gone by tags were just a way to get across basic info, now tags are used in order to locate your site and to rank it accordingly. Make sure your title tags are up to date and correct.
Pay close attention to Internal Linking Structure on your pages. This will help search engines determine which pages are of the most importance on your site and will increase your rankings on those pages. Don't be too worried about keyword density. Today, latent semantic indexing (LSI) is the main thing to think about. Most search engines don't count keywords anymore. Instead, content that is naturally written and uses words of importance a normal number of times gets the most attention.
Walk on eggshells while search engine optimizing your website! You must be very careful not to trip any of the search engines' anti-spam algorithms, which can lower your page rank. Read the many articles available online about all the situations that are punished by search engines today and avoid those pitfalls!
Offer great products. If your products are great and being used, people will give you links without having to ask. They will link to you of their own accord, and therefore the search engines will be more likely to rank you higher since people are finding and visiting your site.
When checking where your site ranks on Google, make sure that you're not viewing results which are personalized to your Google account. You can either turn it off by going to Web History and clicking on "Disable customizations based on search activity", or just log out of your Google account.
To increase the search engine rankings of products on a commerce website, take advantage of the newly released Schema protocol. This protocol, which was developed by major search engines Google, Bing, and Yahoo, helps search engines to better understand the products you are selling. All three search engines have stated that they will give greater weight to sites that make use of this protocol.
You will also want to update and add to your content on a regular basis. If you do all the things listed in this article, you will be well on your way to higher rankings at Google.
Five Common SEO Myths
There is a lot of information about search engine optimization on the web. Unfortunately, there is also a lot of misinformation. Read about five common myths that have led many people down the wrong path and why you should avoid them.
There are many SEO businesses that make you believe that you must sign up with one of their expensive monthly plans in order to effectively optimize your website. They discourage you from doing it yourself, convincing you that this is best left to a team of experts. The truth is, if you understand the basic concepts behind how search engine optimization works, you can do it yourself, regardless of how big your website is. On the other hand, if you're short on time, don't care to learn all the tricks and secrets that a professional may know, or you'd rather focus on your business because it will make you more money in the long run, using a professional definitely has its benefits.
Do not believe that SEO is just about having good meta tags in your website code. Good meta tags are only a small part of the process. Search engine crawlers scan through your entire website, analyzing the relevancy of its content and the organization of your links. If the crawlers get past your meta tags to find that your content is irrelevant, your site will be penalized.
Do not believe anyone pushing black hat SEO methods. These are old techniques that were once used by many people in trying to fool search engines into ranking their websites highly. Search engines have become very sophisticated now. Methods such as keyword stuffing, hiding lists of keywords by using white font against a white background, or using doorway pages to trick a search engine into giving a site a higher index will penalize your website if a search engine detects such tactics being used on your website.
Some SEO consultants who want you to pay them for SEO services will try to make you believe that your website will rank at the top instantly if you optimize it with them. This cannot be farther from the truth. The fact is, it takes time for your website to creep up in rank once it is optimized. Remember that your website will be compared to hundreds or thousands of other websites that might be using the same keywords. The ranking will fluctuate. If your website content is consistently relevant, you will see progress in ranking over time.
Maybe you thought that because your website is already at the top rank, you can sit back, relax and not have to worry about optimizing it. If you do that, other competing websites will gain ground and will push your website to the bottom over time. SEO strategy needs to be tweaked and adjusted depending on how your site ranks month after month. You always need to keep your content fresh. Implementing SEO strategies will keep your website at the top.
Remember that optimizing your website is really for the benefit of your audience. Do not use it as a way to fool search engines into giving your site a higher rank, because unethical methods never work in the long run and will work against you if discovered. If you learn more about proper SEO methods and stay away from bad techniques, your will see your website climb up in ranks naturally.
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A good friend of mine asked me for a price on an E-Commerce site for his local picture framing business. He was thinking of combining a local brochure type site with an E-commerce site. As I wanted to advise him properly, I wrote him the following E-mail. If you're thinking of having an E-Commerce site for your brick and mortar business, you may want to take a look at what I advised.
About the project/s you have in mind:
Have you ever noticed that when you visit a website to buy something, it's either a brochure for a local business, or an e-commerce catalog? It's rarely a combination. It seems that people want to buy from a site that looks like it was made to sell things, and not from a local company that is in another state that is selling things. Or they want to know more about the local company before they visit the store. It seems to me that having both in one site could help the local business, but hurt a national e-commerce business.
