There are several directories that you can also add your links to which will give you a certain amount of exposure. One of the easiest and most reasonably priced linking websites is Strongest Links (http://www.strongestlinks.com ) and offers a free 30-day trial period with full functionality. This website will give you an updated list of directories, the price they charge (if any) and how valuable the directory is as shown by various statistics.
The Internet would not exist if it weren't for keywords. But the second most important element of the Internet involves linking of websites. Think of it -- its called the World Wide Web because all websites are connected to other sites in some way. One website leads to another which leads to another which leads to another.
There is a double-bind involved when you entertain linking to other websites. No one wants to send people away from their site by linking to another website. However, you wont get any links to your website if you dont create any links from your website to others. It is important that search engines see that your website is connected to the rest of the Internet by seeing links coming to your site from other locations.
One of the easiest and quickest ways of getting traffic to your website is by using Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. The two most popular PPC programs are Google AdWords and Yahoo Search Marketing. To clarify what PPC actually does, you begin by creating short ads that will be displayed on the search engine results pages (SERP) as Sponsored Links. When you create the ad, you are also identifying the keywords that will draw the ad to the SERP.
Editor's Note: This article will be first in a series of 14 reprinted articles on web optimization. To get the remaining articles, please sign up for this blog in the box at the left. The first (and maybe the second article) will be published using Constant Contact. The rest, just through normal blog publishing.
- Provide relevant and substantial content. We have already discussed how content is King and keywords are the Queens. Just throwing keywords at a page without thoughtful content may get people to your site as a result of a keyword search; however, if your page visitor doesn’t find something of value at that website, they will leave as quickly as they came. And if they clicked on one of your Google AdWords ads, you have just paid for that useless visit with nothing to show for it.
- Google also suggests:
The page should contain information that is useful and accurate about the product or services searched.
- If your landing page is not relevant to the keyword searched, it will be viewed as a waste of time and the viewer will flash away hoping to find what they want on someone else’s page.
- Provide information that is relevant and useful before you require them to subscribe or register. If the pre-register content has value, they will be eager to register to get more. Lay those crumbs out there clearly on the path to commitment to your site. After all, asking a viewer to register or subscribe isn’t really free. The price is their name and email address.
- Keep your ads, banners and affiliate links to a normal non-overloaded minimum. When a viewer arrives at a page filled with loads of ads and little content, off they scamper. You see, “It’s all about me,” the viewer says. The viewer isn’t arriving at your website with the intention of making you money, but to find answers to their questions or solutions to their problems. Don’t saturate them with ads.
- Your content must be unique. If your page mirrors 100 other web pages on the Internet, why would someone choose you over the others or ever consider you an authority? The importance of this non-mirrored content has to be handled delicately if you write and publish articles. [More on this topic in a later lesson.]
- Avoid misleading your visitors by providing exactly what you ad stated. No loss-leaders here. That tactic may work at a grocery store, but it can keep people from ever coming back to your website.
- Honor your deals and deliver as promised. In fact, the most successful businesses, either online or offline, make their offer, then over-deliver. Think in terms of delivering over and above what you offer and you will distinguish your business in the eyes of your customers. They will come back again and again. Remember, the first sale is not the business-building sale. It is the second, the third and fourth sales that make your business a success.
We have now captured the attention of our viewer by telling them clearly the benefits of what we offer. They like what they see and they want more. How you present that "more" is very important to keeping your visitor around long enough to respond to your Call to Action (more on Call to Action in a later lesson). Think of a website navigation scheme as a pyramid where the information offered is more specific and succinct at the top of the pyramid and becomes broader and deeper as you delve further into the website. The information is more complete and offers a greater explanation of the topic pursued as you go further down the pyramid and deeper in the navigation. This allows the visitor to decide how much they want to pursue, rather than having to slog through too much or more information than they want too soon. Most newspaper articles and press releases are written like this.
We have focused on keywords for positioning and for content in past lessons. Now we need to look at traffic generation soon. But first, let's consider what a visitor sees when they do arrive at your site. Does your site convey authority on its topic? Does it get to the point of what you do and what you offer right away? Is the navigation logical and easy to understand? Yes, we want traffic; but we want that traffic to stick around, too. Your web statistics will show where a viewer enters your website, where they exit and how long they stay. So you will be able to easily determine the success of how well-like your website it. We'll cover more on web stats in a later SEO SOS lesson. Two things are of paramount importance in your web design: 1) The first impression you make, and 2) The navigation style you use. Let's explore first impressions of a website in this lesson. We've all heard the expression, "You only get one chance to make a first impression." With the breadth and depth of the Internet, this statement couldn't be more important. Factors that impact how well your website is received include:
After selecting a series of keywords that your potential customer will use to find your website, you need to focus on those keywords as part of your web page content. If you have several keywords, you may want to have a web page that focuses specifically on that keyword. For example, let's say your keywords are:
- meditation tool
- habit control
- focusing tool
- learn to meditate
- how to meditate
- meditation supplies
By focusing on each of these words with a page that corresponds to
the keyword phrase and hitting an appropriate keyword density ratio - somewhere between 3% and 7% is often considered a good range - you assist the search engines in finding your page for those keywords. However, if you exceed the keyword density by too much, the search engines will probably consider your site to be artificially stuffed and penalize your website. So you need to watch carefully how your keywords are dispersed. It is not just the keyword density that is important but also the placement and usage of those keywords. It is important that your keywords appear in the following locations:
- Page title
- Meta tags
- Very early in the website in a <H1> heading tag
- Within the first 10 to 20 words of the first paragraph
- Bolded within the body content
- Alt tags on your images
If you find your competitors' website consistently placing higher than your website on a search for your keywords, it is likely that your website is not utilizing these keyword positioning tactics. Remember that in Lesson #1, we emphasized that it is all about keywords. Keywords are the crumbs that lead your customers to your website. Those crumbs have to be well-placed on your web pages so that the search engines can create the trail to your website for your potential customers. The only reason the search engines will create that trail to your website is if your web design illustrates to the search engines that you are an authority for that keyword phrase. More about creating authority in Lesson #3.
Your assignment this week is to review your website for keyword placement to see if you can improve the way your content is displayed. Look for your keywords on each page and determine whether you are trying to place too many keywords on one page thereby diluting the keyword density. If that is the case, consider breaking your content into separate pages that will be more easily found by the search engines.