Sunday, November 7, 2010

Understanding How Search Engines Work

Many business owners with websites fail to understand the power of SEO techniques. The simplest way to explain SEO is by saying that it makes it easier for search engines to find your business online. Remember that many users simply type in a keyword to search for a product or service they need. The better the strength of your SEO practices, the higher your page will rank when the search engine returns the results.

Search Engines on the Web

There are a number of search engines competing for the time of every web user. They may each work a bit differently, but the core purpose is the same; to help you find the information you are looking for online. Basically, each one creates indexes of words or groups of words that are likely to be searched for. If you are in the fortunate position to be positioned in a niche market you might be easily found. For most business owners, however, there are many other entities providing similar products or services.

Search engines use what are loosely termed as spiders to explore the millions of pages created daily online. They index the terms used in online documents and compiles lists that are used as the basis for providing searchers with results. Imagine how tedious it would be to find what you want online if search engines did not exist. This further underscores the importance of creating web pages that contain the kind of information that search engines routinely collate.

Search Engines and Content Development

While superior web content is important in your drive to build website traffic, but this is only a part of the task that lies ahead. The best content in the world will do you no good if it remains stagnant. Search engines are developed in such a way as to find content that is current. Old information will not do much good unless it is archived data that a user needs.

Commitment to delivering content in a timely manner will help in getting your website noticed by search engines. The spiders will not only make note of keyword usage but also where they are found. Each search engine may have slightly different criteria such as keyword density, Meta tags and summary. In the same way search engine spiders send information back to servers, there is also a system of providing the spiders with information. This way any changes in criteria or new URL can be quickly fed to them. This new information will be used when indexing a website site or blog.

Professional content developers can be contracted to develop useful articles to improve online visibility. This is especially important to business owners who have neither the time nor the know-how to mount an effective SEO campaign.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Patience is Key in SEO Efforts

There are some businesses that can be considered overnight successes. For most however, success comes with a commitment to a long term approach to building a customer base. It would be nice if it was as simple as starting a business and watching customers come through the door. Thankfully, the Internet gives us an important tool in helping businesses succeed that did not exist before. But just as important as having the tool is knowing how to use it. Having realist expectations is pretty important too.

Setting an SEO Timeline

First off, you should know that it is not always possible to set a timeline for seeing returns on SEO efforts. Remember that there are many other sites competing for the same visitors. How quickly your efforts pay off depend on a number of things such as:

  • The quality and relevance of information provided
  • Frequently updated web content
  • Making proper use of keywords in articles

Of course, even with all of these things falling into place there is no guarantee that things will happen as quickly as you want them to. At the very least you should be willing to commit to SEO or web content development for at least six months. Even then, this is just considered the initial phase in building your brand online.

Getting the Job Done

If you are not confident in your writing skills don’t panic. There are freelancers and companies that offer article writing services online. Remember, developing superior web content is what will set you apart from the competition. Think of this as another business cost, one that is an important investment in our company’s future.

Web content developers have experience in developing articles suited for your target audience. Additionally, some of them have strong backgrounds in research. This means they can sort though the endless supply of information online. The end result will be web content that is usable and above all attractive to anyone who visits your website.

It is easy to tire of the job at hand if results are not immediate. This is why some business owners find it preferable to use professionals to coordinate their SEO efforts. They generally have a good idea of what to expect, and know what it takes to methodically build a client base online.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Dealing With Website Content Developers

Business owners who have websites often turn to content developers to sharpen the copy on their pages. While this represents a cost to the business, it is a sound investment not only for the website, but also for the business itself. Superior web content can mean the difference between a heavily trafficked website, and one that barely registers on search engines.

The website viewing public can be notoriously fickle, that is, they will gravitate to anything they find interesting. If their favorite website drops the ball where content is concerned there will always be another site providing the information they want. There are many website owners who think that having a website is enough. It soon becomes apparent that just having a site is not a recipe for success.

Finding Article Writers

With the growth of the Internet, related careers have seen an exponential increase. Simply put, there are article writers aplenty online. Here’s where the difficulty arises; finding experienced article writers who can handle diverse topics. Writers with a strong background in research are your best option. They can sort though the mountain of information available online to determine what really makes quality website content.

A common mistake by many website owners is to think that paying less for articles means saving money. On the contrary this could cost you more in the long run. Poorly developed website content will cheapen your site. It will also drive visitors away faster than a virus warning. You might as well be advertising for your competition.

Like so many services that have been outsourced, content writing has made its way to cheaper outlets. The most obvious problem of course is website content that barely meets even the minimum standard of quality.

