Do people find your website through search engines, or are your only visitors ones who heard about you? Advertising, word of mouth, and links from other sites, are good ways for people to find your site, but some people don't know of a site that has what they want. These people are going to use searches to look for sites that may be of use to them. Are they going to find your site? Does it really matter?
Whether you want to be found through search engines is up to you. Businesses usually want more customers. Personal sites, not so important, but even personal sites were put up for others to see, and we have very affordable packages. Organizations frequently have sites to raise money, and to do that requires having people find the site. How much difference does it make being found with searches? About 1/2 of our current clients found us through searches.
What exactly is Search Engine Optimization?
It's making or modifying a website so search engines can find it and figure out just what the site is about, so when people search for something the site relates to, it will be in the list of results. Some use the phrase "search engine friendly". Search engines aren't human, not yet anyway. There are directory listings that are put together by humans, like dmoz.org, but search engines use what are called web crawlers. They gather data about your site mostly from the text they can read. They can't read images, so if you had a site at abcdefg.com and all it contained was a picture called abcdefg.jpg, nobody will ever find your site from a search engine, unless they search for abcdefg. There are several different things that can be done to make that site, or your site, be possible to find with searching, from very simple to very time consuming.
Here are some of the main SEO topics:
- title and header tags - simplest and most effective (for the time it takes)more
The title tag is what shows in the blue bar at the top of the most popular browsers. It's supposed to be a title that says what the page is about. The 2 most important header tags are called "description" and "keywords". The description tag is what some search engines show for your site listing, so it could be your chance to convince someone to click on the link to your site. hide me
- URI's - search engines use page file and directory names to get an initial idea of the topicmore
The URI (commonly referred to as URL) is what you see in your address bar. Search engines, and even visitors, might get an idea what a page is about by what they see there. This page for example, SEO.pws; pretty obvious it's about SEO. Some site builders just use names like page1.html, page2.html, and so on. They throw away one of the methods of increasing your sites rank. Renaming website pages isn't one of the simplest tasks though. You need to change the links on your site and also think about other sites out there that have links to your pages. hide me
- image "alt" tags - allow images to speak to search engines, especially if the image is fancy textmore
You've probably seen it before, even on this site, graphical text. You can see what it says, but search engines have no idea. Just add "alt" and/or "title" tags to the images, and you can let search engines know what they say. Alt is the text shown in place of an image while it's downloading, or if images don't show for any reason. Title is what is read by any program that reads out the page content, like page reader programs for visually impaired people. The tag contents also show when you mouse over an image. hide me
- menu system - make sure search engines can follow your links, and get back and forth between pagesmore
- menu system links - the linked word or phrase gives search engines an idea what the page is aboutmore
You see this a lot, "click here", as the text that contains a link to another page. Just a simple change to "prices here" or "hosting plans" for the text to be linked gives search engines an initial idea of what the next page will be about. Sometimes it even makes it easier for people to figure out if they want to click or not. hide me
- page content - make sure your keywords or phrases are on the related pages, and in "power" positions, but not overusedmore
let's break this one down into points
- make sure the words/phrases you want a page found by are on the page (seems obvious, but people have overlooked this)
- main keyword or phrase should be in a header (h1 or h2) tag, or at least bigger than content text
- a keyword or phrase should be mentioned at a reasonable frequency (the more text on the page, the more the word or phrase should appear)
- do not overdo it, called "keyword stuffing", because search engines can tell, and it may even drive away visitors
- page design - images aren't the only things that only people can "read"more
Flash is very common, and it can "say a lot" to people anyway, but search engines don't get anything from it. When flash, or anything else not "readable" by search engines is used, you need to make sure there is something for the search engines as well. You also need to consider the fact that not all visitors will have browsers or addon software to see all the fancy stuff out there. What about visually impaired visitors? If a site is at least usable to them, it's generally fine for search engines as well. hide me