With that said, trying to compete nationally for framing business with an e-commerce site would be difficult and expensive. A properly done e-commerce site could run about ten thousand dollars (more or less, and possibly much more depending on the site's capabilities), and then the additional SEO required to get to the top on Google could run another ten thousand over a year's time (with more ongoing to keep the site ranking well), and there would be no guarantee you'd be on the top of the first page of google (where all the money is).
When I checked for how many people are searching for 24 carat gold frames and similar (your niche project), I came up with almost nothing. In order to make money on the web you have to be selling something that a decent amount of people are searching for (and buying), and you have to be on the first page of google. If you don't have both, you'd just be spending money on a website to find out the hard way those simple truths. Many people waste a ton of money finding this out, and I don't want to see that happen to you (I would not feel good about taking your money and misleading you into thinking you can make money with your site). If you have deep pockets and/or a more viable niche, maybe it would be worth discussing.
With that out of the way, I do believe (and know) that almost every business must have a decent web presence, and must try to be on the first page of Google. As more and more people use the web for research of local business, and as more and more people use their smart phones to find local businesses when their on the road, the business that have a great web presence will get most of the business, and those who don't will wither and die (unless they have an even better marketing plan that works for them). Having this presence may not mean the flood gates will open. There has to be hundreds or thousands of buyers looking for what you're selling for that to happen. But... at the very least, a great web presence in a viable industry will more than pay for itself over time, and should wind up being a major source of new customers, who will become repeat customers, and referring customers. Picture framing in West Palm Beach currently gets about 100 Google searches a month (there are other search terms people use as well). Some of those customers can be yours, or they can belong to your competition.
A nice website (see my website for samples of my work) with all the necessary built in SEO (search engine optimization), that should rank well on Google right out of the box, will run about $3000. The sample site you had me look at is heavy on graphics, and has a lot of pages. A site like that would be closer to $4500. Adding an e-commerce shopping cart for selling products online (I'm not talking about simple links to affiliate sites) would add about $2000 to the cost (depends on capability of the cart and amount of items). I can't really give you a solid quote on any of the sites though, unless with have a detailed discussion to determine what you actually need.
If we find that after the site is up it needs help to get to the top of Google, additional off site SEO should be done. That should run around $400 per month (for local searches) depending on your budget and how aggressively you want to rise to the top . A Google pay per click campaign can be set up as well for some additional clicks.
If you'd like to discuss any of this further, please let me know.
All the Best,
We just added a new page about SEO VS. PPC to our site. We think you'll enjoy the real-life example.
Choosing a domain name can be one of the most important decisions you make when it comes to your online presence. Here are a few tips that will help you get the most out of your domain name.
In 2010 a .com extension is still the best choice for most businesses. There are many reasons for this, but one of the most important is the fact that most people assume and instinctively will type in .com at the end of your domain name, even if you tell them otherwise. The exception to having a .com extension is if you are a charitable organization, or a governmental agency. Then you will want a .org or a .gov extension respectively. These 2 extensions actually carry more weight and will get you better rankings on the search engines. Once you register your domain, you may want to register other extensions just to avoid confusion and competition from people who may buy and use your name under a different extension.
There are 2 ways to go when choosing a domain name. The first is to use your actual company name as your domain name. The second is to use words that people will be searching for when looking for your services. Of course if you company has a name like Palm Beach Web Design, and you can buy palmbeachwebdesign.com you have the best of both worlds. But most businesses will have to make a decision about which way to go. If you want to get really aggressive you can buy both, and put up 2 websites. But most people will settle on one domain and stick with it.
It's usually best to use your company name, in order to avoid any confusion. But if you're a new business that needs to build a client base quicker, or your main way of attracting customers is through the search engines, a domain name with your best search term in it is the way to go. For instance, your new company name is We Pick Locks, you're based in Palm Beach, and you don't plan on expanding. You may want to use palmbeachlocksmith.com as your domain name. If your company is established and or you want to expand into other cities, you may be better off to go with wepicklocks.com.
Here's a great free tool that I use when looking for websites https://domize.com/ . Give it a try. It will allow you to search a lot of variations of your chosen domain name in a short amount of time.
When choosing a keyword-based name:
- Use short words that are easy to spell to avoid mistakes when people are typing in your URL
- Use keywords that relate to your core business
- Use real words with correct spelling
Domain names may consist of:
- lower case letters
A domain name may not exceed twenty-two characters, excluding the extension, and you cannot use any other symbols, or spaces.
Buying an existing webesite that uses your keywords and is a good fit for your business can also be a smart move. Older domains that are in good standings with Google will maintain their ability to boost your site in search engine rankings.
