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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Useful Guidelines on Optimizing your Online Business for Visibility

Website optimisation, also called Search Engine Optimisation – or SEO, is critical to your website’s success. There really isn't any reason to invest in website development, no matter how incredible it may look, if the only person who can find it is you. Optimisation is the process of preparing your site - as efficiently as you possibly can, so that people will find it during a search.

Assuming that people aren’t aware of the existence of your site, how do you change this? One of the best ways of dealing with this problem is to build your site in such a fashion that the so-called “robots” agree that it’s an excellent source of useful information relating specifically to your keywords of choice. An individual who's searching will usually type in a phrase that has to do with his or her particular problem, and it’s then the responsibility of Google, Yahoo or MSN to retrieve the most relevant selections. These world-wide organisations use complex algorithms within their colossal search databases, based primarily on information that their "robots" discover when they "crawl" through almost every website in the world. These algorithms are automated processes and they utilise proprietary methods which these companies will not disclose.

As any virtual assistant will tell you, an entire industry has been built up around search engine optimisation for online business. There are all kinds of experts and other professionals who say they know what it takes to effectively optimize your website. While there are a great many vague areas in this particular field, there are still a variety of fundamentals that you should keep clearly in mind.

Before you even start to design your website, you must have chosen a domain name which is entirely appropriate to your product or service. Ideally, the domain name should contain your keywords within it, which are really just phrases or single words that specifically describe your products and services; for instance, “article writing services” or “East Bay chiropractor.” Remember, in most cases it’s to your benefit to optimise your website according to your specific location, in addition to your particular field of professional expertise.

Once you have selected your keywords, you should optimise one page for each selected keyword. You can have hundreds of keywords if you choose, but you should make sure that you conduct careful research in every case. As you’re hoping that your website will appear in the search results when somebody types in “East Bay chiropractor”, for example, you need to try and make sure that the robots interpret your page as relevant to this phrase. Therefore, they must see the exact keyword phrase in the page title, in the description of the page and in the meta-tags.

The content within your web page should be informative and very relevant to your keyword, and it should contain the keyword a certain number of times; most people recommend a 1% density. Don't forget that your website must be readable when visited, and there is nothing worse than what is called “keyword stuffing”, where web masters try and include a relevant keyword too many times within an article, severely affecting its readability. Technically speaking, the keywords should also appear in a related “alt” tag attached to each photograph or image on the site, and filenames referenced from within the site should also contain the keyword. Furthermore, a clear internal linking framework should contain, once again, your relevant keywords. If you feel you need assistance with getting up and running - fast, consider taking on an expert virtual assistant soon.

Search engine optimization doesn’t have to be particularly difficult, but you should pay careful attention to it. Keep in mind that any professional virtual assistant will say that if you try to rank for “long tail” keywords (a more precise description of your product or service), and especially if you try to geo-target the audience, you’ll stand a pretty good chance of ranking well within the search engine pages for your terms.

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