Turn The Search Engines Into Find Engines

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Turn The Search Engines Into Find Engines

Post by Admin on Wed Sep 23, 2009 5:20 pm

Turn The Search Engines Into Find Engines
By: Prem Bahadur

Designing and building a website can be a thankless task. You spend hours of your time planning, designing and creating the whole site, carefully assembling it into a work of digital art. Having lovingly pored over every word and put heart and soul into a decent navigation system and a well thought out layout, you eagerly publish your site and hold your breath for the torrent of visitors. It is somewhat disappointing, therefore, to find that days can go by without a single hit. You know that it can take a while for the search engines to identify and crawl your site, but as the days crawl by it can become very disheartening.

After a while, of course, people do start to stumble across your site, and maybe you get one or two orders. This could encourage you, and you start to wonder how many you might come to expect over the next few days or weeks. With regret you start to accept that making your first million by Christmas seems somewhat unlikely. You may start to wonder why, since at least some people have started to find you, you don't have more people coming. But thinking about it seriously, what have you actually done yourself to ensure that your site attracts visitors? It's all very well having a site that is so good that people want to stay and buy, but they need to know it exists first.

So what are these factors which affect the rank of your website? There are many different ways to win over the approval of a major search engine. The big factor used to be keywords, with search engines scanning through the pages on your site and identifying the relevant keywords. Unfortunately, many people took advantage of this and simply inserted great blocks of keywords, whether they were relevant or not, just to grab the attention of the search engines. This technique is more likely to lower your rank these days. One of the biggest factors is how many websites link to yours. Obviously if several hundred sites all have a link encouraging people to visit yours, that tells the search engines that your site must be pretty good, and so increase your rank.

Because as web designers we can sometimes become a little too close to our designs, and sometimes don't just need to step back away from our glitzy masterpiece, we need someone else to take a good hard look and give us some feedback. Invariably these people like to be paid, but I have come across a nifty little site that offers a free assessment of your site. Although it's free, it's carried out by hand, and their advice is pretty thorough. They don't just focus on keywords, but look at a whole range of ways in which your site could be made friendlier towards the search engines, and get ranked higher. If you haven't tried them already, I'd recommend getting a review of your site for free. Even if your site has been around for a long time, or if it's brand new, they'll tell you all the things you could do to help improve your rank position.

Once you understand what can be changed about your site to help improve its position, it's obviously up to you what you do. Picking and choosing at features that you can easily apply will certainly help. Over time, you can start to implement more of these suggestions, and little by little you should see a difference. I've done this myself - I used to be a keyword freak and just include as many as I could think of, but it started to make no difference. I'm trying things now such as amount of text per page, position of text on the page, number of links I include and so on, and I can see the increase in rank each day. My advice to any website developer is to keep a tight grip on your wallet and don't pay companies to fob you off about magic solutions. Try a valuable free assessment today, it will pay dividends in the end.
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