Search engines remain the #1 way people use to locate you on the Internet. Over the past several years, search engines have under gone some major changes. Many of the free ones are gone and indexing has become more sophisticated.
Yet, our web site has remained in the top ten ranking for the past 4 years with very little maintenance. I have a business to run and don't have time to play search engine ranking games.
First forget trying to trick search engines. This is a big waste of time. Search engines soon catch on and you'll lose that ranking or worse yet...get your site banned from the search engine index.
Secondly, forget about always being #1. Algorithms constantly change and it can become a full time job attempting to maintain a number one ranking. We constantly go from #1 to #10. As long as we stay on the top ten search results which is the first page of the search engine, I am happy.
How Did We Do It?
I'm going to share with you the 5 steps and the tools we used.
Our first site was no where to be found. I did the Meta tag thing and submitted the site. The ironic thing is I purchased this new eBook, Make Your Site Sell (MYSS), and figured I would read it after the site design was done. Okay, probably not one of my brightest moments.
Now that the site is online doing nothing it was probably a good time to open that eBook and read it. What an eye opener. Boy! did I do everything wrong. Think of time I could have saved if I read it before designing the site. Lesson...read your eBooks.
Step One - Define Your Target Market.
At least we had done this and included it in the business plan. If you haven't done this...Do It! http://www.ebusinesshelpsite.com/Articles/a00137.htm
Step Two - What Words Will They Use To Find You.
You have to think like your target market. Build your key word/phrase list with words you think they'll use to find you. This use to be a very time consuming process. Thank goodness, there are several tools now available to determine keyword popularity and profitability.
You can optimize your site for a key phrase, but if nobody is searching it, it doesn't matter where it is ranking. This happen to one of our clients. His site was optimized for a keyword phrase. It placed #1 in Google yet he wasn't getting any traffic etc.
Nobody bothered to check to see if it was viable search phrase. He knew his market was but didn't think how they would search to find him. Nobody used his keyword phrase to try to find his services.
Site Build It has a tool that cuts research time down to practically nothing. It shows the popularity, profitable and alternative keyword phrases to use. . http://www.ebusinesshelpsite.com/al/build.htm
Overture offers an online popularity search tool at: http://www.Just15Minutes.com/a/13-1.htm. You can use this to determine how ofter a keyword/phrase is being searched.
Word Tracker is another great tool for research keywords/phrases, their popularity and profitability. If you are not going to use Site Build It, purchase a subscription to Word Tracker. Google is the #1 Search Engine followed by Yahoo and their trial version only gives results for Alta Vista. http://www.ebusinesshelpsite.com/al/wordtrack.htm
Step Three - Writing Content Around Those Words/Phrases
Meta tags don't have importance they did years ago. Some search engines don't use them. It's too easy to spam the meta tags. Search engines want quality content. It's quality content that keeps people coming back.
The placement of those key words/phrases is critical to your ranking. The trick is to write content that includes them in the right place and have your content still make sense.
"The Nitty Gritty of Writing for Search Engines" is an excellent manual on how to write your content for placement. http://www.ebusinesshelpsite.com/al/nitty.htm. While you are on the site, sign up for High Rankings Advisor. I have subscribed to Jill's eZine for several years. Her no nonsense advice and information is the best for Search Engine Optimization.
Step Four - Create a Theme Based Search Engine Friendly Site.
Now is the time to begin creating your site. The biggest mistake made by many is to design the site than optimize. I did the same thing. The design of your site plays a role in the placement.
The spiders have to able to read through the code to find your key words/phrases. They only crawl down so far before leaving the page.
Try to avoid flash intro pages, fancy navigation menus and heavy graphics. Use external links for java script and style sheets.
We offer a fr~ee eBook "The Complete E-Business Builder... From Concept to Site to Income." This Action Guide leads you step by step through an effective and easy-to-understand site-and-traffic-building process. http://www.ebusinesshelpsite.com/al/sbi.htm
Step Five - Submitting Your Site
Double check all links and make sure they are working.
Hand submit your site. Search engines do not like submit software especially Google.
Follow the directions and guidelines carefully for each search engine.
The Major Search Engines
- Google - The #1 search engine. http://www.google.com/webmasters/guidelines.html
- Yahoo http://docs.yahoo.com/info/suggest/
- MSN http://listings.looksmart.com/home/sbl/index.jhtml
- AOL http://search.aol.com/aolcom/add.jsp
These two are not search engines but provide results to other search engines.
- Open Directory Project http://www.dmoz.org/add.html
- Inktomi http://www.positiontech.com/inktomi/searchsubmit.htm
Our main keyword phrase - starting an online business This is the phrase you used after reading MYSS and doing research. Within a month our site, began ranking in the top 10 position in Alta Vista, the #1 search engine in 1999. With in three months, the site was in all the major search engines in a top ten position.
Several months ago, we notice a decline in traffic. Our positioning was the same. We did a popularity search for "online business." It was not being searched as often. Internet business was being searched more now.
The site has been optimized for the words "staring an Internet business." Within one week of making this change, it placed #5 on Google for the new key phrase.
Using the strategies in Nitty Gritty, step 4, it is also placing in the top ten for "starting an online business."
eBusinessHelpSite is placing in the top ten position for both "starting an online business" and "starting an Internet business."
We have opted not to pay for inclusion search engines or pay-per-click search engines. We did pay for Inktomi because the price is a bargain.
Where do you start?
Download the free eBook "The Complete E-Business Builder... From Concept to Site to Income." http://www.ebusinesshelpsite.com/al/sbi.htm and I highly recommend you also obtain MYSS 2002. http://www.ebusinesshelpsite.com/al/myss.htm This book is essential to anybody doing or wanting to do business online. I can attribute at least $10,000 in sales to this book alone.
Designing your site the right way for search engines will not only save you time in placement management but create lots of qualified traffic too.
Ann Rusnak is the 15 Minute Time Coach helping you have a successful business faster using 15 Minute strategies. Receive the free report "How Leveraging Time Can Increase Your Profits"when you subscribe to Just 15 Minutes. http://www.Just15Minutes.com
You are free to copy this article to your site as long as you include the author's resource box with the active link.