Your website has been up and running for a while now and you are stuck wondering why the search engines aren’t showing you any love in the results pages. No matter what you type in, you just can’t find your sites(s), what could be the problem?
Typically, concerning search engines, if you site isn’t showing up at all, the problem is most likely one of search engine optimization or SEO for short.
What is this search engine stuff you’re talking about you ask? Keep reading and I’ll explain.
Search engine optimization is the art of making your site search engine friendly. What this means is that you make your site easy to access by the search engines by taking the guesswork out of what your site is about.
Search engines look for the following (non exhaustive list) things when it spiders or crawls (looks at) a website:
1.) Title of the page
A search engine looks into the code of you web page to read what the subject of you page is. What it reads is called the title tag and this is what shows up at the top of your browsers window when you visit a site.
2.) Description of the page
Search engines also read the description you give for your page in the description Meta tag of your site. This is what you read as a description when you do a search engine search and view the results pages. If you don’t supply a description Meta tag, a search engine will usually use the first paragraph of your page to describe it. This is something you don’t want since you want to provide a succinct but curiosity building description of your page that also shows relevance for the searcher to get them to visit your site.
3.) Keywords of the page
Lastly, as far as the code of your page goes, search engines pay particular attention to the keywords Meta tag of your web page. Similar to the description tag in format, the keywords Meta tag tells the search engine what search terms your page is about such as pets, dogs, Irish setters, this way the search engine can rank your page in terms of importance or relevance when someone does a search for “Irish Setter Dogs As Pets”. When defining the keywords for your page, try to only target a maximum of 3 per page and make sure that the keywords you are using actually exist in your web page at the beginning paragraph, middle of the body and ending paragraph of the page.
4) Emphasis on the page
One of the major on page factors (not code) that search engines use to also rank your page is anchor text (links) and text descriptors like bolding and paragraph headers. Recently, the names you give your page’s images have become important as well as any alt and title tags you use to describe them, and links on the page.
An example of both are:
<img src=”image.jpg” alt=”Irish Setters” title=”Irish Setters”>
<a href=”index.html” title=”Irish Setters”>Irish Setters</a>
5.) Relevance of the page
Search engines are designed to rank a web page by the factors above but they also rank your page according to off page factors, one of the most important being back links. Search engines consider your web pages to be more relevant if other related sites point to your site and especially so if the anchor text used happens to be one of the keywords defined in your page’s keyword meta tag.
Many marketers attempt to build off page relevance by using methods such as article marketing or parasite hosting marketing. Article marketing is by far the most proven and used method and parasite hosting, such as on sites like blogger, squidoo and hub pages is a close runner up in proven effectiveness.
Even though these methods work, your site will get more “link” juice from high page ranking sites that are in the same niche as yours and that also use the appropriate anchor text to point to your site. Other websites will typically only point a link at your site or pages if the content you are offering is useful, unique and solves a problem or educates the web site owner’s readers.
So, now that you know how to begin optimizing your site for the search engines to make it more popular, your next step is to make sure that your web pages have the right “in page” text, such as the title, keyword and description as well as “on page” text like bolded keywords and link anchor text.
After this, you should begin creating links to your pages using article marketing and the other methods discussed in this article.
Finally, try to build relationships with other webmasters to make them aware of your site so they will possibly link to it. You can also begin this process your self by using methods such as blog commenting and forum posting.
In closing, I have two quotes for you that I keep right above my workspace at home. Take heed to them because they are full of truth.
“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed. ”
Booker T. Washington
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race. ”
If you’ve picked any pointers from this article that you can put into action, then by all means, do so. You won’t really be able to gain any benefits from your new knowledge if you don’t use it.
Now, I’ll leave you with a saying of my own.
Being the best means being the best that YOU can be. Always strive to be a better you and you will always be the best.
Andrew Witherspoon has been marketing online since 2007 using affiliate marketing and other means of income generation to grow his business. To read more articles by him, visit his blog.