The is the last in the series of posts from my website class handouts.
Believe it or not, just creating your site and keeping the needs of your users in mind is not enough to ensure that people can find you using search engines. This is vitally important because seraching is the top activity online, and most web surfers use search engines as their primary internet tool.
So what can you do to be found? Start by analyzing your site from the search engines perspective. What key words might a person use to find you? These might be words about your products or services, your location, your specialty. Then check how often you actually spell out those words on your site. You might be surprised that your most important key words aren’t used very often on your site. You want to fix that!
My favorite tool right now is Web CEO. They offer a no-fee version that I use. It is practically a primer on optimizing your site for search engines. It will help you especially with key words, meta tags and page content.
Don’t get carried away. Always keep the customers’ needs first, and the search engines behind that.
Getting other sites to link to you used to be the number one way to imporve your rankings, especially in Google. Some now say that has fallen out of favor, but the topic is hotly debated. I still recommend finding good sites to give you links that will bring actual live people from their site to yours. So that means finding related sites, with relevant content, and establishing a relationship.
You will want to create a robots.txt file to direct the search engines at your site. You can do that online at www.1-hit.com/all-in-one/tool-robots.txt-generator.htm
Finally, Google would like a map to get around once they are at your site. You can create one online at www.sitemapspal.com.
Of course, there are more search engine tools than this. I’m sure many a great. These are just ones that I’m familiar with.
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