Optimizing Your Website for Search Engine Rankings
Optimizing your website for search engines is probably one of the most important tasks that you will carry put in order to increase your website’s visitor count, and to help you reach a wider audience; search engine optimization is one task which should be taken seriously and carried out professionally, since if it is done incorrectly then a search engine might even choose to lower the score that it has already given you – thus reducing the amount of traffic to your website which might be sourced from such a search engine, if done correctly then a search engine might increase the score that it gives you thus increasing the amount of traffic your website receives from the search engine concerned which might even help boost your turn over.
Search engine optimization has gradually grown to become its own industry in a sense, since there are many people who are setting up businesses whose sole service is SEO – there are also a number of experts in this area now who claim to be able to increase the amount of visitors which you receive to your website and increase your revenue, but at a cost; this expanse of the industry has only come in recent years since most people have only just started to take SEO seriously after realizing the benefits that it could bring to them and their website.
In most cases, if you want to make the most out of SEO, then you should leave such work to be done by professionals since time and commitment is required to achieve the best results – existing knowledge of how search engines and the internet in general work is also a big plus, which is not something everyone possesses; there are also many different areas of SEO which are required to achieve the best results which not everyone knows about, which means that if you pay a professional to do your SEO work for you, then you can be assured that the best results will be achieved. Most people consider SEO work to be the basic action of simply submitting your website to as many search engines as possible, not considering anything else such as their website’s search engine score and how keyword rich their content is; this is not the case since there are many different methods of SEO including:
- back linking – the method of building up links back to your website from other websites which host similar content to yours
- keyword optimization – the method of ensuring that your website’s content is full of keywords related to the subject concerned
- layout/design – in some cases the layout of your website and the structure of the code it is based on can affect its search engine score.
Once you have successfully optimized your website for search engines, you should start noticing the affects of your work within two weeks of completing the work concerned; this is because most search engines only crawl websites once a month, meaning that your changes will not be picked up until search engines come around to crawl your website again – however, they might crawl other websites on which you have advertised your website before meaning that they will start taking notice of changes related to your website before they get around to crawling yours in some cases.
Although the techniques listed above are complicated in terms of the time and effort required, one should not brand themselves as an ‘SEO professional’ since they have knowledge of basic SEO methods; you should only brand yourself as knowledgeable or as an ‘SEO professional’ once you have successfully completed many SEO projects to show off to others, as this will boost the confidence that they have in you. With the use of this article, you should learn the different techniques involved in optimizing your website to achieve the best results when it comes around to increasing your visitor count, and in some cases the revenue which you receive from your website; to ensure success with the SEO work you do, you should make sure that you have a lot of time on hand so that you are able to carry out the work effectively, and also because SEO work can take a while to do to achieve the best results – if you don’t have a lot of spare time then you should consider hiring a professional to do it for you.
Back linking is the SEO method of building up the number of links to pages within your website from external websites which are of the same subject as the page that is being linked to, or just your website in general; you should always try and get links back to your website placed on other websites which receive large volumes of traffic, since this is where you are able to make the most out of back linking – having links back to your website being placed on low traffic websites will not help you at all, it will only put your work to waste. When placing back links, you should try and place links back to content on your website which is related to the same subject as the page on which the link is going to be placed is, placing links to content which is not related to the subject of the page on which the link is placed is not going to help you out at all – any search engine will discount the link and in some cases might even lower your website’s search engine score; if you place links on pages which are related to the same subject as the content that you are wanting to link to, then people are more likely to click on your link and visit your website thus increasing your visitor count – search engines will also take more kindly to this and might even increase your score if they see fit.
For back linking to be effective, you need to build numerous links from external websites to your website, as the more back links you build up, the more visitors you will receive to your website through the use of them, and the higher the score search engines will give your website. You might be able to gain more back links to your website if you choose to exchange links with the webmasters of websites based on the same subject as yours is; this works in the way that the webmaster of the other website places a link to your website, and vice versa – this can be a lot easier than placing links in blog comments and forum signatures of other websites.
The most simple form of back linking is signing up to forums and other webmaster sites, and then adding a link to your website within your signature – this means that every time you respond to a thread or topic within the forum, a link back to your website will be added which means the more you respond on forums, the more back link you will build up. Another method back linking is commenting on blog posts related to the same subject as your website is; when posting comments on blogs, most forms allow you to enter your website address which will then be back linked to – in some cases you are also allowed to enter your websites link within the comments body, although this might result in your comment being deleted if it is not allowed.
If allowed, then you can post links back to your website on wiki articles which are related to the same subject as your website; this is because many people view wikis day in and day out meaning that you can gain a large number of visitors through them, and since they are high traffic sites and the link has been placed in the right subject area means that search engines will take a shine to your website and deliver you with more visitors. Other forms of back linking include traffic and banner exchanges; although these can also be classed as advertising mediums, they mean that banners and links for your website will get placed on other websites, and links and banner for others websites will get displayed on your website – not the most convenient method of back linking, but it still works in the same way. One thing to note with back linking is that you should always be careful as to where you place your links when building them up yourself; this is because some forums have rules and guidelines on signatures, and some wikis don’t like people editing articles just so that they can get more visitors to their website.
