How to Optimize Your Website for Search Engines

Published on April 7th, 2013 by | Category: Search Engine Optimization

This article is meant for three types of people. One, who are planning to have a website; two, people who already have a website; & three, those who want to learn to make their websites work for them.

It may take quite some time for you to read and absorb the lengthy content, so if you are rushed for time right now, feel free to bookmark this page and come back when you can spare minimum 45 minutes or an hour. However, I want to assure you of a three things before we get to the heart of the post.

1. After you’ve read the post completely, you will become 100% fool-proof; nobody will EVER be able to lure you into buying any kind of automated, magic tool or wand in the form of a software, eBook, etc with an exaggerated or a fabricated success story.

2. The power of this article lies in its simplicity. The information will put you in a frame of mind where you would start gearing up mentally to work on your website even before you know it; exploring and trying out things that you had never considered before.

3. We want readers to know that this article is developed for the sake of an article – in an organic article format, with one and only objective of sharing information. So you are not likely to find any links blinking between the lines that would lead you to buying eBooks, templates, software, etc. None of all that. Not here at least.

Just read. Absorb. If in doubt, ask; and finally, Implement what you learn over here.

How to Optimize Your Website for Search Engines?

Before going any further or deeper into it, let’s first break the phrase down and understand its meaning. Most of us use it because it’s commonly heard of and referred to by one and all and we have kind of come to guess the meaning.

Let us understand the meaning of the phrase `to optimize’ to start with, and the rest will become self explanatory. Dictionary meaning of `To Optimize’ is `to get the most out of’ or `to achieve maximum efficiency out of’.

Now let’s understand the meaning of Search Engine. It is a program used in the context of Web. The program searches, indexes, and documents content and images, and matches them to facilitate search requests of Netizens, i.e. people online.

This brings us to verbatim meaning of the phrase `to Optimize Your Website for Search Engines’. It refers to getting the most out of your website, or making your website efficient enough to provide information that people search for on the web.

This brings us to the end of introduction! The new and subsequent lessons will comprise hard core information on the subject.

We shall dedicate this article to people who are planning to launch a new website – it may be your first site, second, or third … doesn’t matter. You may even be considering re-launching the old existing website all over again because, you don’t like the design; the website may not be doing as well as you expected it to; and so on and so forth. It’s your website, and you know best why you are contemplating to work on it all over again. But let us hope that this time the effort pays off. If it’s a new website, then let’s give it the right start and make it into a tool that will fetch you returns for years to come.

Let us first deal with the basic. Why do we need to give too much importance to a website? Why can’t we just put it up once and forget about it? The answer is we cannot afford to do it; because our websites are our shops/office on the World Wide Web that are supposed to bring us response, in the form of orders, testimonials, good reputation, and so on. And since our websites are our shop/office on the web, we cannot take them any less seriously than we would take our shop or office, had it been on a piece of land in the local market in our own city.

Switching Domain Name v.s. Switching Servers Vis-à-vis SEO

This is the first step for anybody looking at starting online business. It is often being advised that your main key phrase should be a part of your domain name. While it is a good advice, it is not necessary and should not be implemented at the cost of losing credibility that is attached to an aged site. I have already talked about choosing a proper domain name, and the advantages of having the keywords in the domain names in the below articles. If you are at the stage of choosing a domain name, please stop reading of this page and read the below articles, to have detailed information about choosing the domain names and having the keywords/phrases in them. Choosing a proper domain name is one of the most important steps in running a website and online business, and the first step in optimizing your website for the search engines. Therefore, make sure you know how to choose a proper domain name before you register a domain name:

Coming to switching servers – it is another issue altogether. For any reason if a webmaster decides to switch the server/company that hosts its website, he can do it without losing any sleep over it, except that he does not end up being where he was with the previous host in terms of his complaints. Switching server will not affect his search engine position in anyway. He will not lose any traffic because of it. What a webmaster can do while changing the hosting is that he should allow the site to remain on the old server while he has already ordered the new hosting plan and have uploaded the files and databases, and have setup the email accounts, autoresponders and… . When the content and data migration is done, he can simply update the name servers (DNS) and switch them to the new hosting name servers. It may take up to 24 hours for the site to run from the new server. Doing it that way, the site will not be down even for one second, which is the most important thing you should consider when switching the servers.

