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CyberCity 2000 - SEO the Basics

Search Engine Optimization  it isn't rocket science.

   by Jaap van de Wal


So you have completed your website, great! Now how are you going to attract visitors? If you do not let them know you're there, your visitors will never find find you. How are you going to sell products when users don't know that you exist? SEO will make your website noticeable on the internet, and this small guide will help you bring targeted visitors to your website.

Optimize your website
The most important part of your website is quality content. Search engines (such as google) will crawl your content and index it into a database. If your content does not match the product you are selling, you will not attract targeted visitors. It is therefore very important that you choose your (key)words very carefully. For instance, if you sell calculators on the internet, make sure you mention the words calculator, calc, math and more calculator related words on your website. However, be careful not to mention the words too often, or search engines might think your website is spam, which will result in a very low rank (search engine position) within the search results.

Link building
When more websites link to your site, the more attention you will get from search engines, which results in higher ranking. When you create and receive links from other websites to your website, make sure important keywords are used as anchor keywords in the hyperlink. If you sell calculators online, use a link such as; buy calculator instead of click here.

Target your audience
Leave your link on website where your potential customers meet, for instance forums or discussion boards related to your website. Do not spam your website as this will be noticed by crawlers and will eventually result in a blacklist entry.

Offline targeting
Be sure to market your website offline as well. Advertise in local newspapers, tell everyone about your website, etc.

Add a sitemap to your website When you want search engines to crawl your entire website, the best thing to do is adding a sitemap to your website.

Make sure search bots can read your website
Search bots can only read plain text.websites. No matter how beautiful your flash animation is, search bots cannot read the content inside that animation. Therefore, try to avoid Flash animations on your website when there is content involved. Same story goes for JavaScript.

Do NOT use frames
Never use frames to design your website! Lots of search engines simply skip webpages with frames since they are a difficult to be seen apart from each other by visitors. For instance, if your frame page would consist of menu.html and content.html and your visitor would land on content.html, he would not have a menu to navigate through your website.

Stay away from bad neighborhoods and don't spam!
Do not be tempted into leaving your link on abandoned guest books, forums or spam your link on every website you can find. Do not exchange links with spammy websites (such as pharmacy websites) either. The risk exists that google will classify your website as a spam site and will block your website from any search results.

About the Author

Jaap van de Wal is co-owner of Business-Web.org and helps people setting up a complete business website, which includes SEO.

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