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Website SEO introduction

November 1, 2006

in All Articles,Browsers,Marketing

Blue broccoli. You love it so much, you’ve created a website about it. You want people to Google “blue broccoli”, and be able to find your website in the results. Only it doesn’t happen. Why can’t people find your site?

Making your website more popular on Internet searches is called SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. SEO is a big industry, and companies spend mucho dinero on their own website SEO. We can do it too: It’s possible for a little broccoli like us to compete in a supermarket of veggies.

Improving your website’s broccoli-related search engine results is possible and free, but does take time. Make sure, however, your topic hasn’t already been done to death. If you’re competing with a thousand other “blue broccoli” sites, getting ahead will be tough.

If you create a website, chances are it’s already been found automatically by the big three search engines: Google, Yahoo and MSN. But like my third grade experience of never getting picked for T-Ball, if your website doesn’t know the rules, it won’t be in the game.

Reading is fundamental

If your site can’t be read by a search engine, you’ll never be heard. Search engines automatically find your site, but may not be able to read everything. For detail, use the free Poodle Predictor and its Diagnostics View to find what a search engine “sees” when it looks at a page. Make sure the important text content of your pages appears.

Write well, write often

The content of your site is one of the biggest factors determining search engine placement. Make sure the text on your site is unique – copying information from other sources won’t help. The more text the better.

Be specific

If your site is about blue broccoli, then say it often. Don’t say “my favorite veggie”, because the search engines won’t realize you’re talking about blue broccoli, and blue broccoli searchers won’t be directed to your site.

How to make friends and link to people

The more sites linking to yours will increase your ratings on search engines. Talk to other website owners who write about broccoli and vegetarian cooking. Ask them to link to your site. In exchange, you could link to them. Join message boards with questions your site answers, and post answers linking to your appropriate page. (Be careful when getting links: “Spamming” message boards, or getting links from just anyone is not going to work. Sites linking to you should be related to your website’s topics.)

SEO is time-consuming and complex, which is why it’s a huge business. You can easily spend thousands of dollars promoting a small website. But free SEO is possible if you’re willing to make the effort. Learn SEO yourself before paying anyone, so you can learn what not to do. This ensures any paid SEO will be with a company using reputable techniques. In the end, you’ll have a happy, healthy website. Now go eat your vegetables.

Visit WebmasterWorld for techie-level SEO detail and website design.

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