Find a Web Designer Who Can Make a Search Engine Friendly Website for You

For those of you, who already have a website or are planning to get one; should keep the following things in mind:

Please understand that Search Engine Optimization is not limited to content or images on your site having alt tags; SEO goes much beyond it. In fact it starts much ahead of that stage; SEO should be considered at the time of getting your website designed. The first parameter for any website to do well in future is whether its design is search engine friendly or not. Always remember this phrase “Search Engine Friendly Web Design”. While giving instructions to your designer, do make it clear that you will not accept or pay for a design that is anything less; whatever the justifications are, quality is a non-negotiable issue.

On your part you will have to understand that an SEO friendly design will mean not too much use of Flash on the site, and images that are there, will have to weigh less; lesser the better. A Good designer will know how to go about dealing with the issue of images.

Why Too Many Images on a Site Considered Anti-SEO

You should notice that search engines are not able to see the images contents. They can only see texts. Even when you search for an image with Google Images, it doesn’t list the images based on the images contents and what images have in their body. All the images are listed there based on the keywords/phrases found around them on the web pages, the image alt tag content, and also through the image file name which can contain keyword/phrase. Therefore, if a website content is mainly on the images and flash files, the search engines will have a hard time to understand what the website is all about, and where it has to be ranked and indexed.

The website loading speed is another important thing that has to be considered.

Visuals do make your site look good, but excess of them can kill it.

I have seen some websites, especially related with tourism which become very heavy with images and end up losing its visitors to their competitors. Some of the best firms with most genuine information, services, holiday packages, & costing, are buried deep down in search engines, never to be found by its target audience. When such websites are analysed, `heavy to load – reason: too many images’ is found to be one of the reasons for its status on SE. It will do you a lot of good to hire a designer who is into SE crawler friendly designing.

Your site should be quick to load; therefore it is important that it is light. When a visitor finally finds your site – research suggests that you have four seconds of visitor’s attention span within which if you should be able to grab his attention; if not he is a free feast for your competitor. Let’s understand that adding pictures is not the only way to make your website look good. You can use buttons for visual relief; there are some wonderful fonts out there that can add character to your site.

Why an SEO-Conscious Designer is Good for Your Website?

For those of you contemplating getting your website re-designed & are on a look out for a designer; and also those of you who have already found one; this part of information will hopefully prove to be of use.

Hire a designing & development firm that knows how to build an SEO friendly infrastructure for the website; because an SEO friendly internal structure will help to identify and retain what was good in the previous website, besides adding and creating new avenues for making it a better experience for the new visitors. Meaning a good designer will help you to retain old traffic as well as add new.

Let us pin point facts related with infrastructure of a website to give you a clear cut idea about what it stands for. Search Engine `Software’ (or `crawler’ or `spider’ as they are also referred to), ranks pages on the basis of importance it gives them. Importance of pages is determined on the basis of interlinking structure that a website follows. The spider considers pages that are linked to all the other pages within the website as more important than those linked with fewer pages. Website’s internal link popularity or Google assigning page rank to them highly depends on this factor. Infrastructure also helps a visitor to enjoy the experience of visiting your website and it is such that s/he feels like visiting other pages too.

