In Part 1 you learned some tips about the basics of starting your site and finding a home for it, now comes the time to properly name it and get it optimized for the search engines so that your home on the web is easy to locate.
Domain Name This is one of the least expensive things about getting online as many hosting companies charge nothing or only a few dollars. But it’s also one of the most important, as yours has to be descriptive and as memorable as possible. For a family web site, simply using your last name or a combination of first and last name is fine. Domain names can also include numbers. The minimum amount of time you can purchase a domain is for one year. But for an eCommerce site [meaning a site where you intend to sell products or services], an appropriate name is essential. http://www.namecheap.com only charges $8.88 per year.
Keywords = Power What will help drive people to your site faster than a cable connection? Keywords! These words and phrases indicate what your site is about and contain more authority than a novice can imagine. Proper keywords will feature terms and words used in the text on your home page. Each subsequent page you create will also have its own set of keywords. If you are selling products or services online, Wordtracker.com is a fee-based service that enables you to look up the latest information on what people are searching for online.
Overture.com has a fine feature where it will show you just how popular the keywords that you’ve chosen really are. This is updated on a monthly basis, but you can also find the week’s most popular keywords. http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion
What is your site all about? What words best describe your site, your products/services, your hobbies, etc.? What words would a person use to find your web site? For example, if you are building a web site to show people in the Los Angeles area the fact that you have used cars for sale, the term “preowned car” was searched 2628 times, followed by “certified preowned car” 209 times. “Used car” brings up more than 1 million searches, with “buy used car” at more than 534,000 searches in the previous month. Other terms that show up are: “used car for sale,” “used car prices,” “used car financing,” “cheap used car,” “Los Angeles used car,” “used car online” and “sell used car.” On a highly ranked site these terms will be used along with others containing variations of used car and other terms related to a used car such as a dealership, blue book, classifieds, dealership, etc. Again, thinking like a potential customer or viewer is the key to keywords.
Meta Tags Description When you accurately describe what is on each of your web pages, this will help anyone who discovers it in a search engine. You are doing your customer a big favor and they will thank you for it by visiting your site. For that used car site, here is what you might add for the home page: “Low cost pre-owned vehicles that hold their value. Located Los Angeles, California.” This comes to only 12 words, or 82 characters including spaces. Some search engines accept up to 250 characters, others will allow far less. Keeping it within 100 characters or about 15-20 words is recommended.
Web Page Titles Titles aren’t just for books, movies and royalty. When designing your web site you’ll be able to name each page so that online visitors will locate your home page or other pages you’ve created. What you call your web site is as important as what you name your company. Be as descriptive as possible. You probably want your stamp collection web site to have the term “stamp collecting” or “stamp collection” in the title. Perhaps you have a page that has advice for stamp collectors, so you might want to label it “Stamp Collecting Advice” or “Postage Stamp Collecting.”
The lack of understanding page titles has shown up on my journeys online. I’ve seen web sites with “New Page” or “Page 2” appear along the top of my browser as the web designer clearly didn’t fathom the benefits he or she had in naming pages.
Links It’s not just about having lots of links on your web site, it’s having relevant links. If you want to keep your web site within the mainstream and family-friendly, be careful where you are linking. Many search engines and directories won’t accept sites with adult themes, gambling sites, or anything advocating illegal activities, etc. Keep it clean. Oftentimes you’ll read about a site having a Google PR [PageRank] of a number from 0-10, with 10 being considered the best.
When one has reached a page rank status they will usually not welcome newcomers which is what someone with a new web site is – a 0 page rank. But all sites begin that way and here you’re learning what Google looks for when it ranks pages so your PR can start moving up. PR is determined by many factors including links coming from other sites to yours, longevity of site, quality of information and keywords found within the site, and the number of pages your site contains. In other words, Google’s search engine [or any major or minor search engine or directory] will spot a 100-page site sooner than it will a single web page.
Many web masters create a links page and add anything that comes along. That’s not always the best idea and Google doesn’t list more than 100 links per page anyway. Others will separate their links page into subjects so that a gardening web site is grouped in an appropriate category, as would a financial site being with others within the same category.
A better way to add links is to have them on appropriate pages that can be reached from your main page. For example, if you’re designing an eCommerce site that caters to cat care products and have an entire page devoted to selling vitamins, it would be a good idea to add links to that page for such related items as vitamins for children, vitamins for dogs, pet shampoo, health care products, and other topics that are both closely and somewhat-closely related. This would be helpful for both you and the other company’ site you are linking with. It will also ensure that your vitamins page will get more visitors than if there were no links listed there.
While it’s more advantageous to have others linking to you, this is more difficult to do when you’re an unestablished online presence.
Announce Your Web Site When you have a new web site that you’ve spent a long time working on and think it’s a significant addition to the WWW, you want others to know it’s out there. First, have it analyzed at http://www.sitereportcard.com Keep statistics on a weekly or monthly basis to monitor your web site’s progress. 1. Press Release - Writing a press release is a great way to increase your web site traffic and generate more interest in your web site and any products or services you might be selling. Below you’ll find four links to major free press release sites. Additionally, they provide information on how to write effective press releases. Your press release will be seen by more people, get put into the search engines faster, and you can follow the statistics and upload photos if you pay for the service. Here are four places where you can send out your information for free. http://OpenPress.Com http://PRBot.Com http://express-press-release.com http://www.prweb.com
2. Write Articles - Getting your web site noticed by writing articles is another effective method for announcing your web site’s arrival. Of course you must be able to write well, or be able to hire someone, about your chosen topic. Another candlemaking company online will not provide tons of enthusiastic response, but if you have been handcrafting candles for 20 years and can provide some helpful tips for those just starting out, you will increase your audience and hopefully your customer base. Additionally, writing articles establishes your online credibility.
3. Submit to Search Engines & Directories - This is a way to make sure more than your immediate family and friends see your site. When providing information about your site to these directories, you will oftentimes have to include a reciprocal link on your site. There are paid search engines and directories that will get your web site indexed within a matter of days, but many of them will also do the same service, only taking weeks or month, for no charge.
The efforts you make to get your web site designed in a professional manner and put onto the web, whether it’s to show your business as an online catalogue or your personal site as an inspiration to others. For those of you launching an eCommerce site, following the above steps will get you more traffic and sales.
http://www.lisamaliga.com ~ Lisa’s Library of Writing offers advice on publishing, adult figure skating, aromatherapy, web design, and Internet promotion. This is the home of fiction and nonfiction writer Lisa Maliga.