What good is a website if people dont use it?
How can they use it if they cant find it?
While different studies dispute the actual percentages, about 85% of all web visitors
find your web site through search engines, with the remaining either directly entering
your domain name or following a link from an email message or another website. If your
website isnt listed in the search engines then the vast majority of the potential
users will never see it.
There are two parts to getting listed in search engines: (1) optimizing your website
for search engine inclusion and (2) submitting the site to the search engines. Both need
to be done in order to maximize your investment.
||Optimizing your site for search engine inclusion.
|Optimizing the site includes things such as making sure that meta tags exist in every
page you want indexed, that all images have alt tags with text, that page titles and
headings exist and contain the keywords that you wish to promote, etc. Search engines scan
the site and index text. Glitzy graphics, flash animation, and fancy fonts will not help,
and in some cases may actually hinder search engine ranking.
|NOTE: Some companies specialize in
"site optimization". This generally means that they try to do a number of things
to trick the search engines into listing you higher than you normally would have be
ranked, or included in lists in which you normally wouldnt be listed. This is known
as "spamming the index", and search engine operators dont like spam any
more than you do. Search engine operators are frequently reworking their formulas and
ranking criteria to find and eliminate sites which spam their indexes, and many will drop
a website completely that violates their thresholds. We do not endorse this type of
||Listing your site with search engines.
|Once the site is optimized, the site must be submitted. There are thousands of search
engines and directories, with the most popular being Google, with Altavista, Ask Jeeves,
Excite, Infoseek, Looksmart, Lycos, Metacrawler, Northern Light, Webcrawler, HotBot, and
Yahoo filling out the top 12. Some engines, such as Yahoo and Looksmart only accept paid
listings, while others still crawl the web and list you for free. Even with free listings,
most offer pay-per-click advertising of some sort.
|We have found the most efficient way of getting listed quickly with a large number of
search engines is to utilize paid inclusion services from Inktomi, Fast, and Ask Jeeves.
These services charge prices ranging from $16 to $39 per page, per year, per inclusion
service. The actual price depends on the service and the number of pages.
Be careful when dealing with companies that offer "guaranteed traffic". The
method used to generate this traffic is using "pop-up" and "pop-under"
pages sending people to your site. Pop-Ups are those annoying windows that open when you
try to navigate around or leave a website. "Pop-Unders" are pages that open in a
web browser underneath the site you are browsing, so that when the user closes the page
they are viewing your site is already there. Like most spam, the "click-through"
rate is extremely small, and you may end of alienating more customers than you gain.
SHEERConnection can navigate this quagmire of options and help you
choose and implement the best, most cost-effective solution for your website application.