A web designer who knows this will make sure that pages of old site that were considered important by spiders and were brining traffic and visitors do not get lost and cramped deep down with less important pages or unpopular categories. For example, he will ensure that Products and Services pages are positioned high in the hierarchy than Terms & Policies page. SEO friendly web designer will also ensure that products are divided into categories and sub categories; and that all categories are logically inter-linked. The more well defined your categories – the better it is from Search Engine ranking point of view. For example if one of your products – Black Shoes – can show under multiple categories as follows: under `Shoes’ category, under `Men’s Shoe’ category, under `Formal Dressing’ category, then it should show under various categories. But at the same time designer has to be ensured that while interlinking the pages the anchor text may change, but the URL of the page does not. Landing page is always the same.

Another feature that a good website should have is – all its `important pages’ should meet the final objective of website by carrying the all important messages ad information like, what is the website about and how can it help the visitor.

If for some reason while redesigning website, as a result of back-end coding or newly adopted CMS system, if URL extensions have to be changed, then it is for your web designer to ensure that pages of the old URLs are appropriately linked to newly designed pages via 301 redirect option, which will eventually help the new page gain same weightage or importance in the eyes of the spider after a while. In such cases one must ensure that new URLs sound nearly similar with the previous extension. If your site or blog is on an apache server, you can achieve it with the help of .htaccess file.

Then comes navigation menu – make sure your designer is not too persistent on DHTML, drop down, search box menus, or flash menu because they are not considered SEO friendly. CSS is safest from every point of view. If menu is not visible to the spider, God knows how many pages linked on that route will go un-indexed by spider, & your site’s interlinking strategy will fail. It’s like having a big hole in the ship, that too before we have even begun to sail.

If your new site design comes with CMS, make sure there is space assigned on each page for you to create all the Meta Tags & Headline Tags yourself. Always go for tailor made tags for each page rather than a self generating tag system.

Two more things to steer clear of are; use of session IDs for tracking visitors; and campaign tracking links affixed to URLs. These two gadgets downgrade webpage’s link popularity by splitting it and content tends to get indexed under multiple URLs. If this feature is automatically generated by the software you are using, then tell your designer to counter this problem by placing Canonical Link Element on such pages to avoid spider from indexing duplicate content.

Keep these things in mind and be frank with your designer in reiterating the fact that you are conscious of the money being spent as well results.

Having said that – let us end our SEO Vis-à-vis Web Designing discussion here.

What Do You Expect from Search Engine Optimization?

Considering that our designing aspect is taken care of, let us take the next step forward. And our next step is more about our own mindset than SEO as a technique, science, art and so on. This part will focus on putting OUR SEO perspective in place. Meaning, we should understand SEO in the modern context and what it stands to mean in today’s such a highly competitive environment. Is it about identifying a set of keywords and key phrases; discovering some off beat, golden phrases; placing them in the traditional positions in Meta tags, headlines, ensuring they appear in the opening sentence, and towards the end of content, not to forget in anchor texts, and so on?

Not anymore. It’s moved so much beyond.

Just remember that while you’ve got to work around key phrases; per page limit for them is at the most three, four, or five. Suppose you identify ten phrases for your website and if your site has 50 pages then use these ten phrases in various permutations and combinations. The most important place for the keyword to appear is in the title tag, other than that anchor texts, and rest of the time they can just flow where ever in the copy they are genuinely required. All that junk about them appearing in first paragraph, opening sentence on page, last paragraph etc holds no water. If you feel it fits seamlessly in the headline, great, if it does not, don’t deliberately make a place for it and end up skewing the feel of content. Basically do nothing that you think search engine will like.

As long as you will stick to the traditional outdated SEO tactics that worked ten years ago, you will continue to come across SEO companies who will give 100% assurance to bring your site on number one position on Google and other search engines like they used to ten years ago. I mean to say you will find what you are looking for. If your expectations are unreasonable, you will find SEO firms that are unreasonable. Most SEO firms are realistic in the beginning, but when clients do not agree with them, they start talking things that the client wants to hear.

On the other hand, if you understand that SEO is a long term proposition; where quick fixes are not going to solve your problems, you stand a better chance of finding a realistic SEO firm that can take your website closer to your target audience and add credibility to your online reputation at the same time.

