Search Engine Optimization

Or: getting people to actually come to (find) your website and do what you want them to do while they are there

Last revised: December 3, 2015


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Introduction

Here are my thoughts on how to increase traffic to your website. In my view content is much more important than how fancy the website looks. People have to find you on the web before they can see your website. Most traffic comes to most websites via search engines, so you need to understand how people search and how search engines interpret those searches.

I have seen many very nice looking websites that nobody visits. Using the free and/or inexpensive web design software that comes with other software packages makes it very easy to put together and publish a website that looks great.
Many people do it. But, time goes by and nobody comes. Why not?
It appears to me that folks who put up a website this way focus on the LOOKS of their website, and not the CONTENT. And they don't take the time to read ALL of the instructions that come with the software; some of which tell them about some special things they need to do to GET FOUND.

My own website has been up since about 1996 and I wrote the whole thing myself. I learned how to write enough basic html code to do it during a 4 hour course supported by the local telephone company/ISP and taught by the high school's computer class teacher. He focused on content 'way back then and it's still the best way to go as far as I'm concerned.
I am no computer expert, nor am I a web designer. But if I were going to counsel someone on building a new website, especially their first one, I'd go about it in the following manner:

First, I'd ask them this series of questions

I think you can see from the questions why they are being asked. In order to advise someone in this area, I'd need to understand what they want to accomplish, how involved they want to be personally, and how far along they already are in the process. ----And, whose toes not to step on in the process.

Then, here's my own personal "cheat sheet" of the most important factors to be considered in actually producing and then managing a design that will get you the traffic that you need. This is just a LIST; it isn't a how-to. You will need to understand every one of the items on the list and learn how to implement them if you want that traffic.
If you still want a useful website, but you don't want all that involvement, then it's time to consider buying the services that you don't want to perform yourself. But even if you want to buy services, you still need to understand all these principles so you can choose a web desginer who DOES understand the SEO portion of website design. I say this because it appears to me that there are plenty of "website designers" out there who are great with computer software, but VERY SHORT on the marketing knowledge needed to really get traffic for you.
Even if you do hire someone to do the software coding of your website, you are still not off the hook. The content HAS to come from you!!!!

Priority order for getting traffic on your website


Plenty of web design detail can be found here:
Dreamweaver tutorials. http://www.thesitewizard.com

Search engines have gotten very good at indexing new sites. But if you want, you can start by submitting your new site to them for free:
http://www.google.com/addurl/
http://search.yahoo.com/info/submit.html
http://search.msn.com.sg/docs/submit.asp

In closing, always put yourself in the shoes of the folks who are out there searching (Googling) for your content.
What THEY think is important when THEY type in THEIR search criteria is what you have to design and manage for.