- page coding - the raw code is generally what search engines see, so it must be readable by themmore
Clean and well written code is easier for future updates, and easier for search engines to extract data from. Some methods of making a web page make code so messed up, or add so much excess baggage, that search engines look at it and leave. hide me
- inbound links - links to your site give search engines more ways in, and make your site appear more importantmore
If others think your site is good, or important, they will put a link to it on their site. Inbound links, as long as they are good ones, help with search engine ranking. Just like the internal links on your site, the text used for the link is important. If someone has a link to your site but the text, especially the text in the link (anchor text), could be worded better, don't be afraid to ask them to change it a bit. If they linked to you, it usually means they like your site, so they usually won't maind adjusting it. Don't forget to say thanks for the link. hide me
- outbound links - links to other sites show search engines that you're not greedymore
Links to other sites that may be of interest to visitors makes your site more friendly, and search engines like sites that help them find other sites. Linking to others makes others more willing to link to you as well, but don't make every link be a reciprocal link. Also, make sure to use appropriate wording in your links. If you're going to link to other sites, you may as well make them good links. hide me
- quality of in/out links - links to or from sites can help, but can also hurtmore
Which sites you link to, and which sites link to you, is important. Search engines give sites (pages to be exact) a certain value. With Google, it's called page rank. The more important search engines think the sites linked to or from are, the more effect it will have on your site rank. Links to or from sites that search engines don't like can hurt your site rank. hide me
- mass linking (link farms) - STAY AWAY FROM THESEmore
Everyone with a website eventually gets emails from strangers talking about link exchanges. Sometimes it may actually be a site you will want to deal with, but most of the time you're better off ignoring the email. In many cases, they run link farms, basically, sites that are nothing more than links, links, and more links. There are some good link directory sites, but most are designed strictly for the purpose of increasing link counts. Search engines don't like that, and they do figure them out. hide me
Which topics we take care of, and how detailed we get, is determined by which package you choose.
Here are our various SEO packages and prices.
click on the package names to see samples of what each package can cover
- Bronze Package - $54.00
- Silver Package - $99.00
- Gold Package - $235.00
- Platinum Package - $420.00
- Premium Package - $910.00
An order form will be here soon. In the meantime, to order one of our SEO packages, please contact us and let us know what package you want. If you aren't sure which package will cover what you want done, just let us know what you want done and we can take a quick look at your site for free and let you know which package will cover it.
What kind of results can you expect, and how soon?
One thing we won't do is guarantee making your site #1. There is only 1 #1 result for every search term out there. Our site made #1 with Google for the term website solutions for a little while, but we were actually surprised, pleasantly of course, and a few months later we went down a few notches. We can guarantee a better ranking for your search terms, and help you decide on the best terms to target, and with either our Gold, Platinum, or Premium package, we can also guarantee putting your site in the top 0.0001% of results, (within the first 50 of 50,000,000 results), on major search engines for your main search term.
It takes time for search engines to find changes and have the effects show up, and some SEO procedures take a bit of time to build up their effect, but as a general rule, most changes will take effect within a couple months, and there may even be noticeable changes after the first month.
The best, and easiest, time to work on SEO is when a new site is being designed, or a current site is being redesigned, but there is much that can be done with an existing site. With any of our SEO work, we start with reviewing your site, deciding what should be done, then letting you know what we're going to do, or if you know exactly what you want done, we will let you know how much it will cost to do that.
No matter where your site is hosted, and no matter who did the design work, if you want better search engine results, we can help.
Some of our package deals include some SEO.
Some people think SEO is complicated. Some people say it is complicated. In reality, it's quite simple. Search engines work hard to try to make decisions that the human users will like, otherwise, us humans will quit using that search engine, so the rule is pretty simple:
If a site is designed to be of interest, liked and usable by most internet users, and search engines can find and read it, it's headed in the right direction.
If you have any questions about Search Engine Optimization, feel free to contact us.