Learn to re-assess your SEO goals; give priority to `what your website needs’ rather than “What you want out of it”. If you take a closer look, and think about it, you will know these are two very different things.

Some of you reading through this, and having some basic knowledge about SEO may want to know, that if meta tags, keywords etc are not the answer to SEO then is SEO as it has traditionally been known a dead strategy? Is it of no use to webmasters anymore? My answer is, No, it is not! It’s a skill very much alive, very crucial, but our perspectives have not changed over the years. SEO is not dead, but our creativity sure seems to have hit against the wall. SEO is very much there, but so is competition. In fact it has gone up like crazies; increased manifolds; hundred folds in last four to five years may not be an exaggeration.

In such a highly competitive environment, where so many websites are selling the same stuff, offering same services, at more or less similar prices, similar guarantees, how do you think Google and other search engines should differentiate them? We use the same kind of sentences and words to convince our visitors. Same tactics to trigger action; same big bold headlines; same combination of key phrases… we even refer to the same tools to look for best key phrases… and so on. Under such a peculiar situation we expect the search engine to rank our site (that we are promoting like anybody else) at the top out of 100,000s websites selling the same stuff, same services, at same prices? Is it a realistic expectation?

This is where out of the box thinking helps. What you want is number one position in Google Search Engine, where as if you think, you will agree, that what you actually need is traffic to your website. Isn’t it? So work towards traffic. Pick up ten key phrases based on combination of keyword tools and your common sense that people may type to find your product; it is likely that keywords or phrases you select may not be amongst the competitive ones, but they are sure to bring you traffic and take you closer to your target audience.

Focusing on traffic is far better than focusing on ranking for your website. Search Engine Ranking could be a poor way to measure success of any website whereas trickling traffic needs no further proof. SE Ranking changes by the minute and it is no secret. Plus search engines are becoming geographically targeted these days. So when you search for something, in search engine by typing out words or phrases, the results you get are more likely to be local. Search engine spiders are working on the logic that they would like to make things that you are looking for, available to you at closest distance from where you are presently located or searching for it. If you live in Utah and are looking for home renovation options online, search engines will give you options to choose from local home renovations specialists than present firms’ in Canada that offer affordable services, and have a qualified team working with them. Latter hardly makes sense how much ever efficient and good the Canadian firm might be. Then there is something called Personalised search which may rank a particular site at the top for various reasons on your computer but it may hardly be generating any traffic. Another reason is that sometimes it gets very easy for an SEO company to attain ranking for its client for a key phrase that nobody or very few people are typing to find information. So SEO can get you top ranking but no traffic, which you will agree makes little sense. Higher the ranking- more the sales is not true anymore in this fiercely competitive environment. So learn to measure things that actually matter and not what you read in some book written when internet, customers, and search engines were all evolving.

When a SEO company explains this to their clients they are disheartened because they had approached the firm because they were expecting some quick magical returns. And if you are a client, take one day at a time and think of building an online business just as you’d think of building one in the corner of the road. It takes time for any business to build; money and success take time to come and are always a result of hard work. If you can understand this, you are on the right path.

Your Website Content

Now let’s talk about developing content for various pages of your site. Create content for the sake of sharing the best information. Don’t think of key phrases while writing for any page of your website. Just focus on the message, the products, the services, customer’s benefit, etc. Leave the rest to search engine spiders. If your content is relevant, spider will assess it on its own; it will also index your entire website from the page it has reached if the site is easy to navigate and SEO friendly.

So understand that targeted traffic is what your website needs; and that search engines crawlers are highly advanced software; perfectly capable of finding, assessing, and ranking sites for different key-phrases and sentences based on various factors. Your job is to understand and believe in your product or service and write compelling and yet original copy for your target audience.

