Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Are you wondering how to get search engines, like Google, to bring you more traffic? Well... there is a lot to read here, but if you are serious about driving traffic to your website, you should consider reading every word, and really getting to understand this tool. It can make a huge difference in whether or not, and how much, traffic you get to your website.
Search engines are constantly searching the internet looking for sites to include in their directory. Once a search engine finds your site it studies what it finds on each page and tries to decide what each page is about, and what kinds of searches each page on your website is relevant to.
This tool gives you a way to assist search engines in "getting it right" when they analyze your website. By explicitly specifying what makes each and every page on your website special, you ensure that the search engines know everything about your webpages that you want them to.
- Page: This number is used internally by Talkspot to keep track of your webpage. You never need to use this number, but it can be handy in quickly identifying the page that had the error if you are updating lots of pages at once, and make some mistakes.
- Page Title: Every page on your website has a title. This is normally used as the text on any menus (navigation) on your website (eg. Home, Contact, Photos). Search engines give great importance to the titles on your webpages. A title like "Contact" makes sense as text on a menu, but you might get more traffic from search engines if the page title were "Contact us at Joe's Plumbing to see how we can repair any plumbing problem. We have offices in Seattle and Portland, and are open 24 hours." That's a lot more text than could fit on a button on a menu, but by putting it here we'll put it into a hidden area on the webpage (called the TITLE metatag) which search engines know to look for. The page title is limited to 155 characters, but we recommend keeping it much shorter, preferably under 55 characters.
- Page URL: We want to give search engines every possible clue as to what your webpages are. One thing that search engines give great weight to is the website address itself. For instance, compare these two possible webpage addresses: www.not-a-real-website/page25 -- or, www.not-a-real-website/plumbing-supply-order-form Pretend for a second that you are google. Which of these webpages feels more like it might be an order form for plumbing supplies. Try to make your website addresses for individual pages as explanatory as possible. Keep them lower-case, and use minus signs to seperate the words. Don't put in fancy characters as there are strict rules about website addresses. Just use numbers and lower-case letters. And, don't go too crazy on the number of words. Stick to one to five words.
- Keywords: Keywords are short phrases which search engines can look at to quickly categorize your website. For instance, a list of keywords might be: "plumbing, seattle, 24 hour service, leaks fixed, emergency repairs" Like the Page Title, Keywords are hidden behind the scenes, but give information to the search engines about the webpage. This said, search engines are constantly revising their techniques for studying webpages and keywords are currently out of vogue. Companies like Google are secretive about their algorithms and the rumors are that keywords are being ignored. That said, who knows? Our recommendation, put them in, and make them good, and .. it might help!
- Description: Here you have another chance to talk about your webpage and provide valuable information. Your webpage description is like the page title, but you can say a bit more. You have 155 characters to talk about why search engines should direct traffic to this webpage. Sell! Use all the industry-related buzzwords you think people might search for. Say something like: "Joe's plumbing is the fastest and cheapest supplier of plumbing parts in Seattle or Portland. We service all kinds of plumbing. We do it all, from fixing clogged toilets to fixing sprinklers."
Note: Clicking on column headings will sort the page.
Note 2: If you get all of your page titles and keywords correct, are you guaranteed that Google will send traffic to your website? Sadly -- NO. The search engines literally have a billion websites to decide from when someone searches. If you do everything right (turn on indexing, set your page titles and keywords, and register your website with Google and Bing Webmaster Tools), then your odds are very good -- but, there is no guarantee.
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