SEO Basics

Recently a prospective client asked me for some help getting his site up onto search engines.  Even when people searched for his name and his website specifically, they couldn’t find him.  Last time I checked, this site was number one in Google for Purple Ivy, though I’d not expect anyone looking for web consulting to search for that, at least if they know what they are looking for and type into the search bar instead of the URL bar they will find me!

Even so, there are some basic steps you should take to make yourself even remotely findable.

Paid and Free Search Engine Listing

First, you need to list your site in DMOZ Open Directory Project.  Many major search engines including Google start their web crawlers here.  (A crawler is a computer program that hops links from page to page and site to site to index the web.)

Second, list in the free Yahoo site listing.

Third, if you’re serious about your business, fork out the fee to list your site in the Yahoo Directory.  Non profits are free.

Fourth, if you are running a business that operates out of a location, add your site to the Bing Local Listing Center and also Google Local Search.  This is really important if you want people to find you with the street navigation on their smartphones.

Web Site Basics for SEO

Make sure you have a title for your web page, and that your web page has brief, cleanly presented text and great photos or graphics.  Avoid needless words, and stay brief.

Use key search words and phrases in your text, especially in your header tags and hyperlink text.  People can’t find your site by searching for it if the words and phrases you want them to find are not actually on your website.

Additional Work for Search Engine Optimization

Generate a search engine site map XML document if you can.

See if you can get some associated businesses or friends to link to your website.

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