Remember that website with original content is going to be the winner. On the other hand, copying it from here and there and placing it on your site is like preparing for your own funeral. You are free to visit different websites, blogs, forums etc and read content. It will give you new ideas, and new angles to explore. Based on information you’ve read and agree with, develop your own content, where every sentence is your own. So that Google or any other search engine can’t charge you of copying; and when people copy your stuff, you get credit for it; some websites will deliberately and openly link to you and give you credit for it. This will improve your link popularity and help your website generate more traffic.

Many Websites Selling One Product, OR Many Products & One Website – What’s Better?

You also need to re-arrange your thinking regarding buying multiple domain names and selling the same product via all of them. I have seen many people go for it, which makes little sense to me personally. If you were to sell a product in a regular market how many shops will you buy to display them? And can you do the running around and justice to all of them? Similarly, we’d rather put all our energies into one website and make it a hit with customers than split time between ten websites and end up not doing justice to either of them. They will all remain mediocre in the end and wouldn’t be doing much good for the business.

Some online business entrepreneurs are advised to buy something like ten domains with highlighting different aspects of their business; which is not a good idea when it comes to SE crawlers. If search engine spiders catch you taking unfair advantage and fooling them with different domains, it is likely that they will mark your site as deceptive. The best way out is to park everything in a single domain and forward the entire lot with the help of a permanent 301-redirect leading to the main site. The only other alternative if you want to use all the domains is to build sites that are different from each other. There is basically nothing wrong or unethical about having many sites to promote your product as long as you can manage to develop/write so much information for each one of them separately. Unless they all sound different, the effect will not show and all your hard work and money spent on buying domain names and hosting space will be wasted.

Before it slips off my mind I also want to share one fact with you all (which might sound out of context here, but please forgive me for it and take the tip seriously). Webmasters are always curious to know how much traffic is their competitor generating and he buys tools and stuff online which never give them the true picture. But the reality is unless there log files have leaked or tracking codes are out in the open due to some technical glitch in their server, you can’t get to know about traffic that a website generates.

Different Tags Used While Search Engine Optimizing a Website

While working on SEO for your website you will be required to follow the following Meta tags in a sequence. All these tags are maintained page wise. While all of them have to be unique they all have to belong to the same or closely related theme. First is the title tag which can be as long as you want but remember that crawler will read only the first 64 characters and evaluate the site on the basis of those 64 characters. So choose your words very carefully.

Title tag is also one of the most important of all tags. Space is also considered a character. Words like `the’ `an’ `and’ etc be rather avoided:

Starting a Small Business

Then is description tag on which there is no word limit as such. Ideal is to make it into a two short sentence thing. It is used to describe what the page is about in a little more detail. Unlike the title tag which is very important in the web page ranking, description tag has no SEO value anymore. Search engines use it only to have the description of the page on the search engine result page (SERP). Although it has no SEO value, it is very important in increasing your web page click through rate. Having one or two good, brief and descriptive sentences in the description meta tag is very effective in attracting the search engines’ users to click on your website link among all the other competitors. You should try to insert the main keyword/phrase that you have in the title tag of the same page, in its description too, if possible. It can attract the users’ attention more:

Starting a Small Business

Keyword meta tag will have all the different permutation and combination of keywords that are used on the particular web page. It’s not of any importance in present SEO contest. Therefore, you can forget about it.

Next in line is the headline tag. This is the second most important tag after title tag. It is better and is considered to have more impact when it is precise and placed at the top of the page. While title, description, and keyword tags are not visible to readers and are for spiders to take note of, headline tag along with spider being able to read it, it is visible to the human visitors also. Headline tag starts from

which displays the biggest font size on the web page. Each page body needs to be started with a

tag that includes the main keyword/phrase. Unlike the title, description and keyword tags that are places between theandtags, and so, are not visible to the web page visitors, the

tags have to be placed on the page body and between theandtags:

Starting a Small Business

Starting a Small Business Is Easy!

