SEO - search engines
We've often discussed the importance of SEO techniques when you make a website. We've seen, for example, how you can use the website builder tools that are part of doomby's free website maker to help optimize your website for search engine results. Today, we're going to get back to basics and answer some of the questions beginner webmasters often ask.
This is the first in a series of articles on SEO and search engine basics, and is the perfect starting point for those who've just begun to create a website, and are wondering how search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and Baidu go about deciding what to list, and where to list it. The aim of the these articles is less about how to make a website, and more about how to get your website found on the web.
Getting busy is easier as the weather warms up (sorry southern hemisphere friends), and now is as good a time as any to start to make a website, or to spring-clean your existing one. Whether you're just starting out or already a seasoned webmaster, you'll always need to be thinking on several fronts as you create a website and develop your content. Obviously, your website design is an important part of ensuring people stick around long enough to get to the good stuff: your killer site content. But you also need to keep these two elements in sync with the way people actually use your website.
Getting a site looking great and filled with fascinating stuff is next to useless if people run away in frustration just after they arrive – your visitors need to be able to find content and navigate through your website as easily as possible. Keeping your site content, its aesthetics and ergonomics in balance is one of the keys to dealing with a bouncy website.
In the race to be Google's best friend, having less bounce to the ounce helps. Among the many criteria that are (allegedly) taken into consideration by Google (and presumably those other search engines as well …) is a website's bounce rate.
Yes, it's SEO chat time again (but that's no reason to let your eyes glaze over and start wondering how long it's been since you last cleaned out your navel fluff). Figuring out how best to optimize your website for search engines is an essential part of learning how to make a website. Recently, we've looked at the role played by keyword selection and on-page keyword density when you make a website, but there's more to optimizing a website than simply writing some interesting, keyword-rich content.
Remember, if you want to get visitors, you'll need to make sure they find you. And since most people will use a search engine to look for websites, it's of vital importance to think beyond your paragraphs and to ensure all your page text is optimized for search engines, including hidden text like meta tags, together with your page titles and headings.
It's pretty clear that spring has arrived with a bang – not only have temperatures skyrocketed (much to my cats' delight), but after last week's emyspot website makeover, our hyperactive team this week got stuck into developing some really great additions to our members' website builder tools. The team's efforts weren't limited to subscribers to our pro website development offers – if you're one of our members who enjoy the opportunity to make a free website with doomby, you haven't been left out either, and can already take advantage of the latest additions to your favorite free website builder.
This week's development efforts have concentrated on how to make a website better through social networking integration. Though we've long provided an access to social bookmarking services for your website content directly from the site manager, allowing you to publish your page links to your Facebook and Twitter accounts, this week we added a few menu gadgets to let your site visitors do the sharing for you. Though simple to set up, they really help improve your SERP ranking – or web presence – exponentially. All without you lifting a finger (almost).
No, a catchy title isn't the one I had in mind, but that was a pretty good one for starters, right? On the other hand, the picture on the right has a lot more in common with today's post than may first meet the eye ...
I've been doing a lot of surfing over the last week, going back to get a fresh perspective on some familiar things. Bossman (the elder) has been doing something similar, though his reflective retro trip has involved listening to such classic 80s musical greats as "Ghostbusters" and "Final Countdown" (not that I'm complaining – it makes me feel way younger than I have been of late).
One of the things I noticed during this week of “revisiting old things in a new way” was just how websites were marketed, and how I responded to that. So rather than talk about how to make a website this week, I thought I'd step back and talk about how to make a successful website, and what SEO has to do with making it a success.
No, this is not a discussion about lexically challenged motor-heads, but rather the follow-up to last week's fireside chat about SEO keyword choices. Now that you've got your key search terms figured out, you really should take some time to figure out how you're going to use them in your writing.
Remember, keyword choice is just as important for those looking to make a website for personal reasons as it is for business websites (unless you want to make a secret website, and hey, each to their own).
You'll often come across the term 'keyword density' when researching writing for the web. As the name (hopefully) suggests, it describes the relative frequency of your keywords as they appear in your content. And like salt, sugar, butter, sex … whatever, too much of a good thing is bad for you. But too little leaves an 'emptiness' (as in, no visitors).
It's been almost a week since we got zoned together, and it's probably time to return to the business of website creation. By now, you've come up with some terrific ideas for your site content. So, you know why you're going to make a website and who'll be looking at it. Great. As they say, content is king, and you've got to know your audience.
I'm sure you'd agree, right?
You've also had time to think about your website design, and to choose a website color scheme. Even better. But the devil is in the details, and before your dive in and create a website, it's essential to remember what it's for: it needs to be visited, to be read, seen, heard … and for that, it needs to be found. Which just so happens to be the object of today's sermon from the mount: getting found by thinking ahead (or SEO: Search Engine Optimization).
OK, so this is not really about speaking, nor even precisely about writing prose. Rather, it's about being selective with words and thinking first before putting … finger to keyboard** when you're getting busy with making your own website (or anyone else's for that matter).
The bottom line is: if you want someone to click your ads and visit your website, you've gotta think about the text you use. You'll need a catchy title, and 120 characters of killer text that makes people want to know more (and that they'll just have to click because it's too effective not to ...).