Informative website content can be a big boost for your business. Equally important is finding article writers who understand the importance of meeting deadlines. This is no different from any other professional undertaking. So look for website content developers who are as in sync with your goals as you are.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mapping Out Your Website Content Strategy

Every good plan needs a strategy to be carried out effectively. Even something as seemingly simple as creating website content needs a workable plan or a schedule. You might be surprised to learn how many promotional efforts have been derailed by one missed deadline. It’s not necessary to go full tilt if you are just starting out, as navigating the content waters can be tricky for newbies. Start with something you can manage, or better yet, seek out experienced website content providers to get your website noticed.

A Basic Content Strategy

We’re not all born to be writers, turning a phrase at the drop of a hat. Often we do know what we want to say but need some help getting the words out. Whether you are proficient at writing or not, nothing can be done without a basic plan. A few steps in outlining your strategy could include:

  1. Identify your audience – it is easy to create superior web content when you understand who you are targeting.
  2. Make a keyword list – the keywords are the focal point of content writing. They help search engines find and index your website or blog.
  3. Set a schedule – this is an important aspect of website content development. You have to have set times for updating content and it is important to meet those deadlines. Regular visitors will lose interest if they don’t see new information when it is supposed to be there.
Using a Content Management Company

Many companies and individuals sometimes turn to freelancers and companies to create compelling content. This is a cost effective way to generate website traffic. Some content providers work on a contractual basis to develop an interesting website. They not only write regular articles, but also develop and post your blog entries.

Your content management strategy must be part of your overall promotional efforts. When properly done, content preparation can boost your website ranking and create more traffic. In fact you could save a great deal of money on other types of advertising.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Putting Your Website to Work

A website is one of the most cost effective promotional tools available today. Like any other tool however, it must be properly used to produce results. The term content management has experienced increased awareness among website owners and designers. Unfortunately, many website owners are still unaware of how effective content can propel their websites to the kind of heights they hope for.

The Importance of Content

Think of website content as a component of a fully functioning, albeit imperfect system. Websites struggle for page ranking on search engines, and generally the top hits tend to get the most visitors. Of course some website owners use other means such as social media marketing to get their content noticed. Some businesses pay to have their websites advertised on other sites or in the media, but not everyone can afford this.

If your budget is tight, and your social media efforts have not yet taken hold there are simple steps you can take to improve website traffic such as:

  • Update your content often. This boosts your ranking on search engines making it easier for people to find you.
  • Be aware of what is happening in your industry. This makes it easy to keep website content fresh, and gives visitors the information they need. They won’t keep coming back if you have the same information posted for weeks.
  • Write a blog. This has been successfully done by many website owners who link the blog to content on their websites. A good blog helps to popularize the website.
  • Make your content relevant. If you sell clothes you could offer tips on caring for them. Computer retailers could provide troubleshooting tips and other useful bits of advice to customers and prospective buyers.

Building website traffic is not easy, especially with so many sites competing for attention. In fact, many business owners turn to professional developers to provide the kind of engaging content which provides hits. If your website traffic is sluggish don’t give up just yet. With a little help you could have the kind of superior web content that is now helping many websites to get noticed and make money.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Keeping Hope Alive – When Business is Slowing or Failing

It is easy to lose hope in these trying economic times. Whether or not you have a salaried job, for many– times are hard and money is scarce. Many freelancers are beginning to feel the pinch; fewer jobs and clients and in many instances lower rates.

I know what I’m talking about because there have been many days when I have lost hope and feel like giving up. But I know that the darkest hour is just before dawn, so I may be just at the point of a breakthrough. If I give up I will never know.

As an indexer and SEO/web content writer I had many challenges in 2009. I’m sure there will be many more in 2010, but I’m learning from my past mistakes. Plus, I’m determined to build solid networks this time around and play it forward even more.

In 2009 indexing jobs were few and far between and it wasn’t just me. Many indexers complained about not getting work. Interestingly, many others didn’t have a problem. Part of the reason I’m sure had to do with their marketing efforts and the niche they work in.

While I enjoy my work, I do not spend as much time marketing and networking as I should. I’m trying to be better this time around. It’s a gut feeling, but I know I can do this! We all have those moments of clarity where we know that we are on to something good. All it takes is finding out how to get around or over the stumbling block.

By reading blogs and following those in my field and about managing small businesses I already see where I can improve my processes. Slowly hope is returning, even though there are still days when despair hits me like a hammer – but I can do this. I can and will persevere.