Some knowledge of search engine optimization is essential if you have your own website and are serious about getting visitors to it. While you will save a lot of time by having a good understanding of SEO techniques before you start building a website, it is perfectly possible to make changes to your site if you find that it is not designed with search engine ranking in mind. Search engine optimization in general is an on-going process, but sometimes just a few changes to an existing site can produce quite dramatic results.
The following are some of the most important and basic requirements for ranking well in search engine results and therefore attracting more visitors to your site:
Make The Most Of Your Title Tag
This is probably the single most important factor in telling the search engines what your site is about. The title tag is one of the meta-tags found within the ‘head’ section of every web page’s source code. It does not appear directly on your web page itself, but is the main heading representing your site which people see in the list of search engine results when they carry out a search.
The first few words of your title tag should contain your main keyword for that page (see below for information on keywords). If possible, repeat the keyword again at the end of the tag, but ensure that your title still makes grammatical sense. Do not use full stops of commas in your title tag, as these are thought to sometimes stop search engines going any further, so anything after the full stop might be missed. Use hyphens instead.
Make Sure Your Site Is Indexed By Search Engines
Search engines like Google never stop searching the web for new sites, so the chances are that your site will be found eventually, but you can speed the process up by submitting your site to the search engines directly. This in effect tells the search engines that your site exists. You will see many companies offering to submit your site to hundreds of search engines for you. This is a waste of time – who uses these obscure engines compared to the market share of Google, Yahoo and MSN? Hardly anyone, so why waste your time or money. Just submit your site to the main three and that will be sufficient.
Find The Best Keywords For Your Site
If you want your website to attract visitors from search engines, you need to know exactly what terms people are searching for. You can then use this information to set up each page of your site to be focussed on particular search phrases, known as keywords. Finding good keywords makes an enormous difference to the volume of traffic your site can attract.
Whatever the main subject of your website, there will be hundreds of different possible search terms that people are using to find out about various aspects of that subject. Only by knowing what people actually enter into search engines can you begin to attract a lot more visitors by targeting lots of different search terms. The other important element in selecting good keywords is to know what the level of competition is for each keyword. In other words, you need to know how many other sites are targeting that same keyword, because if the competition is too tough, you may never rank anywhere for that keyword. A good keyword research tool will help you identify the most useful keywords for your website.