by Dwight Cook
I was surfing the net this morning (which I do often) and noticed many sites offering “search engine optimization” or SEO. A few years back, all you had to do was add some meta-tags with keywords and promote your site using a service that would get you placement with hundreds of search engines for a fee. Some promotion sites I visited promised you will be at the top of the listings! How can they make that promise unless they own the search engine? Of course, all throw money at Google Adwords or some other pay-per-click advertising and get a top ad placement listing on the right-hand side with a box advertisement - but that won’t guarantee top placement in the main panel of a search!
I believe you should spend your money wisely. Google has around 80% of all search engine usage. If you promote to 3000 search engines, many will not do you a bit of good. Many believe all you need is a blog to be at the top, but just having a blog does not insure the best listing.
Content is important
Analyze your site’s layout and copy. Is it visually appealing? Is the copy well written? Your “keywords” are the words people use to search for your site. Look at the keywords your competition uses – Your site copy should include as many of your keywords as possible. Also include your keywords in the website description and in your meta tags. Include Google Analytics in your code and track your results.
A blog or articles posted on your website is still a great idea because search engines like content. You should also use as many of your keywords in these items as well. Post something meaningful on other sites and blogs and include your site’s address. Many sites offer reciprocal links – link up, but choose sites that complement your content. If these shared links are strategic, then you will not only appear in the search results but also appear in a prominent position for related queries.
Spread the word
A search engine only needs one link to discover your site, but it’s still a great idea to announce your site by submitting press releases on the Internet and free submission forms available on most search engine sites. For the most part, search engine promotion companies are simply automating free submissions to many search engines and charging you a fee. To submit your site to Google, go to: http://www.google.co.uk/addurl/?continue=/addurl and also Google Local manually. Then you can add your site to Google yourself for free!
In sum, search engine promotion is not a complete waste of money and paid advertising can help jump-start a new web site. But be smart, pay attention to content and realize you can do much on your own. Spread your words – both frugally and wisely!
Sound Works is a professional multimedia company with an emphasis on sound for film, video, the Internet, forensics and disc. Dwight Cook has been Internet active from its beginnings in the mid 1990’s.