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SEO- Big X Hosting search engine optimization Frequently asked questions

We recommend a few free resources that can help you get found on the web, but of course others are paid. We believe in growing a site organically, meaning paying as little as possible to be found. Let's face it we don't all have time to watch a tree grow from a seed to a 50 ft tree. It takes time, so lets speed it up already.

Do a little reading to learn about SEO (search engine optimization, then put into place some of the great tips we give you. bigxhosting seo robot

Visit sitetools.us to check things like your search engine rankings. If you find your self coming up short. Get our paid tool called Search Engine Visibility to help you increase traffic. You can also check out our blog for more frequent tips on the topic of SEO and many others.  The most important tips we feel you should know to keep your site looking go to companies that specialize in searching the web are:

  1. Keep your content free of design errors. That means make sure links go to some place. Broken links will hurt you. 
  2. Keep it fresh. Don't let your site get old. Update it frequently.
  3. Get bigger sites to link back to yours by placing comments or link sharing with them. The bigger the other site is then the more its reputation will help you.
  4. Limit your meta tags and keywords to whats relevant to your site. If it's not supposed to be a keyword on your page don't make it one.
  5. Register your domain for more than 1 year. Lets be honest if your local electronics retailer said, "yeah we only have our lease for the next year, because we don't know if we are going to be around for more than that." Would you buy a TV from them?

 

What Is Search Engine Optimization?

bigxhosting_seo_search_engine_picture

How Do Search Engines Work?

Keyword Density

Website essential must have features

The Importance of Search Engines

Tips to Get Repeat Web Traffic

Tips to Increase Ranking and Website Traffic

Use Keywords In Page Titles




 What Is Search Engine Optimization?
 

Search Engine Optimization is a process of choosing the most appropriate targeted keyword phrases related to your site and ensuring that this ranks your site highly in search engines so that when someone searches for specific phrases it returns your site on tops. It basically involves fine tuning the content of your site along with the HTML and Meta tags and also involves appropriate link building process. The most popular search engines are Google, Yahoo, MSN Search, AOL and Ask Jeeves. Search engines keep their methods and ranking algorithms secret, to get credit for finding the most valuable search-results and to deter spam pages from clogging those results. A search engine may use hundreds of factors while ranking the listings where the factors themselves and the weight each carries may change continually. Algorithms can differ so widely that a webpage that ranks #1 in a particular search engine could rank #200 in another search engine. New sites need not be "submitted" to search engines to be listed. A simple link from a well established site will get the search engines to visit the new site and begin to spider its contents. It can take a few days to even weeks from the referring of a link from such an established site for all the main search engine spiders to commence visiting and indexing the new site.

If you are unable to research and choose keywords and work on your own search engine ranking, you may want to hire someone to work with you on these issues.

Search engine marketing and promotion companies, will look at the plan for your site and make recommendations to increase your search engine ranking and website traffic. If you wish, they will also provide ongoing consultation and reporting to monitor your website and make recommendations for editing and improvements to keep your site traffic flow and your search engine ranking high. Normally your search engine optimization experts work with your web designer to build an integrated plan right away so that all aspects of design are considered at the same time.





 How Do Search Engines Work? - Web Crawlers

It is the search engines that finally bring your website to the notice of the prospective customers. Hence it is better to know how these search engines actually work and how they present information to the customer initiating a search.   

There are basically two types of search engines. The first is by robots called crawlers or spiders.

Search Engines use spiders to index websites. When you submit your website pages to a search engine by completing their required submission page, the search engine spider will index your entire site. A ‘spider’ is an automated program that is run by the search engine system. Spider visits a web site, read the content on the actual site, the site's Meta tags and also follow the links that the site connects. The spider then returns all that information back to a central depository, where the data is indexed. It will visit each link you have on your website and index those sites as well. Some spiders will only index a certain number of pages on your site, so don’t create a site with 500 pages!

The spider will periodically return to the sites to check for any information that has changed. The frequency with which this happens is determined by the moderators of the search engine.

A spider is almost like a book where it contains the table of contents, the actual content and the links and references for all the websites it finds during its search, and it may index up to a million pages a day.

Example:  Excite, Lycos, AltaVista and Google.

When you ask a search engine to locate information, it is actually searching through the index which it has created and not actually searching the Web. Different search engines produce different rankings because not every search engine uses the same algorithm to search through the indices.

One of the things that a search engine algorithm scans for is the frequency and location of keywords on a web page, but it can also detect artificial keyword stuffing or spamdexing. Then the algorithms analyze the way that pages link to other pages in the Web. By checking how pages link to each other, an engine can both determine what a page is about, if the keywords of the linked pages are similar to the keywords on the original page.


Keyword Density


Keyword density is an indicator of the number of times the selected keyword appears in the web page. But mind you, keywords shouldn’t be over used, but should be just sufficient enough to appear at important places.

