Friday, March 10, 2006

Do Search Engines Behave Like Human Beings?

Building your website with search engine appeal - or search engine optimization - is more art than science but experience has shown that there are some very useful guidelines. The question is, why bother? With effective optimization you'll attract free website traffic that the search engines will send you. Free traffic goes a long way towards not only making your site income-generating but, hopefully, profit-generating as well.

With search engine optimization you might even receive a high traffic volume. Let’s just say you have a conversion to successful sales with 5 to 10 percent of your traffic. If you get a hundred hits or more a day, you get a good number of sales already. If you get only twenty or so hits a day, you only get one or two sales if any at all. Higher traffic, especially if it's free, means potentially higher revenue.

Search engine optimization involves a variety of methods for making your site appealing to the search engines, such as having relevant keywords, title and content. It also helps to have other similar sites linking to yours. The aim is to have your site listed in the search engine results and apearing in, preferably, the first two or three pages. The higher the better. This will ensure that your site is displayed in answer to public inquiries as being possibly relevant. In turn, this increases public awareness and directs more traffic to your site - traffic that could lead to potential sales, revenue and profit.

There are many locations on the internet that can help you improve search engine optimization, including those that help in tracking keyword phrases. For instance, the free Yahoo/Overture Suggestion Tool, as well as many commercial keyword analyzers. There are also some content writers and article directories that can provide suitable keyword-laden content for you.

However, most people performing a search examine only the ten top results, which are on the first page. Those entries further down the list languish, with little attention. So making it to the top three pages is a barometer of a site's success in search engine optimization as you will get more people clicking through to your site when you have a higher ranking on these pages. And, as mentioned, more traffic means more business for you.

As you might have guessed, search engine optimization may require a fair bit of work to be fully realized. For instance, researching the keyword phrases that are popular for your niche or theme.

You may also need to rewrite your site's contents so that you get the right keyword phrases in your site without making it too awkward to read. There are useful guidelines that can be followed to assist with this.

Also consider collaborating with other web sites to obtain link exchanges and page transfers. Having inbound links definitely increases search engine appeal. Possibly the best way of gaining these is to write quality articles on the subject of your website and submit them to article directories for others to use. This generates desirable one-way links from those who post your articles on their websites, and they have usually selected your article because of its relevance!

When you need help just search the internet. Tips, guidelines and methods for search engine optimization are abundant and easily found. There are also many articles freely available that can help you optimize your website. Just posing the question on Google or inquiring at your favorite article directory will quickly locate some of these. The more informed you are the better. But resist the temptation to buy ebooks when so much free information is available.

This all helps in getting those high rankings. It may require a little time and effort but the benefits can be astounding.

E-commerce is a cut throat business. You have to arm yourself with the knowledge and tools needed to make your site a cut above the rest. Each day, more and more sites clamber for higher rankings and, if you get careless, you may just get trampled and be left in cyber dust.

In recent years, and in the foreseeable future, search engines have been the most widely used internet sources of information. Use them well and prosper.

However, even with effective optimization in place, don't just rest on your laurels; it is a continuing process. Check your ranking from time to time and also have a good look at what the top sites for a keyword are doing. Why do they have a higher ranking? What do you have to do to secure the top spot? Each day is a new day for all e-commerce sites or, as Scarlet O'Hara said: "Tomorrow is another day!"

Ivan Kelly managed a Direct Mail business with extensive mailing lists for ten years and has designed and promoted many websites. He also provides a quality f'ree course on Search Engine Marketing. For details go to: List Of Topics

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