Increasing Your Web Site’s Visibility Through Improved Positioning
by: Brandon Milford
One of the greatest challenges facing website owners is marketing their website. Many believe that they need deep pockets in order set their site apart from the rest, but that is not the case. If you are willing to work hard at it, marketing on the web can garner great results at a minimal cost.
Viral marketing is a very powerful tool if you can capitalize on it. Writing articles is a great way to encourage people to pass your information on to the next person. By writing articles and including your information, along with a link to your website in the byline, you are building rapport with the reader (IE: showing your knowledge of the topic(s) in which you are writing) and also providing a way for the reader to easily click over to your website. If someone enjoys your articles they will forward them to others they know and/or include them as content in their e-newsletter or website. Website owners and e-newsletter publishers are always looking for content and by writing a number of credible articles they will certainly use these within their online publications. You can also submit your articles to websites such as Article City who will offer them to others who are need of content.
Search engines are a wonderful way to drive targeted visitors to your website, however most find it too difficult to achieve high rankings. There are two approaches to Search Engine Optimization: on-site and off-site optimization. On-site optimization, as the name implies, involves changing your current site. Examples include: inserting the keywords within the title portion of your website, changing the page links to directly relate to the keyword/key-phrases that you are optimizing (IE: if you are optimizing the key-phrase golden lamps, changing the page name from “xyzcompany.com/lamps.html” to “xyzcompany.com/golden-lamps.html”), increasing keyword density on your website (the percentage of times that a keyword appears on your page), and including the keywords in the meta-tags and alt-tags.
Off-site optimization has two main elements: your domain name and incoming links. If starting from the beginning, research has shown that choosing a domain name that contains your main keywords separated by hyphens can improve positions. If your current site’s domain name is not keyword-rich, you may choose to build an “informational website” that is optimized to rank well for your targeted, most competitive terms. Building links, either for the informational web site or your current site has been shown to have a strong direct correlation to improved search engine rankings. The greater quantity and quality of links that you have to your web site the better. Ideally, links coming to your site from other web sites will have your targeted keywords in the anchor text, that is, the text that is underlined and clicked to get to your site.
Let’s re-cap On-site and Off-site optimization and then I will go into more detail that should help you properly develop an “info-site”.
Include the keywords within the title portion of each page (IE: in the upper left most corner of the browser window)
Change the page links. More descriptive page links that include the specific keyword/key-phrase that you are optimizing for with hyphens between each word favors positively for the search engines.
Keyword density is important in ranking high on the search engines because if the keyword/key-phrase appears a high percentage of time within a page, the search engine sees this page as important and this will increase your ranking for that keyword/key-phrase. A recommend keyword density percentage is between 3-10%. You can easily find the keyword density of a web page by utilizing this tool: Live Keyword Analysis. An additional note: search engine crawlers also place additional weight on keywords/key-phrases that are hyper-linked, keywords/key-phrases that are in bold, and those that fall between the tags (IE: Keyword goes here).
Include the keywords in the meta-tags and alt tags. Although meta-tags do not carry the dominate weight in search engine rankings as they once did, it is still very important to include your keywords/key-phrases within the meta-tags of your site. Also, be sure to include the keywords in the alt-tags on your site.
Exchange links with other websites that are relevant to yours. Be sure that these sites have a Page Rank of at least 4. Google’s search engine crawlers measure the popularity and relevancy of those sites that link to you.
Be sure to include the keywords/key-phrases within the anchor text of the hyperlinks that lead to your site.
Building an “info-site” to lead visitors to your main website. This is a powerful tool for increasing the number of targeted visitors to your site. This includes both on-site and offsite optimization techniques. Below are the steps to lead you through the process.
1. Register a domain that contains the exact keyword/key-phrase that you wish to optimize and separate these keywords with hyphens. Remember: it does not matter if this domain is long because visitors will be clicking over from the search engine to your site, not typing out the URL. For instance, if our website sells web marketing consulting services and we wish to optimize the key-phrase web marketing consulting we may choose a domain such as: web-marketing-consulting-resources.com
2. Be sure to include text links to every page on your site with the page names displaying the keywords that you are optimizing. Many sites bury the page links within images and the crawler cannot read these. By including text links to each page you can overcome this problem. As far as the names of your pages, include the keywords within the page names. For instance: web-marketing-consulting-resources.com/web-marketing-consulting-portfolio.html
3. Each page should have a keyword/key-phrase density of 3-10%. Be aware that if you go much higher than this your pages can be red flagged as “over optimized” and may be punished by the search engines. Also, be sure to include the keyword/key-phrase within the title portion of each page (the upper left most corner of the browser window).
4. Include a resources section within this info site that provides articles and links to other relevant sites that you have traded links with (they should have a Page Rank of at least 4). Write as many articles as possible and include them on this page along with a brief bio and a link to your website. The remainder of the articles should come from other credible resources within your industry.
5. Include a graphical link on every page that links over to your main site. For instance, going back to our web marketing consulting business: If our company name is XYZ Web Marketing, we would include a link on every page that states “We recommend XYZ Company for all of your Web Marketing needs”. Somewhat like a sole advertisement for your business contained within this “info site”.
6. Continue building your Resources page until it is packed with articles and quality links. I recommend having over 100 high quality links and at least 35 articles directly related to your industry.
7. After and only after you have fully completed these steps should you submit your website to the search engines.
About The Author
Brandon Milford is the Director of Marketing for Broadwick Corporation, makers of IntelliContact Pro (http://www.intellicontact.com) Easily Build, Send and Track Permission-based email newsletters.
This article was posted on January 13, 2005