November 27, 2007

"You don't need to be a professional to start optimizing your website for search engines. All it takes is five minutes."

"A decade after registering its domain name, Google's name has become a verb for the service it offers. Seven years after it started to sell ads based on those searches, it's on track to top $15 billion in revenue for 2007. Riding on those big coattails is the industry of search-engine optimization, which has gone from an oddball curiosity for small businesses to something no organization with a Web presence can afford to ignore." (source: The Wall Street Journal online).

Simply put: if you've got a website, you need to optimize it for search engines. Doing so will dramatically increase your conversion rate - the amount of online visitors who buy or use what you offer - as well as help you and your website gain exposure.

But search engine optimization isn't something every household person can do. It requires knowledge, experience, and weeks - sometimes months - of planning and executing strategies.

That doesn't mean, however, that you can't start the optimization process without any knowledge of search engine optimization. You don't need to be a professional to start optimizing your website for search engines. All it takes is five minutes.

Well, five minutes and a bit of direction, which is why you are most likely reading this. So, without further ado, here are some extremely easy ways to optimize your website for a quick boost in search engines.

Evaluate the purpose of your website.

The very first thing to do before optimizing your website is evaluating it's purpose. This should be an easy first step, because it is you website afterall.

Ask yourself: "What do I want my website to do?"

Whether it's share your personal opinions with friends and family, selling a product or service, or providing useful information for readers, your website has a purpose; and once you've found that purpose you can begin your evaluation.

In evaluating your website, you need to identify keywords for your website. Identifying keywords is essential to improving your website's ranking in the search engines; you have to remember: search engines run on people searching for keywords.

For example: if the purpose of your website is to share your personal opinion, some keywords to use would be your name, and some generic keywords for things you are going to share your opinion on.

Or, if the purpose of your website is to sell a specific product or service you would want to focus on the name of the product or service, the type or product/service, etc. as keywords.

Make a list of any keywords you can think of, but try to keep the amount of keywords to a maximum of ten - focusing on a lot of keywords can spread your website too wide on search engines, and greatly decrease your options of ranking high for a specific keyword.

Find out how much work you need to do.

Before you do any optimizing, it's a great idea to find out how you are currently ranking on search engines.

Using a tool like SERPs Finder (Windows only) to find your current rank is a perfect, straight-forward way to find out how much work you have ahead of you.

Use the keywords you thought up previously and find out what page of a search engine's results your website lands on.

If you are in one of the top 10 pages you don't have very much work to do, your website is already fairly popular for that keyword; however, if your website isn't found within the first 1000 results, you've got a bit of work ahead of you.

But don't fret: you can increase your ranking in just five minutes, remember that.

Focus on keywords in your website's content.

Once you have determined how your website is currently ranking for your keywords, you need to incorporate those keywords into as much of your website's content as possible to improve your ranking.

Filling your page with useless garbage and keywords won't increase your ranking in search engines, however.

Search engines are smart systems, they can tell what is spam and what is quality content, so try to include your keywords in places where it makes logical sense to have them.

If you're selling a product, repeating the product name over and over in paragraphs about the product makes sense and is not a spam-like technique. If you're sharing your personal opinion on your website you can state your name in almost every paragraph and still have them make sense.

Including keywords in as much as your website as possible is a great start to making your website completely friendly with search engines - think "best friend forever" friendly - and begin the process of increasing your rank.

Gain exposure through links.

Once you've included your keywords in your website, you're going to need other people to use those same keywords to link to your website. This task is the hardest to do when optimizing your website, but can still be done easily thanks to social networking and online directories.

If you have any friends with websites, ask them if they would kindly link to your website using one of your keywords (an example of using a keyword as a link would be this: "internet related", where the keyword is what makes up the link.

Gaining links is currently the best method to increase your website's rank in search engines. Getting a lot of links to your website is greatly beneficial to the optimization of your website, and getting just a few, high quality links from popular websites is even better.

But don't believe everything you read about linking. It is just as beneficial to get thousands of little links to your website as it is getting hundreds of links from big websites.

Search on search engines for free link directories and start adding your website to as many of them as you can, but avoid ones that look like they are only listing websites so that they can make money - that may decrease, or even obliterate your website's ranking.

Search engine marketing and optimization is something all website's need to do. It's rapidly becoming the only way to market a website for a pinpoint audience. If you have a website, you can't afford not to optimize your website.

With this advice you now can get started on the optimization process without paying for a professional and without much knowledge of how the system works. And, if you need more help with optimizing your website in the future, you can subscribe to Internet Hunger and get the latest search engine marketing, blogging, web design, and everything internet-related headlines daily.