As a “solopreneur” who writes, speaks, coaches, and consults on the subjects of marketing and negotiation, I find myself spending more and more time working on my website since it is my main channel of distribution. My website and this blog help me build my brand with people who don’t me personally. Generally, my website (or my blog) is the first point of contact with my target customer. The challenge on the internet or in the blogoshere is how to be found.
Critical to my business is having my website “optimized” for the major search engines (Google, Yahoo!, MSN, etc.). Over the last few months I have blogged numerous times on this subject and I have also written about this subject in my book, “First, Best, or Different: What Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know About Niche Marketing” (note to blog readers: please buy my book).
Search engine optimization (or, SEO as it is more commonly known) means many things and is a source of confusion and angst for many entrepreneurs. Search engine optimization is the process of increasing the amount of visitors to a website by ranking high in the search results of the major search engines. The higher a website ranks in the results of a search, the greater the chance that that site will be visited by a user. It is a common practice for Internet users to not click through pages and pages of search results, so where a site ranks in a search is essential for directing more traffic toward the site (this definition comes courtesy of web-inspect.com).
Okay, so how do you optimize your website for search engines? The answer is that there are many ways to optimize your website and the methods are changing everyday. Here are some things that you can do to optimize your website:
1. Your website title should be between 6 and 12 words and should contain your key words. In fact, titles should contain multiple key words (this is sometimes called key word density.
2. Your title should have a Meta tag (this is like an HTML street address).
3. Your home page should have between 7 and 48 keywords.
4. Your Meta tag description should have between 12 and 24 words.
5. Your page headlines should contain your keywords.
6. Your content on every page should contain key words.
You will note that some of the methods listed above are managed “under the hood”, which requires that you write HTML code or that you have your website designer do it.
There are also other things that can be done without the website designer. Here are a few:
1. Blog your brains out and make sure that other bloggers reference your blog on their site or on their blog.
2. Link your comments on other blog sites by using the trackback and permalink functions (this is like a digital bread crumb trail back to your site).
3. Make sure that your content gets tagged by everyone; this could be the inclusion of links to digg, flickr, del.icio.us, etc.
4. Submit articles to e-zines with your URL link.
5. Create reciprocal links with other websites.
6. Add great content everyday. The search engines are looking for new rich content. Your rank goes down with old and out-of date-content.
Here is free diagnostic tool that was advertised on Google the other day; it can give you immediate feedback on what you can do optimize your website. This is not a commercial endorsement, nor am I paid to suggest this tool. I just found it useful.
John Bradley Jackson
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Please visit my website at www.firstbestordifferent.com