How to Optimize Your Visibility

By Michelle Dale

Website optimization, also known as search engine optimization (SEO), is crucial to your website’s performance. There appears to be no point in building a website, no matter how great it might look, if no-one can find it but you. Optimization is the procedure of preparing your site as effectively as you possibly can, so that potential viewers will discover it when they carry out a search.

Assuming that people aren’t aware of the existence of your site, how do you change this? One of the primary ways of approaching this problem is to design your site in such a manner that the so-called “robots” agree that it’s a good source of information relating to the keywords in question. A user will normally type in a phrase relating to their particular issue, and it’s then the role of Google, Yahoo or MSN to deliver the most pertinent suggestions. These companies employ complex algorithms within their powerful search database, based on information that their robots find when they crawl through each and every website in the known universe. These algorithms are automated processes and they utilize proprietary methods which these companies will not disclose.

A whole industry has been constructed around search engine optimization. There are many specialists and those who claim to know what is required to optimize your site effectively. While there are numerous gray areas still around, there are a number of key points that you have to consider.

Before you even start to design your website, you must have chosen a domain name which is entirely appropriate to your product or service. The domain name should ideally contain your keywords, which are basically phrases that describe your product and service very specifically; for example, “article writing services” or “East Bay chiropractor.” Note that, in many cases it’s advantageous to optimize your site according to your location, in addition to your area of expertise.

Once you have selected your keywords, you should optimize one page for each selected keyword. You can have hundreds of keywords if you choose, but you should make sure that you conduct careful research in every case. As you’re trying to make your website materialize in the search pages when someone types in “East Bay chiropractor”, for instance, you need to try and ensure that the robots interpret your page as applicable to these words. Therefore, they must see the exact keyword phrase in the page title, in the description of the page and in the meta-tags.

The content within your web page should be informative and very relevant to your keyword, and it should contain the keyword a certain number of times; most people recommend a 1% density. Don’t forget that your website must be readable when visited, and there is nothing worse than what is called “keyword stuffing”, where web masters try and include a relevant keyword too many times within an article, severely affecting its readability. Technically speaking, the keywords should also appear in a related “alt” tag attached to each photograph or image on the site, and file names referenced from within the site should also contain the keyword. Furthermore, a clear internal linking framework should contain, once again, your relevant keywords.

Search engine optimization doesn’t have to be particularly difficult, but you should pay careful attention to it. If you try to rank for “long tail” keywords (a more precise description of your product or service), and especially if you try to geo-target the audience, you’ll stand a pretty good chance of ranking well within the search engine pages for your terms.

Michelle Dale is The Managing Director of Virtual Miss Friday, a highly experienced Executive Virtual Assistant Service which collaborates with businesses and individuals with the sole aim of accomplishing their professional goals. Want to learn more about these comprehensive online business building success strategies? Join the Campaign for FREE Virtual Assistance today!

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