Getting Your Website Indexed
Before you spend any money on advertising your website, make sure you have done what needs to be done so the various search engines know you are there. After all, what good is promoting a website that does not show up correctly, or at all, when potential customers are searching for what you offer? The best time to start optimizing your website is NOW.
The first, and absolutely essential step, in search engine optimization is choosing your keywords. Keywords are simply the words or phrases that Internet users type into a search engine to find what they are looking for. You want to find ones related to your business that are used often and are in relatively low demand.
Its important that you choose keywords and keyword phrases searchers are actually looking for when searching for something in your niche. If you waste your time optimizing your pages for the wrong search terms, one of two things could happen: no one will be searching with these words and they will not bring any visitors, or the competition will be so fierce for them that it will be almost impossible to gain a high ranking for them. Most Internet searchers won’t go beyond the first pages of results. If you do not get your website on that first page for your chosen words, it might be tough to be found.
Keep in mind that all of the main search engines use different criteria when ranking each website. Of course, knowing how to list site in Google is important because its the most commonly used search engine. But make sure you are indexed in Yahoo and Bing as well. Its probably a waste of time to go past these three though, since studies show that they account for about 95% of all search queries.
When it comes to keywords, its important to make sure you choose words that might be used by a potential customer. For example, a landscaping business trying to optimize their site for the word TREE might bring visitors that are not even in the market to buy anything. Choosing something like LANDSCAPING SERVICES might be a better choice for finding potential buyers.
There are lots of software programs and online tools that will help you to get started choosing keywords. We recommend the keyword tool from Google (click here). This is a free online tool that will show you how many times a given phrase is searched for and also how much competition is out there for each one.
Once your website is complete, it is important to make sure its optimized correctly. W3C has a great tool that you can use to make sure the coding is valid. It can be found at http://validator.w3.org. Also, Hubspot has a free website grader (http://websitegrader.com) that will give you an overall grade for your website and tell you exactly what needs to be corrected. We highly recommend both of these tools.
Once you have built and verified your web pages, its time to move on to the next steps in your search engine optimization campaign. This usually involves building backlinks from a variety of sources. This needs to be part of a long-term strategy. Building a high ranking is not something that happens overnight. But, if you have chosen the proper keywords and then take a consistent and ongoing approach to building your popularity and credibility through backlinks, it will eventually happen.
However, once you are there, it does not stop. You need to constantly monitor your rankings and take action if you notice that they are dropping. To track the progress of your campaign, you might want to consider our SEO software that will allow you to track your rankings, PageRank, indexed pages, backlinks, social bookmarks and more. Check it out here.
For more information on building and promoting a website, please click here. You can get more tips and tricks on enhancing your online presence by checking out our backlinks article or by visiting our search optimization page.