Another important SEO technique is to ensure that the content of your website is full of keywords related to the subject that your website is based around – the more related keywords that you use in your content, the more people that search engines will refer to your website since they will pick up on the keywords and then relate to them when someone uses the search engine concerned to find something using similar keywords; by using keywords which are related to the subject of your website within your content, you are able to ensure that search engines will pair your website with searches by people who are using keywords which are the same or similar to those which you have used within your content.
Keyword rich content can also be more interesting for your website’s visitors to read; although this means that new visitors who are attracted might not be able to understand the keywords contained, it can help gain experienced visitors to your website, especially if your website is aimed at an audience who are interested in a fairly complicated subject. Search engines take more of a shine towards websites which use keyword rich content since it allows them to specifically pair the website concerned to advanced and specific searches which are being made by the general public; keyword optimization will also help search engines categorize your website more specifically, which will make it easier for people searching for it using search engines to find. For those who don’t know the meaning of ‘keyword’, a ‘keyword’ is a word which is strongly related to the subject which is being discussed, and is one which is most likely to be searched for frequently by people through the use of search engines; this means that you should always think carefully about choosing the right keywords that you want to use within your website’s content – you don’t want to be using keywords which can be classed as jargon since this will not bring your website many more visitors, but at the same time you don’t want to be using keywords which are too basic since then your website will end up with a lower SEO score and in turn will end up being a few pages in on the results pages for certain keyword searches.
You should always try and avoid using large words which you might class as keywords, but might not actually be related to the content or subject of your website in any way, which means that you might end up getting visitors to your website who have stumbled across content which is the opposite of what they want; the idea of SEO in general is to try and build up the amount of visitors which you receive to your website – if you use keywords which aren’t really related to your content then you will receive other visitors to your website, but you will in the main defeat the object of your SEO work since your visitors won’t end up returning. By optimizing the content in your website to contain keywords that are related to the content itself and the main subject of your website, you will be able to increase the amount of visitors that your website receives from search engines, since they will take more of a liking to your website and content; this means that if you run an online store or other money making venture within your website, you could ultimately increase the amount of sales you make and in turn, the amount of money which you make.
One thing to note with keyword optimization is that you should always be careful as to which keywords to use, as mentioned previously, you don’t want to end up using words which your visitors can’t understand because they are too complicated but at the same time you don’t want to be using simple words since they could make your content sound dull and boring.
The design or layout of your website as well as the way in which it has been coded is also another factor that is able to affect your search engine score in the case of some search engines; for example if you use nested tables to structure your website then you will typically have a lower search engine score since some search engine bots give up crawling after they have reached a certain point in the code because it becomes unreadable for them, which generally means that it would be unreadable for a human viewing the same page as well. The use of certain tags within your website’s code is also another design and layout factor which can affect a search engine’s ability to crawl your content and your site’s search engine score; for example the use of lists within web page code enables search engines to crawl content more easily which means that out final score will be much higher than if you didn’t use lists – one thing to note is that list tags (ul) are usually much easier to style than other options available to you to create the same affect such as tables.
The title tag of a web page is also another place where you can easily increase your search engine ranking; this is because you can use this small place to enter keywords related to the content and subject of the website – search engines will take a liking to this because they will see that the content of the web page that they are crawling is related to the title of the page, and vice versa meaning that when your website is displayed in the results pages of keyword searches made by people on search engines, they will be able to see that your website is related to what they are looking for by just looking at the title of the page rather than having to read the description to ensure that it is exactly what they want before clicking the link.
You can also use meta tags with the ‘head‘ section of your web page to add a description of your page and keywords related to its contents for search engines to pick up on; these tags are used by search engines to categorize your website by another form so that their decision is not based purely on the actual contents of the page – this means that you should try and fill the tags which as many keywords as possible so that you can try and boost your ranking by as much as you can.
You should also consider the layout of your website when you are designing it based on how search engine friendly you decide to make it; as mentioned previously, if you use large amounts of nested tabled to display your content in, then it might not all be crawled by search engines since they do have a tendency to give up after a certain point – in this case you should consider more modern and search engine friendly methods such as ‘divs’ to display your content in, they are also much more flexible in terms of design and what you can do with them – one thing to note is that the actual design or ‘look’ of your website will have no bearing on the final score which search engines decide to give you. Keyword optimization is also another factor which plays a part in the actual optimization of a website through the layout of its code or actual design; this is because the actual content which needs to be keyword optimized is contained within the layout and code of the website which you have built.
If you are designing your website using a WYSIWYG editor, you should note that many come with special tools these days to help you with the search engine optimization of your website; if designing your website by hand then there are many tutorials available on the internet discussing how you can apply these practices more practically.
It is hoped that with the help of this article you have been able to optimize your website in terms of the keywords used, and have learnt how to make it search engine friendly in the way that you have built it; you should have also learnt as to where you should be placing back links to your website as well as how you do it effectively to ensure that you receive the maximum number of visitors that is possible through this method. In the next part we will be discussing how you can target search engines, and how you can submit your website to them and other directories on the internet to help build up the amount of visitors which you receive; this is because submitting your website to search engines seems to be a process which is more simple than it sounds, because many people without the knowledge seem to think that you have to pay to get your website listed, or do it in another way which is not the way in which you do it.