Do You Want To Optimize Your Own Web Site?
By: Jennifer Horowitz
An easy to understand introduction to the search engines:
Think of the engines like teachers handing out gold stars for everything that you do well. Google currently has about 200 factors in their algorithms that determine how your site will rank. Imagine your teacher with a clipboard and checklist with 200 items on it and she assigns you gold stars for each of the things you do well.
Remember, some of the items on the list are more important and you may get multiple gold stars. No one knows for sure how the algorithm works, but we test and monitor the industry to come up with a technique that works well for getting sites ranked.
The number of gold stars you achieve will determine how well your site will rank. There are no shortcuts and there are no tricks (none that are safe to use and won't result in trouble down the road).
If you plan on optimizing your own website, there are quite a few areas that you will need to focus on.
Here are the areas you will need to learn about (listed in the order I believe you should address them):
- Keyword Research
* Keywords are the foundation of your campaign. If you don't have the right keywords, you won't succeed.
* You should look for a balance of "low hanging fruit" (keywords that are very targeted, have low competition and less search counts) and some shorter more competitive phrases. That way you will see results quickly for the low hanging fruit, while you are waiting for your more competitive words to kick in.
* You should always select keywords that are relevant and likely to convert for you.
- SEO Friendliness - Diagnosis & Correction, plus Competitor Analysis
* You should look at the foundation of your site and make sure it is SEO Friendly. SEO Friendly means have clean code that the spiders are able to spider. Without a solid foundation and good SEO Friendliness your other efforts won't pay off as much.
* You should check out what your competitors are doing. If you see who has the top rankings in Google for your keywords, you can check out what they are doing and reverse engineer it to determine what you need to do in order to beat them out.
- On-page optimization
* This includes analyzing your content to make sure you are using relevant keywords within your text, as well as various other code tweaks.
- Google Webmaster Tools
* Google provides some great tools that allow you to learn how your site is doing. The XML sitemap submission is also available here. It's definitely worth spending some time getting to know Google Webmaster Tools.
* Step one is to determine how many links you have that the engines are recognizing and crediting you with. Step two is creating a solid plan to get links (that won't get you in trouble).
- On-going Content Addition
* You should have a plan to continue to grow your site. It's good for the engines and it's good for site visitors.
- Social Media
* Social media is a great way to increase traffic to your site, boost your link popularity and help you with branding, building a reputation, building your trust and credibility and forming relationships with clients and potential clients.
* Blogs invite interactivity, allowing your customers and site visitors a voice. They help you build relationships and they are picked up really quickly by the search engines. A Blog is a great tool in addition to your website. We strongly recommend WordPress with all its great marketing and SEO plugins.
- Site Maintenance
* SEO is not a set it and forget it kind of thing. You will want to plan on tweaking and updating your site. o Although you never want to (over) react too quickly to normal fluctuation in the search engines results pages you do want to address the issue if you continue to plummet.
- Industry News & Updates
* Things change in the SEO world so quickly. What works today may not work tomorrow. It is important that you stay current and aware and tweak your site as necessary based on the changes.
* You should also stay updated in order to be aware of new tools and opportunities.
This may seem like a lot of areas to focus on, but these areas are all vital to your SEO success. If you plan to handle your own optimization you should definitely arm yourself with the correct tools and information sources. If you decide it is too much to handle, you should definitely arm yourself with the proper knowledge on how to select an SEO Firm.
Now you've got a lot of work ahead of you and a lot to consider. Good luck!
Jennifer Horowitz, Director of Marketing for EcomBuffet.com, has written a book on SEO and has been published in many SEO & Marketing publications. Over the past 10 years Jennifer's expertise in marketing & Search Engine Optimization has helped clients increase revenue and grow their business. Check out Jennifer's free ebook Optimization Step by Step on http://www.ecombuffet.com
Article Source: http://www.ArticleBiz.com