Increasing Website Visibility with Search Engine Optimization
By: Erik Schubach - February 7, 2007 | View in PDF Format
Website visibility is one of the most important factors in e-commerce. You can have the most spectacular site on the Internet, but it is a death knell if nobody knows it is there. Customers must be able to find your products in the sea of websites on the web. Because of the lack of understanding this basic fact, "dead sites" plague otherwise competent web developers.
There are many ways to direct attention to a website including pay-per-click (PPC) advertising such as Google AdWords, traditional advertising or word-of-mouth. There is, however, no more powerful or cost effective way to bring potential customers to your website than organic search results on the major search engines such as Google and Yahoo. Organic search results are the non-paid results generated by search engines directly below sponsored or paid results.
To be included in those results couldn't get much simpler, you merely need to let the search engines know that you exist. Most search engines have a URL submission page such as the one on Google at http://www.google.com/addurl/?continue=/addurl. This will add your website (or individual page) to the list of URLs to be crawled by the search engine's spiders or bots. Be patient, the first crawl of a new website can take up to a month or two.
Once your site has been included in the search engine index it will begin showing up in the search results for that search engine. How high up on the search results it appears is dependant on the quality of the site content and how search engine friendly your website is. By adjusting certain aspects of your website you can assure optimal placement of your pages in the search index. This process is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
SEO is more of an art than a science since the algorithms used by the search engines are closely guarded secrets. There are many schools of thought on the best way to implement SEO to increase the visibility of your site; this paper will outline the major points that have been found to work in practical application in a production environment for the author.