Make your website work harder for you
November 10, 2009
Website technology and practice changes almost daily and the first thing you need to understand is that if you had your site optimised some time ago it probably needs looking at again. The algorithms that the major search engines use constantly change and you need to keep up with current methods or be left behind.
The great news is that it is not too difficult to keep up if you follow the simple advice I’m offering in this newsletter ……. and in future newsletters I will be giving more information as things change. The second piece of great news is that not many people keep up with the latest changes and that means if you do you can gain an edge over your competitors.
Now web designers spend hours talking about Search engine Optimisation (SEO), keyword density, meta tags and a lot of other terms designed to confuse people like us. What they miss out is the simple stuff like: –
Search engines don’t search websites!
Now that might amaze you because we are all told that our site must be optimised. But it is the truth.
Search engines don’t search websites.
What they actually do is search web pages.
Now you might think that the difference is marginal because websites are made up of pages and it amounts to the same thing.
NO it doesn’t.
Think about it. If like me you frequently create new pages then there is a danger that the search engines like Google will never find them unless you do the job correctly. Do it wrong and they will sit in cyberspace and never be visited by the search engines ….. and will never be listed.
Simple because they are not linked to the site correctly, probably don’t have meta tags on each page and aren’t listed in your site map. (Meta tags are words that appear in the page code but can’t be seen on the page.)
Over the last months I’ve checked out a lot of sites and I’m afraid many web designers are failing here as well. For a search engine to find each page it has to be linked to another page – beware if you have landing pages that stand alone. OK that’s what a landing page is often designed to do – especially so called “squeeze pages”. The problem is the search engine will never find it.
Search engines prefer to come in through your home page so make it easy for them.
The solution. Create a site map with links to every page you want crawled by the search engines. Put a link to it at the bottom of your homepage.
OK, problem solved. NO!
Search engines raise your position in the natural listings by considering many factors. Some of the most important ones are key words and page meta tags. Many sites have both of these in abundance …… in the wrong place. It is no good having lots of meta tags on the home page and none on other pages ……. Because search engines search pages and not sites ……. And they love pages that are relevant.
Relevant pages have matching keywords and meta tags and the page content matches them. Search engines are clever; they know if you put in clever meta tags and then use content that really doesn’t match. If it doesn’t they downgrade you.
They also look for copy you’ve pinched off someone else’s website. If you try this as a quick way to create great new content they will spot it and downgrade you. Search engines hate plagiarism!
If you want to check if your site has been crawled, and listed, by Google recently; drop me an email with your domain name and I will check it for free.
There are dozens of other simple things you can do to optimise your site and I will give you a free insight into them in my next free newsletter.
Watch out for it in your email soon.
PS If you think a friend or colleague would benefit from receiving copies of this newsletter they can subscribe by visiting http://www.stefandrew.com/Freemarketingnewsletter.php
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