If you repeat your keywords with every other word on every line, then your site will probably be rejected as an artificial site or spam site.

Keyword density is always expressed as a percentage of the total word content on a given web page.

Suppose you have 100 words on your webpage (not including HMTL code used for writing the web page), and you use a certain keyword for five times in the content. The keyword density on that page is got by simply dividing the total number of keywords, by the total number of words that appear on your web page. So here it is 5 divided by 100 = .05. Because keyword density is a percentage of the total word count on the page, multiply the above by 100, that is 0.05 x 100 = 5%

The accepted standard for a keyword density is between 3% and 5%, to get recognized by the search engines and you should never exceed it.

Remember, that this rule applies to every page on your site. It also applies to not just to one keyword but also a set of keywords that relates to a different product or service. The keyword density should always be between 3% and 5%.

 

Simple steps to check the density:

  • Copy and paste the content from an individual web page into a word-processing software program like Word or Word Perfect.
  • Go to the ‘Edit’ menu and click ‘Select All’. Now go to the ‘Tools’ menu and select ‘Word Count’. Write down the total number of words in the page.
  • Now select the ‘Find’ function on the ‘Edit’ menu. Go to the ‘Replace’ tab and type in the keyword you want to find. ‘Replace’ that word with the same word, so you don’t change the text.
  • When you complete the replace function, the system will provide a count of the words you replaced. That gives the number of times you have used the keyword in that page.
  • Using the total word count for the page and the total number of keywords you can now calculate the keyword density.

 Website essential must have features


Just don’t focus on the home page, keywords and titles.

The first step to sales when customers visit your site to see the products they were looking for. Of course, search engine optimization and better rankings can’t keep your customer on your site or make them buy. The customer having visited your site, now ensure that he gets interested in your products or services and stays around. Motivate him to buy the product by providing clear and unambiguous information. Thus if you happen to sell more than one product or service, provide all necessary information about this, may be by keeping the  information at a different page. By providing suitable and easily visible links, the customer can navigate to these pages and get the details.

Understanding Your Target Customer

If you design a website you think will attract clients, but you don’t really know who your customers are and what they want to buy, it is unlikely you make much money. Website business is an extension or replacement for a standard storefront. You can send email to your existing clients and ask them to complete a survey or even while they are browsing on your website. Ask them about their choices. Why do they like your products? Do you discount prices or offer coupons? Are your prices consistently lower than others? Is your shipping price cheaper? Do you respond faster to client questions? Are your product descriptions better? Your return policies and guarantees better than your competitor’s? To know your customer you can check credit card records or ask your customer to complete a simple contact form with name, address, age, gender, etc. when they purchase a product.

Does your website give enough contact information?

When you sell from a website, your customer can buy your products 24 hrs a day and also your customers may be from other states that are thousands of miles away. Always provide contact information, preferably on every page of your website, complete with mailing address, telephone number and an email address that reaches you. People may need to contact you about sales, general information or technical problems on your site. Also have your email forwarded to another email address if you do not check your website mailbox often. When customer wants to buy online provide enough options like credit card, PayPal or other online payment service.


 The Importance of Search Engines


It is the search engines that finally bring your website to the notice of the prospective customers. When a topic is typed for search, nearly instantly, the search engine will sift through the millions of pages it has indexed about and present you with ones that match your topic. The searched matches are also ranked, so that the most relevant ones come first.

Remember that a prospective customer will probably only look at the first 2-3 listings in the search results. So it does matter where your website appears in the search engine ranking.

Further, they all use one of the top 6-7 search engines and these search engines attract more visitors to websites than anything else. So finally it all depends on which search engines the customers use and how they rank your site.

It is the Keywords that play an important role than any expensive online or offline advertising of your website.

It is found by surveys that a when customers want to find a website for information or to buy a product or service, they find their site in one of the following ways:

  • The first option is they find their site through a search engine.
  • Secondly they find their site by clicking on a link from another website or page that relates to the topic in which they are interested.
  • Occasionally, they find a site by hearing about it from a friend or reading in an article.

Thus it’s obvious the the most popular way to find a site, by search engine, represents more than 90% of online users. In other words, only 10% of the people looking for a website will use methods other than search engines.

All search engines employ a ranking algorithm and one of the main rules in a ranking algorithm is to check the location and frequency of keywords on a web page. Don’t forget that algorithms also give weightage to link population (number of web pages linking to your site). When performed by a qualified, experienced search engine optimization consultant, your site for high search engine rankings really does work, unless you have a lot of money and can afford to pay the expert. With better knowledge of search engines and how they work, you can also do it on your own.


 Tips to Get Repeat Web Traffic


1. Update the pages on your website frequently. Stagnant sites are dropped by some search engines. You can even put a date counter on the page to show when it was last updated.