We're a West Palm Beach, Florida based website design firm. And, although we are on the web, and rank well in the search engine results, most of our clients are local clients. I asked a few of them over the years why they choose to work with a local web designer in West Palm Beach, and I usually get a similar answer. They want to work with someone they can communicate with and speak to in person if need be. They also like to actually meet and know the people they hand their money over to before a project begins. Can you blame them? I can't.
In these days of Internet scams and website people who say one thing and do something else, knowing, liking, and trusting the person or firm that you choose to do business with is a must. Nobody wants to give away their hard earned money and wind up in a project that last forever and never seems to be right, or doesn't get done at all.You'd be surprise at how many people have come to me over the years, sometimes literally crying about the money they lost using an inexperienced or dishonest web designer.
Aside from meeting with the designer, it's a good idea to look at the designer's work, and see if it looks good and appropriate to the industry it's in, if it's intuitive to navigate, and if it ranks well on the search engines. Does your potential web designer's site rank well on the search engines? If he can't get his own site up there, what makes you think he can help you? SEO and search engine rankings are very important in today's Internet, and they will be important in the years to come, as more and more people (your competition) figure out that all the money online is on the first pages of the search results.
Don't be afraid to ask questions. If the designer can't or won't answer them to your satisfaction, there's probably a reason. That should be a tip to think about working with a local web designer that you can communicate with, and who isn't afraid to explain things clearly to you.
SEO is easy. Just name your page right, have your keywords in your title tag, and mention it a few times on your page. Why pay a professional to do that?
Well... I'm an SEO professional, and I say it's not quite that simple. For some reason, it took years for those simple concepts to click and make total sense, even to me. It took doing those things, and more on a daily bases, on multiple websites, over and over, and seeing what happened on the search engines after I took action to really understand what was going on. It took seminars, and hands-on experience, and failing, and succeeding to really get it. It's like any other business at a professional level. Would you do surgery on your wife or husband if you did not have the experience. NO way! There's a reason for that. A trained experienced professional has the experience necessary to get it done right the first time without waste or loss of time and therefore money.
When I need my car fixed I go to a mechanic. When I need my computers networked I hire a professional. I find good, experienced people to do the work. It saves me time and money, and it gets the job done right the first time. A trained experienced SEO professional is worth his weight in gold. He can lift your site and your business from page 33 on Google, to page one in a short period of time (for most business). Figure out what that's worth in dollars, and you may be surprised.
For more information about SEO, visit Action Website and SEO. Action Website and SEO specializes in SEO and Website Design in West Palm Beach.
For people who would like to learn about promoting websites on the internet, you will want to understand the term SEO. SEO stands for search engine optimization. SEO is the act of optimizing a website so that the search engines know where to index or place the site correctly in their search results pages.
Search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Bing must serve up the most relevant results to any given search if they expect people to use them. In order to do that they crawl and read the pages of every website that they are aware of on the Internet. Then they index what they see. Proper SEO helps search engine's do their job.
There are several aspects to good SEO. There are on-site and off-site factors that must be taken into consideration. On-site factors are things such as the title of the site (URL), page titles, internal links (links within the site itself), use of H1, H2, H3 tags, the bolding of important words, Alt tags on image, etc..
It's a great idea to incorporate all of your on-site factors when the website is being built. That way you'll have a good base to build on. A good website designer will include all the things that the search engines are looking for, as the site is designed and developed, but it is also possible to take an existing site and add any SEO factors that are missing.
Off-site factors include things such as links to your site from other sites (the higher the authority the better), anchor tags from other sites (the words that link to your site from other sites), links from video sites, topical relationship of sites that link to yours, etc. Off-site factors are also links to your site or blog from other blogs or comments on other blogs.
Off-site factors can come from other site owners linking to your site because they think the content would be of interest to their readers. It can also be self-generated by creating your own off site content like extra off-site blogs, Hub pages, Squidoo lenses, and Ezine articles.
On-site factors used to be the most important factors on a website. That is quickly becoming old-school because there are more and more websites competing for the first pages of the search engines. On-site factors are still very important to getting indexed correctly; especially for local or low competition keywords. But for now it seems they remain merely an important core of a good website.
With competition for the first 10 spots on Google getting stiffer and stiffer off-site factors have become more and more important. As a matter of fact it's impossible to compete in today's world at a national or global level without making sure that all of your off-site factors are being updated and added to on a regular basis.
To sum things up: For low competition keywords, especially where people are typing a location into their search, like "Chiropractor in Lake Worth Florida," on-site SEO may be all you need. But for national and global searches, or highly competitive search terms (which are the majority of sites on the web today) it's going to take more work and plenty of off-site SEO.
For more information about SEO and how it's done visit Action Website and SEO .