Search engine optimization (SEO) can propel your site to the top in popular search engines.
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Search engine optimization is the act of optimizing a website (in terms of code, content and links) to increase traffic from major search engines, like Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft's Bing. At Ter-Web Development Services we are constantly thinking of how to best design your site with SEO in mind.
What Do Search Engines Look For?
Search engines catalog everything on the web with robot computer programs called "bots." These move through websites by "crawling" from link to link. To provide the most useful search results, search engines rank pages based on several important factors. These include:
- Relevance: The relevance of information on a site depends on how closely it matches a search query. A site's content is considered more relevant when the search terms appear in the title or headings of the page and hidden keyword and description tags.
- Popularity: A website's importance is measured by the number of times other sites link to it. These are called "backlinks," and when they come from a large and/or highly respected sites, they carry more weight.
Six Ways to Boost Your Search Engine Rank
There are many ways to improve how high your site ranks on major search engines, and we've highlighted six to get you started:
- Add Unique Content to Your Site
Put information on your site that does not appear anywhere else on the Internet. When you do add information to your site, make sure it is not copied verbatim from another online source, or the search engines will ignore it as "duplicate content." The more pages your site has, the higher its page rank. Unique, quality content also gives other sites reasons to link to you, and building backlinks is part of the popularity factor that search engines notice.
- Keywords, Keywords, Keywords...
Brainstorm keywords that your target audience might use to find you. All content in your site should be full of those keywords. Place the keywords in key places. Your keywords should appear in your page titles, headings, and subheadings. Use them where they are relevant, and if they aren't relevant in certain places, replace them with words that are.
- Create a Sitemap
Sitemaps can improve SEO by displaying links to pages on your site that search engine bots might otherwise miss. Your site's pages should be logically structured from broad to specific, and pages should never be buried so deep they can't be found; each page should be no more than three clicks from the home page. Google Webmaster Tools is a great resource for creating sitemaps to submit to Google.
- Add Links with Strong Anchor Text
When linking to relevant sites, tell your readers where you're sending them. The anchor text (the wording displayed in a hyperlink) should closely match the URL you are pointing to. For example, here are two ways to link to Ter-Web Development Services:
- Submit Your Site to Search Engines
Visit all the popular search engines and look for the link that says "add your site." Follow the prompts to add your web address to their directory. It's easy and it's free.
- Solicit Backlinks
You will be more highly ranked if many sites link to you — the more popular the sites, the better. Ask other organizations to add a link to your site, or do a link exchange. It helps if you have ready information on your site to help others link in, such as cut-and-paste site descriptions and code, and banners about your site. Here is an example of a page inviting people to link to STDs in Color website. A link from another site increases your site's page ranks, but avoid links from link farms as this can result in a penalty.
Search engine optimization takes time, but persistence will help establish a strong base of visitors to your site and expand your site's popularity.
Need professional help to increase your search engine rank?
Contact us for SEO help. Search engine optimization can be a big job, and if you don't have time, energy, or know-how, we can help you make it happen.