2. Offer additional value on your website. For affiliates and partners you can place links to their sites and products and ask them to do the same for you. You can also advertise their books or videos, if these products relate to your industry and are not in competition with your own product.

3. You can allow customers to ‘opt in’ to get discounts and special offers. Place a link on your site to invite customers to ‘opt in’ to get a monthly newsletter or valuable coupons.

4. Add a link to your primary page with a script ‘Book Mark or Add this site to your Favorites’.

5. Add a link ‘Recommend this site to a Friend’ so that the visitor can email your website link, with a prewritten title, “Thought you might be interested in this”, just by clicking on it.

6. Brand your website so that visitors always know they are on your site. Use consistent colors, logos and slogans and always provide a ‘Contact Us’ link on each page.

 

7. Create a ‘Our Policies’ page that clearly defines your philosophy and principles in dealing with your customers. Also post your privacy policy as well so that clients know they are secure when they visit your site.

8. Create a FAQ page which addresses most of the doubts and clarifications about your product or your company that are likely to be asked. This helps to resolve most of the customers doubts in their first visit to your site.

8. Ensure that each page on your website has appropriate titles and keywords so that your customer can find their way back to your site if they lose the book mark.

9. Never spam a client, who has opted for newsletters, with unsolicited emails. Later if they decide they want to ‘opt out’ of the mailings, be sure you honor their request and take them off the mailing list. They may still come back if they like your products. But they will certainly not come back if you continue to flood their email box with mails they no longer wish to receive.


 Tips to Increase Ranking and Website Traffic

It is worth cataloging the basic principles to be enforced to increase website traffic and search engine rankings.

 

  • Create a site with valuable content, products or services.
  • Place primary and secondary keywords within the first 25 words in your page content and spread them evenly throughout the document.
  • Research and use the right keywords/phrases to attract your target customers.
  • Use your keywords in the right fields and references within your web page. Like Title, META tags, Headers, etc.
  • Keep your site design simple so that your customers can navigate easily between web pages, find what they want and buy products and services.
  • Submit your web pages i.e. every web page and not just the home page, to the most popular search engines and directory services. Hire someone to do so, if required. Be sure this is a manual submission. Do not engage an automated submission service.
  • Keep track of changes in search engine algorithms and processes and accordingly modify your web pages so your search engine ranking remains high. Use online tools and utilities to keep track of how your website is doing.
  • Monitor your competitors and the top ranked websites to see what they are doing right in the way of design, navigation, content, keywords, etc.
  • Use reports and logs from your web hosting company to see where your traffic is coming from. Analyze your visitor location and their incoming sources whether search engines or links from other sites and the keywords they used to find you.
  • Make your customer visit easy and give them plenty of ways to remember you in the form of newsletters, free reports, reduction coupons etc.
  • Demonstrate your industry and product or service expertise by writing and submitting articles for your website or for article banks so you are perceived as an expert in your field.
  • When selling products online, use simple payment and shipment methods to make your customer’s experience fast and easy.
  • When not sure, hire professionals. Though it may seem costly, but it is a lot less expensive than spending your money on a website which no one visits.
  • Don’t look at your website as a static brochure. Treat it as a dynamic, ever-changing sales tool and location, just like your real store to which your customers with the same seriousness.

 Use Keywords In Page Titles

It is recommended to use keywords in page titles itself. This title tag is different from a Meta tag, but it's worth considering it in relation to them. Whatever text one places in the title tag (between the <title> and </title> portions) will appear in the title bar of browsers when they view the web page. Some browsers also append whatever you put in the title tag by adding their own name, as for example Microsoft's Internet Explorer or OPERA.

The actual text you use in the title tag is one of the most important factors in how a search engine may decide to rank your web page. In addition, all major web crawlers will use the text of your title tag as the text they use for the title of your page in your listings.

If you have designed your website as a series of websites or linked pages and not just a single Home Page, you must bear in mind that each page of your website must be search engine optimized. The title of each page i.e. the keywords you use on that page and the phrases you use in the content will draw traffic to your site.

The unique combination of these words and phrases and content will draw customers using different search engine terms and techniques, so be sure you capture all the keywords and phrases you need for each product, service or information page.

The most common mistake made by small business owners when they first design their website is to place their business name or firm name in every title of every page. Actually most of your prospective customers do not bother to know the name of your firm until after they have looked at your site and decided it is worth book marking.

So, while you want your business name in the title of the home page, it is probably a waste of valuable keywords and space to put it in the title line of every page on your site. Why not consider putting keywords in the title so that your page will display closer to the top of the search engine listing.

Dedicating first three positions for keywords in title avoiding the stop words like ‘and’, ‘at’ and the like is crucial in search engine optimization.