……

………

 

You need to know the HTML basics too 😉

Anchor Text

There is something called anchor text. It stands for the text that is used to represent a live link directing visitors to another page:

the first step to start a small business

This text is also considered important, should comprise two or three words; and preferably should have at least one keyword that the pages is optimized with.

Alt Tag

Image Alt tag is also something webmasters will come across while SEOing their website. It is placed with images. This is done because search engine crawlers are not developed to read images so this image alt tag assists the software to read the image. It generally comprises two to three words, having a keyword. If there are six different images in the form of header, or buttons, blurb, etc on a site each one should be defined separately according to what it represents or with one of the keywords that the page is optimized with. Guess that’s about all when it comes to tags.

Mozilla FireFox and Google Chrome are not able to display the alt tag text on the web pages. However, there is another tag called title which is used by these browsers to show the text on the image (you will see the text if you hover your mouse pointer on the image).  Although search engines spiders are able to see both of the alt and title text, nowadays the webmasters try to have both of these tags in the img tag. Please note that you should use the same text for both of them:

<img src="Image Address Goes Here" alt="small business first step" title="small business first step">

Time Factor and SEO

By now we already know that SEO is an ongoing thing. There is no time or budget limit after which one can take it easy and stop working on the site, and expecting that it will be able to retain the traffic and fetch returns endlessly. SEO is an effort that has to go on and on. This is one aspect. Coming to another aspect, where and how does it take time? Well it takes time to research the key phrases for the entire site; it takes time to research and assemble information, read and understand it to develop content in your own words; time to create Meta tag for all pages; headlines, anchor texts, image alt tags, time to develop interlinking structure for every web page; and so on. It all starts with freezing on one goal, finding ways to achieve it; breaking the process down into various steps; evaluating results at equal intervals; analysing traffic data; altering plan of action if required based on results, and so on.

Link Popularity

Link popularity means more traffic. And there are many organic ways to improve it. So for improving traffic to your website or link popularity, don’t ever consider getting involved with link farms or don’t buy link on other sites either. Sooner or later spiders will identify it and since this is an unethical practice it may even decide to ban your site as a punishment.

Google’s laws related to sites are very strict. So best is to not take a chance. They practice what they preach. Google is one of the cleanest, most original and innovative things to have happened on the net. And they have been around for several years; leading the game of fame. The other side of the coin is – they constantly work towards upgrading their existing products and offering new features to its users. They do not allow promotion of pornography, drugs, violence into any of its advertising and other programs.

If you are someone who agrees with more or less everything written above, but does not know where to start, or find a genuine web designer who will assess present status of your website and will suggest changes, you need to work a little harder. If you come across genuine sounding websites offering SEO work, do write to them, exchange mails a few times, call, Skype; be open to what they have to say, their suggestions, at the same time not allowing them to dominate or intimidate you with their talks and jargon. Always remember, it’s your site, its your responsibility, and you are going to pay for it. Its success and failure is going to affect you. So whether you win or lose, the firm will earn.

Now I think its time to change gear – all this serious talk about SEO being long term proposition and all is not to make you glum and serious about the issue. SEO can also be quick effective and even fun on several occasions. Sometimes on-page-optimization done rightly can change the entire scenario in a few months time. So be at it. On Page optimization will be generally followed by off page optimization. ON page optimization is all that we have discussed above. Off page optimization can become a tedious job, but if planned properly it can also become exciting. The main objective of off page optimization is generating back links. The more the merrier. There are many ways to generate back links. But remember one good or worthy back link is better than generating ten mediocre ones.

So finding new ways to get back links from credible and high traffic website is the key. Link building is part of organic marketing.

Organic vs. Inorganic Optimization

As you read more and get deeper into the subject of SEO you will come across debates happening over organic vs. inorganic methods of promoting a site. Always side with organic. Organic marketing brings organic traffic. Organic traffic comprises genuine visitors or potential customers of your product; and search engine position achieved with organic and genuine means will keep you there for a longer period of time. Spiders can easily identify organic sites and rankings from inorganic, paid or fake rankings and sites. So stay clear. We are here to do business and stay in it for a long time. Hence can’t afford to break rules, take shortcuts or dungeon subways.

