Wednesday, August 8, 2012

So you have a website, but can people find it?

There are various ways of getting people to your website. One way is using print: business cards, letterhead, newspaper ads, and even billboards. While printing your business website on everything and anything is a good start, there are some additional, more important ways to increase your website's prominence on the Internet. Because more people are using the Internet everyday a business must have a good Internet presence to survive. Sure, people still use the Yellow Pages, but more often than not they also (or only) check the web for the information they are seeking.

Search engines are the primary way to find information on the Internet. Approximately half a billion, yes billion, searches are done per day between the two search giants - Google and Overture. The way search engines operate is by searching the content of web pages for relevant phrases. Webpages are found by robots that crawl the web constantly looking for new and updated content. The search engines then use various algorithms to compile this information and deliver it as results for a keyword or keyword phrase which was typed into the browser. Although Google is the leading search engine using this method, there are "second level" engines doing the same thing. But for all intents and purposes, Google is the main focus as recent reports suggest that Google currently powers around 73% of all search engine results.

Along with free indexing search engines like Google, there are paid-inclusion and paid-placement sites offering a different way to get your website listed. These help to power the rest of the 500 million searches done everyday. Overture and its affiliates deliver the majority of paid placement results today. Paid-placement methods allow an advertiser to bid on keyword phrases to determine placement of their ad in "sponsored results" on sites that include Overture's content. Advertisers are billed by the click, meaning every time a searcher clicks that link which came up as a result of a search, they pay the corresponding bid amount. This is where the term pay-per-click (PPC) was derived.

Paid inclusion is a bit different. Certain databases providing content to certain search engines require website owners to pay to have their website listed. The pages are found if they are relevant to a search. This requires a renewable annual fee. Any knowledgeable Search Engine Optimization (SEO) company will be able to get your website included in these important databases.

All three of these methods are important because they make up the majority of search results. However, SEO should be regarded as the most fundamental part of a website's Internet presence. You may say that you are getting traffic to your website, but is everyone able to find it when searching for your products or services? Every website has a target audience and it is very important to optimize your website's content for target phrases and search terms relevant to your products or services. This is the essential aspect of ranking. Google is constantly changing their algorithms to deliver more quality content and SEO companies are constantly working to keep up with these changes modifying pages and content to gain quality rankings. This is the main reason one should obtain the services of a SEO company. Most business owners are busy running their companies and have very little time to learn about website ranking. JAZ Design Co., LLC, a professional SEO Company, is familiar with the ever changing industry and able to help with your website SEO and managing PPC campaigns.

Ok, I made my plug, but here is some free advice: The first things to consider about your website are your target keywords and keyword phrases. Some questions to ask yourself: What is my product? How would I search for it? How would my friends search for it? (Ask them!) What will they expect when they find my website? And finally, how will they find your website if they don't know the correct address? Maybe they have your business card and with your website address printed on it or maybe they took a wild guess and found it, but most of the time they've done a keyword search. The question is did they find you or your competitor? This is where an SEO company can make some valuable recommendations and get your website equipped to rank higher on the search engines.

This concept applies to regional companies too. As everyone continues to use the Internet more, they are turning to their computer when looking for local services. This aspect of the Internet is just starting to evolve and does still have a long way to go. Eventually, a business without a website will suffer even if it is only a local "mom and pop" store.

Your website will be found by its content and the robot's ability to crawl the web, find your pages, and index them in their database. Many website designers neglect to utilize important 'tricks' causing pages never to be found. You may have good content, but if robots cannot index your website it will not be nearly as valuable. It is said that 20% of the pages currently published on the Internet are not indexed with search engines. This means most people never see them. For example, websites built with frames and ones built with a lot of fancy graphics or flashy multimedia will not be sufficiently indexed. It is the job and responsibility of website designers and business owners to make sure their websites are found. Of course there are some websites that we would not want anyone to find by doing a search such as personal sites and confidential business information. If this is the case, the responsibility also lies with the website developer to make sure these pages are not indexed. Various methods are used to keep parts of your website from being indexed such as special tags used in the code and/or password-protected directories.

To keep the Internet full of easy-to-find quality content, the publishers must take the responsibility for making it that way. Through experience and constant research, Get SEO Web Traffic ( www.getseowebtraffic.com ) can help your business develop an easy-to-find and successful online presence.

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