Competing In A Virtual World
More and more business owners, professionals in every field, schools and organizations of every kind understand the importance of including a website as an important tool in marketing and disseminating information. A large majority of new website owners however think that by simply putting a website up, visitors will come. That was true 15 years ago when there were hundreds not millions of websites selling, promoting, educating or advertising the same products and services. The good news is, there is still plenty of room for success because of the learning curve.
What Does SEO Really Mean?
By now you have heard the term SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or Web Page Optimization countless times. The thing is, SEO can mean different things to different people. SEO can be broken down into two main categories. On site SEO and off site SEO.
On site SEO
For web designers, it means creating a layout out that is both appealing and easy to use and access. From an engineering point of view, it means creating web pages designed to load quickly and be read easily by search engines using proper syntax, html validation and a host of other programming details necessary to insure success.
Free Websites And What They Mean For On Site SEO
Designing a website that is attractive, easy to navigate and carefully thought out from it’s inception lays the groundwork for how well your website will function and how easily you will be able to add information, edit pictures, add pages, documents, rss feeds, or payment methods. There are many free or inexpensive templates available online using open source platforms from companies like WordPress and Joomla. These companies developed the platforms for these web designs prior to many of the updates implemented by the search engines. To deal with this issue, you can make use of the many add ons available. The problem is these add ons often do not integrate well with the original architecture of these sites and therefore their implementation can downgrade your SEO. It is more cost effective in both the short term for the life of your website to create a site that incorporates your individual specifications from the onset.
Off Site SEO
Off site companies promote your website by using a host of marketing tools.Their goal is to get your site out there in the social and business networking community. They submit articles, press releases, sales promotions, and advertising to hundreds if not thousands of publications with the hope of increasing traffic to your website. Many of these submission will lead to an increase in the number of backlinks to your site. The more backlinks you have, increases the chances your site will be seen by a wider audience, who may discover you on one of these other sites. Perhaps, someone will be interested in reading about safaris in Africa and you sell travel. They may not find you directly, but if you submitted an article to a travel publication on a safari, and provided strong keywords related to your article for the search engines, that reader may find you through links in the publications carrying your article. Stands to reason, the more you get your name out there, the greater your chances of being discovered. With that in mind, the only good backlinks are those related to your industry.
The Best Of Both Worlds
Maintenance is key to success, a neglected website is easily spotted by search engines. Keeping your website dynamic will get you noticed, which means keeping your pages fresh will attract the attention of the search engines and attract more visitors to your site. The onsite and offsite process is a symbiotic relationship, one is not viable without the other.