SEO – Peculiar Issues

The fact is everyone seems to have come a long way and evolved; Google; market; websites; products; visitor; service standards; everything. And those who have not, are the ones talking about the old and easy games of tweaking title tag, placing key phrases and words in headline, optimized anchor text, and so on. Search engine crawlers are finally ranking sites on the basis of their underlying qualities and not merely on the basis of how perfectly they are implementing SEO. It’s not about SEO anymore. It’s finally about the product. Google has turned SEO on its head! And am I glad!

Don’t make a clutter of codes on your web page. Most of them don’t make sense anymore. “Robots follow” elements are redundant so to say. So are “revisit” tags! Search engine spiders automatically go to all sites they find links to and there is no need to tell them how often they should visit your site or webpage, because they have and follow their own timetable and don’t need your advice on it. Actually you’d better be working on your site constantly if you want them to visit you on a more regular basis. It is their call and they take it also.

Content may not always mean copy. Sometimes the brand power is strong for certain products that they stand out and generate awesome traffic in spite of the webpage not showing any visible content on it, just an image does the trick. Websites reach this stage as a result of putting in years of hard work into building the brand. Suppose a genuine `cure for wrinkles’ is found. And the person who has discovered it has put it up online. It’s a regular ten-fifteen page brochure website, with a few testimonial pages. Meaning the combination or tonic works. Now as soon as this news is out in the open relevant sites will start linking to this website, by way of an affiliate link or even otherwise. And it will attract traffic like many other sites have not been able to generate after years of hard work. This is the power of good product.

So here we are! If we are serious about succeeding online, we will have to re-arrange everything from our attitude to title tags, & also goals; not think about what used to happen ten years ago; not crib about lost page rank; lost sales and traffic. Instead we will craft new strategies; understand everything afresh; and keep our minds open. Let us do everything from making our product better so that it can stand out; focus on building our website and products into a brand; writing original copy; let us acknowledge; learn and use the power of social media marketing, and much more. My web designer may help me build a site that is technically perfect, but I will need to take it upon myself to make it perfect for my visitors.

How Does Spider Evaluate Pages That only Have Graphical Images?

We have already discussed that pictures and images make a site heavy to load, and, spiders are not able to see what inside an image is. But what about optimizing web pages that only have graphical representations and maps on it? The answer is, on images that are not clickable, optimized alt tags won’t help in anyway at all; if webmaster allows comment from readers, these have relevance vis-à-vis search engine optimization, & not indexed by the spiders. Hidden layers, i.e. text written in background colour that is not visible to readers but it is visible to spiders is considered spam; and a route better avoided.

The best way to go about it is make your title tag tightly weaved. And do everything that you can to get as many back-links as possible pointing to the page which has these graphical maps and representations. You can focus on pages that have text and optimize them perfectly with the help of right key phrases.

Coming back to the first question – How to Optimize Website for Search Engines?

The answer is please hold yourself & DON’T think of optimizing your website for search engines! Optimize it for users and for your potential target audience. Make it as useful, functional, easy to navigate, and as informative as you can. If users enjoy the experience, and can find information they are looking for, it won’t take spiders too long to find you. Your user’s vote or preference for your website will go in your favour when it comes to search engine crawlers sending the traffic your way. Just concentrate on the user aspect their angle, their need, their mindset, their psyche. And as I say this, I hardly mean stuff your site with information. Select the kind of information you’d like your user to have, arrange it in a way that he enjoys the journey of going through a learning curve, and finally agrees with and can relate to what your point of view.

If Visitor Likes Your Website – Spider Automatically Will!

