SEO For Home Businesses

For many people working from home online, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is one of those subjects that it seems impossible to deal with. From all of the chatter on the Internet it appears to be the holy grail of Internet marketing. All hail the mighty Google and that precious first place ranking.

SEO is about taking measures to try and get your web site placed higher in the search engine results than your competitors. It is high organic or natural placing in the search results that webmasters are trying to achieve. What this means is that you get free visitors to your site rather than having to pay for them.
 
Many believe SEO is both an art and a science. The Science is all about the algorithms and formulas the search engines employ to decide page rank. The art is in developing your web pages to affect the results of these algorithms.
 
But just how much attention should ordinary people trying to make an honest living from home using the Internet to SEO? How much does concentrating on SEO affect the real messages you are trying to put in your web pages.
 
Surely a specialist affiliate marketing site which does it’s business by adding real value to the visitors experience, by providing additional information or product comparisons, is going to be less attractive to the visitor if it focuses on key word densities rather than well written content.
 
Obviously this is a challenge. As Home Business Entrepreneurs we need to be professional, so we are required to have some understanding of SEO matters and how to apply them. The easy temptation is to go off to Clickbank and buy a software program or SEO guide which promises millions of visitors with hours. That would solve our problems wouldn’t it. I think not.
 
The other problem we have is that the major search engines employ highly educated programmers Who can’t resist tinkering with their precious algorithms meaning that the rules keep changing. How do we keep up with all that, and considering we are, combined, huge customers of Google’s why can’t they leave well alone?
 
At the end of the day, our best bet is to try and keep things fairly simple. There is always the danger that you do to much in order to get on page one and you end up upsetting Google and getting banned. There are some real horror stories on the net.
 
There are a few simple things we can do: 

  • Choose key words or phrases carefully
  • Choose a suitable domain name
  • Use keywords in file names and folders
  • Use your keyphrase as part of your page titles
  • Use keyword text in your navigation
  • Create useful keyword content – trying to increase keyword density
  • Make sure the META Description reflects the content of the page
  • Try and get good quality incoming links
  • Don’t use “click here” for links, use the descriptive text
  • Create and have a site map
  • Make sure the Robots.txt file allows the search engine spiders to all relevant parts of your site.

If you include these elements when building your site then it is much easier to have more effective SEO. 

Does SEO Matter?

Too often companies claim to be Internet Marketers, but fail to deliver. This usually refers to web development and design companies that do nothing more than create pretty websites. While a visually appealing site might be fine, if no one visits it then there is no point, and your marketing dollar has been wasted!

Getting nothing more than a website is like getting really well designed pamphlets for your business and placing them at the front door hoping passers-by will pick them up. To make effective use of you web marketing dollar you need to drive traffic to your site. 7 in 10 web sessions start with a visit to a search engine. Remember that over 65% of all web searches are with Google. So, it makes sense that if you are going to spend your valuable marketing dollar it should reach half the internet, or more, before they spend their dollars elsewhere.

Although there are several ways to achieve better results in the search engines, how you place in search results directly effects the amount of traffic your site will receive. Ideally you want to be in the top 3 results for you market space. Most people will visit one or more of the top 3, glance at the first page and occasionally look to the second page if they haven’t found what they are looking for on the first page. There are two ways to effect your placement in search engine results. These are usually termed as passive and active marketing.

Passive marketing refers to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) which is a design methodology for creating web pages and structuring your website. These changes are important as they will directly effect you conversion rate from the search pages by controlling what is actually displayed in the search results for your page. It also effects how the search engines categorise your pages. If not done correctly you pages won’t be listed for the correct searches.

Active marketing involves creating quality links to your site. One-way links to your site are referred to as back-links. Each link to your site counts as a ‘vote’ for your site. The more votes, the higher your site appears in the search engines. Unfortunately not all ‘votes’ are equal. This is where quality comes into play. The search engines also look at the type of site the link comes from. It judges whether he sites are related by their content. Also, how many other links are coming from the source site, as too many links from one place water down the quality of each link. Additionally, search engines look at the authority of the site the link comes from. This generally refers to how the source site ranks itself. Finally, most search engines throw in some magic numbers to balance it all out and make to hard for fraudsters to cheat the system.

The process of getting you site ranked well in the search engines is not a simple one. This is why it is important to find someone who actually specializes in Internet Marketing as well as web design and development. Good luck and take the time to see not just how a companies sites look, but how they rank for their targeted market space.

SEO and Website Design – Better Together

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a relatively new concept in the world of web design, but if you want a successful, profitable website, it’s something you cannot ignore. Competition for rankings on popular search engines like Google is fierce, and without SEO, your website is at a huge disadvantage. So when exactly, in the process of setting up your new website, should you seek an SEO specialist? The short answer: the sooner the better.

Ideally, you should consult with an SEO expert before you meet with your web designer, since your idea or vision of what you want in your website might not be SEO friendly at all. For example, a flashy site with lots of sound and graphics does nothing for improving your rankings on the search engines. Reviewing the basics with an SEO company early on can save you endless heartache and expense down the road.

The next step – when presenting your ideas to a designer, you should also include your SEO expert. If it is not feasible to all meet in person, a phone conference can easily be arranged. Some designers might try to convince you that they are SEO knowledgeable, but it is truly better to hire a separate company to handle SEO matters, as it is very unlikely that web designers have the time to stay up to date on the constantly changing details of the SEO world.

A good way to proceed with the design is to arrange in advance points at which your SEO expert will check back on the website’s progress. That way, you are ensuring that your site is SEO friendly at each stage of the game, and you avoid wasting time and money by having your designer re-design parts of your site later on.

Finally, make sure your SEO expert is involved in the final review process before you seal the deal. Corrections are often much more expensive when done after the site is launched.

By involving an SEO expert from the start of your web design, you are giving your site a huge advantage of being optimized from day one, which of course, exponentially increases your chances for profit and success.