SEO - Search Engine Optimization
Some of the many ways the search engines index your website on their lists:
- Meta tags - Meta Keywords and the description of your business go in the Meta tags of your websites' code. "Web crawlers" search the meta tag for your description. The description also comes up when your site shows up in the listings. Use a strong description of approximately two sentences including keywords, in the site code. Include keywords you would type in search boxes to find your type of business or organization. Keywords have also been used in the meta keywords. The debate over whether this is beneficial any longer is discussed below. If you do include keywords in the met keyword tag, make sure the keywords are present in the content of that page and or the description of your site. You can use different keywords and descriptions for each page of your site. We can help you come up with keywords and descriptions. You are welcome and encouraged to come up with the majority of them yourself. You as the business owner know more about your business and what people are looking for in your business or organization. *keyword debate - There is a debate over whether keywords in the meta tag code is actually considered by the search engines in rating your site on their lists. This is a hot topic because Google concurs that they do not use the keywords in the meta tags to help determine a websites ranking. They do consider a "good" meta description and important keywords used in the description. Keywords are most important in the content of your page. Many people were more concerned about "stuffing" keywords in their meta tags than they were about what their content text actually said. Search engines have caught on to this and some dismiss the keywords in the meta tags (not in the content area where keywords are used in information about your site) except in certain circumstances, which we will elaborate more on in the near future.
- ALT Attributes - Alternative text description for images should be included in code with images. (Internet Explorer shows the alt attributes when the mouse is held over the image) Alt attributes were developed for users of nongraphical browsers (used by people with disabilities who use assistive technology, users of handheld devises and for people with low bandwidth connections) to learn the content of your graphics. Alt attributes text are picked up by web crawlers and can help with higher indexing with the search engines. Good Alt attributes should contain phrases that are descriptive of the image. Meaning, yes, you can include keywords in your Alt attributes but make sure it does describe the meaning of the image. Do not over stuff keywords that have nothing to do with the image area.
- Content and keywords - Make sure to have rich content that contains good keywords for search engine optimization!!!! Have we stressed the importance of this enough? This can make or break your website interest from searchers. You not only need to attract your visitors to your website, you need to keep them there as long as possible and keep them interested enough to want to come back, or even to recommend your site to a friend. Make changes to you site periodically. It keeps viewers coming back and helps to rank you higher in search engines.
- Reciprocal linking - Reciprocal linking involves you adding your link on to someone else's site and they add theirs to yours (usually someone who has a site of interest to yours). Make sure the link is a relevant link; meaning it has relevant content to your own website. Always have the link open in a separate window so when the viewer clicks back out of that link, they are back at your site. This keeps them from getting lost. If you have many links to other sites, have a separate links page. The more your site is viewed, the higher you can be on the listings of search engines. Having strong, frequently visited links on your sites attracts search engine web crawlers also. We will discuss the importance of linking to your site in the near future.
- Social Media - Social Media has grown to be an important tool to create interest and traffic to your business and website. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and many other social networks can work along with your website to boost your online presence.