So, you’ve just found out about SEO and want to use it to market your website, huh? Well, I’ll give you some great introduction tips as to where you can get started.
SEARCH ENGINE FRIENDLY URLS
Search engines love keywords. A keyword is a search term like if I were looking for information on the Loch Ness Monster, I would go to Google and search for ‘Loch Ness Monster.’ Those three words make up a set of keywords. Having keywords in your actual URL is very imperative for maximum search engine optimization.
So, if your website is about flowers, you definitely want to have the word ‘flowers’ in the domain. So let’s say you choose ‘www.flowersinfo.com.’ This would be a great area because it features great keywords in the domain itself since the keywords ‘flowers info’ yield 5,000,000+ results, and having those keywords in the domain would give you a significant advantage over those 5,000,000.
But it’s not just the area that needs to be search engine friendly, but also your subpages. If your flower website has a section exclusively for roses, it will work to your advantage to have the URL for your subpage be something like ‘http://www.bwstudios.net/’ instead of ‘bwstudios.net’ or something else irrelevant. So, if anyone goes to Google and searches for ‘roses info,’ you’ve got both keywords in your domain, which will give you a significant advantage over anyone else competing for those keywords.
If your website is manually hand-written by HTML, PHP, or any other custom script; then you can quickly just rename the files so that they’re search engine friendly. Otherwise, if you’re using a CMS, you may need to install a mod to do the work for you. WordPress pretty much comes search engine friendly, all you have to do is go to the Options section and fix the Permalink structure to feature keywords instead of numbers.
A sitemap is a file (XML) that you set up for your website that tells the search engines all the URLs on your site. This makes it easier for search engines to ‘crawl’ on your site, and index them so they can become available to search for on their search engine.
If you’re running an HTML, PHP, or any other hand-written customized website without the use of a CMS, then you more than likely would have a third party tool set up your sitemap for you. You can find a Sitemap Generator provided by Google here: http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=137793 package;_id=153422
Otherwise, if you’re running a CMS, then more than likely, there should be a mod that you can download from the CMS mod database that will generate a sitemap for you. A WordPress mod is available through this link: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/google-sitemap-generator/#post-132
After you’ve created a sitemap for your website, all you have to do is go to Google Webmaster Tools (or the equivalent of any other search engine), sign up if you haven’t already, and submit your sitemap. This will increase the speed of which your website gets indexed and will improve your website’s search engine optimization.
Google Analytics is an excellent, free tool that gives you a detailed report on how well your website is performing. It will give you statistics on how many visits your site is receiving, bounce rates (how many people left your site right after their first page view), page views, average time on your website, average page views per visit, new tours, among other things.
They also give you statistics on where your visitors live geographically, traffic sources, what keywords are performing well, how many visitors are coming from where, and a lot of other information. These are necessary to know so you can customize your website to fit your guests best so you can keep visitors coming back and find out how to gain new visitors.
Analytics will also allow you to set goals, which will enable you to set objectives for your website and your visitors. For example, if you want your visitors to register to your site, a ‘goal’ could be placed on the ‘Registration Completed’ page, and will tell you how many people visited the ‘Registration Completed’ page, so in essence, it will tell you how many people registered.
Using Analytics is not necessary to run a successful website, but chances are, if you want to be a successful Internet marketer, you want to know your target audience, and Google Analytics will give you very detailed information about them. It certainly wouldn’t hurt.