One of the most important aspects of your website design and often the most overlooked; is the critical issue of how will the major search engines receive, view, and rank your website.
Many have paid thousands of dollars for their website and failed to get good search engine rankings. While getting good rankings, or even listed at all, is not rocket science, it does require time and effort by someone familiar with search engine technology.
Every good home needs a solid foundation and your website’s foundation is critical. A solid foundation is built based on the time tested and often republished; “The 12 Commandments Of Search Engine Marketing“.
Here at Gossamer, we have obtained thousands of top rankings for our clients. You will find our websites ranked on all the major search engines – Yahoo!, Google, AOL, MSN, AltaVista, etc.
Thanks for the help! Our design team had promised us top rankings for months and failed to get us even listed. Your recommendations got us listed fast! – Seth Broche, Almost Home Group Retreats 10/2003
I don’t know what you did, but it worked! We are now getting over 25 requests per day for our Lake Tahoe Rental! – Amanda Friedrichsen 2002
Search Engine Services
Web SEO is a blend of marketing and engineering. Identify business keywords. Identify and make the appropriate changes. Measure the results. Repeat as necessary.
Any serious SEO work incorporates the following:
- Web Logs – Every web server leaves behind some breadcrumbs detailing user access to the web site. Each entry in the log file is generally called a hit. Log files can be viewed in real time to note how often search engines crawl the site, to identify unwanted visitors, and allow you to monitor traffic.
- Web Statistics – There are several good applications that will read your log files and generate a summary report on the activity of your web site. The information summarized generally includes the number of hits your web site receives, the most viewed pages of your web site, the least view pages of your web site, the IP addresses of those who accessed your web site, a summary of web sites that sent traffic your way, a list of keywords that were used to find your web site, and a summary of the types of browsers used by your visitors.
- Search Engine WebMaster Tools – Some of the major search engines provide WebMaster tools to help you identify problems and monitor your website. For example, Google will let you know if you have duplicate title and description tags, whether any of your URL’s are not working, and provides brief summaries of the keywords used to access your web site along with a brief summary of the keywords that Google thinks are appropriate. While satisfying Google’s flags and warnings will not guarantee you top search engine rankings, they will identify problems that may prevent your web site from being indexed properly.
- Analytical Tools – There are also several good analytical tools on the market including one from Google. The major drawback to using Goolge is that you must include code from Google on each of your web pages. This of course adds a bit of overhead. At Gossamer we prefer the tools offered by WebTrends including WebPostion which allows you to track your current search engine rankings along with analysis tools that can compare your web site statistically to other top ranking web sites. While Google discourages using tools like to WebPosition, labeling it as a violation of the terms of service, sparing use of this program does not cause problems and it is a huge time saver when it comes to figuring out how your web site ranks on a wide variety of search engines. Just be sure you run it from an IP not associated with your web server.
- An Experienced WebMaster – While there are a variety of good tools out there to help with search engine optimization, they are all worthless unless wielded by a WebMaster with knowledge and experience. By far, the biggest con around surrounding optimization are those companies that charge several thousands of dollars for their services, a service entirely comprised of a scant few recommendations, usually a few changes to a couple of tags, and offer a worthless guarantee. Just try getting your hard earned money back after you learn their support ends after you write the check.