Howto: Free Tips on Search Engine Optimization (seo) – Getting Visitors!
Author: Jonathan Plumb
Being new to the world of Blogging, I have been stressing on how to get visitors. What good is it to have a site I put time and effort into if nobody knows it exists? Of course there are many ways, to include word-of-mouth, commenting on other blogs, newsletters, etc, but the way this article will focus on is called Search Engine Optimization (or SEO). SEO is a major deal, and many companies pay their web designers high dollar-amounts to get their site noticed! So what is Search Engine Optimization? SEO is a method, or an art really, of discovering the inner-workings of search engines (such as Google or Yahoo!) so that we can understand what exactly to do to our site to get it top-ranked on the search engines. For example, let’s say we go to Google and search for “SEO.” Google returns, as of today, 248 MILLION results of SEO. The number one on the list for me is Wikipedia.org, followed shortly by many companies who offer services in Search Engine Optimization. These sites have spent countless dollars having programmers optimize their site to reach those rankings. But why throw your money away when you can find plenty of sites online, like mine, that offer tips on how to do it yourself? So where do we start? Before we begin, I should point out that visitors will not arrive at your site overnight. I have been up-and-running for about 2 weeks now and I see around 4-5 visitors a day. Just in the last few days I’ve begun trying to actually get word of my site out there, but I expect at least a month or more before I start seeing real results. Also I should point out to not give up. The number one reason why the sites that fail go downhill is because the authors start giving up, which leads to less updates, and eventually a complete vanishing act. Web Design : You want to thoroughly check your site for spelling errors, problems in the code, or any other minor errors. You want your meta tags to be clean, with proper keywords to your site. Don’t flood your keywords with irrelevant words to try to create traffic. Search engines used to fall for that, but they are much more intelligent now-a-days. Study Habits : Take the time to study and learn all you can! If this is the only article you have ever, or will ever, read, maybe you should pack your bags. SEO is a big deal, and if you want to be successful you need to constantly try to get better, even if you think you have it down! Include a sitemap. Sitemaps are basically a page (this can be a .html file or XML file, or whatever method you have found that works) that has a link to every page on your site. This allows search engine spiders (the term used for their software that “crawls” the web and indexes sites) to easily see every link on your site, and get it all right the first time. http://www.xml-sitemaps.com/ provides an easy, free, way to create sitemaps to your site. Write Understandable Titles and Descriptions on every page – This is VERY important. Why would a user click on a site that says “SEO Tips” and expect something different? Make sure all of your page titles are related to the content contained. Visitors will not want to come back if they find themselves in a pool of marketing schemes or whatever your flavor may be. Participate – This is yet another very important factor. If you want to create a blog and have visitors come to your site, shouldn’t you visit other sites as well? This is key to success. Visit sites, see what others are talking about: it might inspire you. And don’t forget to leave comments. Don’t leave comments like “Come to my site,” but try to leave actual constructive comments. This will develop your character and web surfers will be more likely to visit your site. Diversify your Content – Having a site specialized in a single topic can be fun to maintain, especially if it’s something you enjoy to do, but what happens when people just aren’t interested in reading the same old stuff over and over? Try to mix it up a bit, talk about different things. It doesn’t have to be different every time, but keep in mind that readers like reading new content. Media – I can’t really confirm if this helps or not, but I have read that YouTube videos on your site increase your site ranking. That being said, whether it increases your ranking or not, videos on your site help your visitors visualize what you are trying to say, which makes them want to come back more! Get Help – http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/ is a great place to start if you have a new site. Google has spent the time to develop these tools to assist you in optimization of your site. It will tell you detailed statistics about your site, including broken or missing links, code errors, links to your site, and much, much more. Take advantage of these tools, they are there for you! That is just a few of the massive amounts of tips that can be found all over the internet. Google SEO Optimization tips is a great search to begin with, if you want to learn more. Good luck and I hope we all see some traffic soon!