The environment is changing really fast; user preference is changing; people are becoming increasingly technologically savvy; the way they are buying stuff, and shopping is changing; the way they are socialising online and connecting with childhood friends is unbelievable; their career and holiday plans are not what they used to be; and so on. And the common factor in the entire above situation is the INTERNET. For all of the above mentioned and more people are going online; visiting websites for assistance. It’s inexpensive, convenient, and they have a huge choice.

For your potential visitor to have a reason to buy product or services from your website over others – the reason has to be strong enough. Which means you will have to have a website that offers something more; a better experience; reason to trust; and reason to come back. And to make your website spell all this, a lot will have to go into it. And this you have to understand really well.

It is a fact that internet is so easily and widely accessible, that people are ordering food; grocery; paying bills; shopping; and this bunch has far exceeded the people buzzing and shopping on the streets. At the same time, it is now possible for you and me to visit world class designer stores online without having to look, wear, and smell right or having the money power. Websites are becoming that simple; and yet such huge influence. So they better be perfect, especially if they are ours!

No need to Chase Offers Promising to `Submit Your Website to Thousands of Directories’

This makes no sense. If your site is designed in SEO friendly software, has well researched keywords and phrases, with title tags and unique content, sitemap, etc then various crawlers will index it anyway, whether or not you submit them to directories all over. You should not be chasing them. They should be chasing you. In fact you should be focusing all your energies – physical as well as mental – into making your site a vehicle that chases your target audience.

Optimizing Your Own Website – Vs – Hiring SEO Firm

Both work and these are two different ways to go the same thing. Its matter of choice, need, and budget. And there are many reasons to go with either of them. If your website sells heavy electrical machinery for power plants and mines, and you have the budget, you can consider hiring SEO firm after evaluating your situation as under: outsourcing this SEO to an SEO firm and having some traffic on your website, let’s suppose is likely to take around six months, and the cost will come to $7500. If after six months you are able to get orders for six machines online, your profit from six machines for example comes to $35000, then the investment and effort has been worth it. Plus the six month’s time is all yours and you are free to utilize it as you like. So this we will say has been a good experiment and we should continue to do it.

Another situation, someone has a small crockery website that he decides to promote himself, because all through the day unless costumers walk in he is not doing anything much; plus his profit margins are not much and the investment does not leave him with budget for spending on SEO. Under this situation if he decides to learn the skill himself and do it on his own, it will be considered a good decision.

There is a third option also which combines services of professional with DIY. Website owner or online entrepreneur gets his site designed and initially optimized, and if he has a flair for learning the skill he can learn the basic SEO techniques from the firm that is doing SEO for his site to take it forward himself. One should check with optimizing firm whether or not they offer hands-on-training option for its clients or not. Some firms may also decide to have a special team that will work exclusively on its website. Such teams can be given training by the SEO firm. But I repeat one has to check with the firm having any such option.

I hope this information helps people who have websites or are planning to have one. Don’t have it for the sake of having it. Learn to make it work for you. With some effort in the right direction, why shouldn’t it?

Let Me Check Your Site and Give You Some Advice for Free!

As the person who has been in this business for years, even before Google starts working and to be known as a search engine, I have lots of experiences. I have helped so many webmasters so far and my advice sometimes have been able to change their whole life. If you are going to run a website and online business, or you already have one, share it here by posting a comment and let me take a look and give you some advice that will make your way toward having targeted traffic, a lot shorter.

Wishing you all the very best!

4 thoughts on “How to Optimize Your Website for Search Engines

  1. Any

    Hi Vahid,

    When I enter “runanonlinebusiness” into Google, I can’t find your site – runanonlinebusiness.com. I see houndreds of websites with different names but there is no your site. Why?

    Best regards,
    Any

    Reply
  2. Any

    Hi,
    Something interesting. When I enter “runanonline business” (as I wrote, with space after runanonline), your website is in third position in Google.
    When I use DuckDuckGo (browser driven by community, It doesn’t spy) and enter “runanonlinebusiness” your website is in pole position.

    Best regards,
    Any

    Reply

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