Good Search Engine Ranking

So you want to rank well on Google? Who doesn’t?

Search engines have become a lot smarter from when websites first hit the market. You can’t repeat the same keywords over hundreds of times like you used to. Google and other search engines will see you as a spammer and ban your website from the engine. People used to trick search engines with gimmicks and tons of computer generated incoming links. This means, your website actually has to be a use to people in order to get ranked well.

So now you are asking yourself, if I don’t need gimmicks to get me ranked, what do I need? Money, right? No! You don’t need money either. When people use search engines, they don’t just type in something random. They type something specific, something that they are looking for. So when your website has quality and unique content, that is what will get you ranked well. When your content is unique, it makes it stand out from the crowed and found easier. Let’s say you are looking for a salt water fish tank, you aren’t just going to search "Pet Supplies" or "Aquariums". You are going to search exactly what you are looking for, "Salt Water Fish Tanks." Makes sense right? Same premise for your Meta tag keywords, if your company is selling fish tanks, you keywords may include, "Fish Tanks", "Salt Water Fish Tanks", "Fish Supplies," "Home Aquariums." See how it all works now?

Your website or company depends greatly on search engines such as Google and Yahoo. Yes people are going to find out about your website via word of mouth, but not everyone is looking for the same thing. For example, if I were to find baseball spikes, I wouldn’t go tell my friend who plays tennis. I am going to tell people who play baseball. My point is that while word of mouth works and is great, it is very slow. By having your website optimized correctly to be found on the internet makes it easy to be found, found very fast. So more baseball players will find the spikes they are looking for and buy them from your site.

Let me guess, you just had a website made? Looks pretty good, full of graphics, maybe some flash and just enough content for your customers see what you are all about. Am I right so far? While those websites aren’t great, they do get the job done, but they aren’t helping you at all. Websites with a lot of flash and imagery are never really good. No you scroll up and look at my website. Was I right? While my website does have a lot of images, it is well balanced by my content. Search engines cannot read images or flash. They can’t read those floating JavaScript menus or the menus that move up and down as you scroll. They may look nice, but they will not help your rank with search engines. Search engines need to be able to go through your website and follow your navigation from page to page. Search engines never forget, they store your information in their databases and index your pages so that when someone is searching they can see your information displayed. Without text there is nothing to index, images and flash cannot be indexed which means they cannot be found by your potential customers. Here’s a free tip, a general rule of thumb, every page on your website should have a minimum of 200 characters of text. It’s better if it’s content that is unique, unique means it will stick out from the crowd and found easier because it is original.

Now you’ve learned a little about how search engines work and what they look for. On to exploring the few vital things you can do for your website other than avoiding what we already talked about in the above paragraph.

Let’s talk about IMDb.com, I know they aren’t selling anything, but they are huge. Their website is pretty simple, no large images throwing your eyes away from content. Clean HTML coding, HTML navigation, very focused content. As far as their website goes, it’s very easy for the developers to generate a page when a new movie comes out. All they have to do is throw in the content and update the page. IMDb has thousands of pages, which search engines also like to see. The more pages your website has the more important it looks to them. That is when you search something related to movies; IMDb is going to show up as one of the top contenders. Not to mention how long they have been around and their reputation for having so much unique content. Search engines also like to the age of the website, the older the website, the better. To them, if the page has been around for awhile then people must like it and it must offer some pretty good information.

If you or your company specializes in more then one thing, it will be a little bit harder for you get achieve good rankings in more then one field. If you are specialized in unique fields it may be a little easier on you. If you are a web designer or into computer graphics, it is going to be a lot more of a competitive market for you. Anyways, back to your company, it will probably be in your best interest to try and rank in one specific field instead of all of them. So if you sell tools, hardware, but the market is too competitive for hammers and screwdrivers try and rank for drills or wrenches. Something else in your market that is popular, but not as competitive.

I know all of this sounds good, if you can get it all to work to your advantage, great. But if you are not the type of person to do all of this for yourself and you need to hire someone, there is going to be money involved. For someone to get the whole package like we have been talking about it is going to cost a lot of money, but it doesn’t have to. You are already at a web designer’s website that specializes in all of the above. I am only a small freelance designer, but I do big projects without the cost of corporate firms. If you are interested in my services and already have a website, send me an email with your existing URL and tell me what problems you have been having or what you would like to accomplish. If you are looking for the entire package head over to the contact page fill out the form.

I hoped you learned something by reading this and if you skipped down to the end, head back up to the top. It’s a lot to remember, but if you can apply it, you may see more traffic. Keep in mind, all of this is not going to happen over night. Search engines index pages at different times, if you don’t see anything different after two weeks, try submitting your page manually.

By Chris Lowden
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