How To Promote Your Web Site
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization, which is a craft of modifying a web site to rank highly in search engines, has been around since the first index-based search engines were launched, which is around the mid-90's.
In the early days, you added popular words to the header tags of each page, and whenever someone searched for those keywords, they showed up in the search engines.
However, search engines have advanced, as well as the search engine optimization (SEO) industry. In order to compete with Google's army of Ph.D researchers, search engine optimizers struggle to keep up with the latest theories and conjecture about how the carefully-guarded and always ever-changing search engine algorithms work.
Below are some examples of factors that can affect your search engine ranking:
Number of links to your web site from related web sites
Number of years for which your web site's domain name is registered.
Age of a specific page on the page
Quality of writing on the page
Use of headings within the text
Number and frequency of updates to a page
Use of keywords in the URL
Amount of text on a page
Rate of external linking to your web site
Number of pages on the web site
Domain extension (.com, .net, etc.)
Use of frames, Flash, or PDF's
Downtime of your web server
Geographic location of your web server
Because it is so easy to cross the line from optimization to exploitation, search engine optimization is one of the most ethically charged branches of the web industry.
The terms white hat and black hat are often used to describe the ethical spectrum of search engine optimization. The terms are derived from old cowboy movies, where the hero and villian could often be identified by the colors of their hats.
Black Hat SEO
Black Hat search engine optimization seeks to expoit the weaknesses of search engines in order to boost a website's ranking on results pages.
These techniques often rely on artificial means to generate results; such as, deception and redirection. For example, a black hat SEO specialist might create hundreds of pages filled with keyword-rich gibberish for search engines to find and parse, or they might post meaningless comments on hundreds of blogs, all linking back to the main website.
It can be very tempting to employ black hat techniques because they can produce dramatic short-term results to promote your website. However, you should keep in mind, the results are short ter; search engines are always trying to out-think the black hat SEO's.
In fact, using deceptive techniques can even get you banned from search engines, or at least permanently damage your ranking.
White Hat SEO
White Hat search engine optimization seeks to work with the search engine's strengths, rather than their weaknesses. This is accomplished by creating valid HTML code, well-written, keyword-rich content, and a carefully organized website. White hat SEO specialists seek to create the kind of website that search engines are looking for.
The strongest beneits of white hat SEO is that it's always in fashion. It will not damage your rankings like black hat SEO will. It also doesn't require constant monitoring in order to perform well.
However, because it relies on many soft factors; such as, high quality content, effective website organization, building strong link relationships, blogging, etc. white hat SEO can be more difficult to pursue.
In general, white hat search engine optimization can perform better with less maintenance and reduced risk. it usually makes more business sense.
One of the most critical and most difficult factors in promoting your website is encouraging other websites to link to yours. If your website has similar or related content to other websites and the more websites link to yours, the more of an authority you become in the eyes of the search engines.
However, because you have little control over other websites, it often takes a lot of person-to-person communication to make these links happen. It's highly unlikely that strangers will link to you because you ask them to. You need to take the time to establish relationships with other website owners.
Tips for building inbound links:
Ensure that you have a high quality website to which other website owners can feel comfortable sending their visitors to
Create content worth linking to (articles, how-to's, games, lists, etc.)
Focus on acquiring links from websites with related content
Avoid the black hat SEO technique of artificial link building
Try to get listed in industry directories, association websites, etc
Create your own side project websites that can link to your main business website
Blogging for Business
A blog is a website, or part of a website, that is regularly updated with articles, thoughts, opinions, etc
In recent years, many businesses have found that blogs have provided a significant boost to their website, thereby, often becoming a primary source of traffic for them.
The reasons that blogging can be a powerful marketing tool:
People love fresh, interesting, and useful content
It's unlikely that anyone will link to your About Us page, but if you write an insightful top ten list about your industry, hundreds or thousands of people may link to your within a matter of days.
Journalists, increasingly, look to blogs to get a sense of what's hot, and regularly posting industry-related blog articles can help you generate free media coverage.
The constant infusion of fresh, keyword-rich content will give your website a boost in the search engines.
It keeps people coming back to your website
Poor blogging is easy to do. Before you start, spend some time reading existing blogs particularly within your own industry. Think about what you like and dislike about them.
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