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How to Optimise your Website

Written by Ben Evans on 02 August 2007

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With websites and the internet in general now such an integral part of the way we live our lives and the way we conduct business, it is essential that every business has some kind of presence on the net. The vast majority will do so in the form of a website, but whilst websites are brilliant when people are on them the difficulty arises in attracting them to your site.

In order to take full advantage of your website you need to be registered with the most popular search engines, the two main ones being Google and Yahoo. When someone searches on for example Google they get a list of results of sites which match their search, needless to say the higher up your site features in this list the more likely you are to get “hits”. How high you are in this
list will depend upon two things:

  1. How closely the content of your site matches the search request; and
  2. Your PageRank.

Please note PageRank is the term used by Google, other sites may use different names but the principles and ideas laid out below remain applicable regardless.

How to improve your PageRank:

  1. Perhaps an obvious one to start with but make sure the information on your site is of a high-quality and that users will want it and will want to share it with others.
  2. Submit your site to various web directories (Open Directory Project for example) and reference sites (Wikipedia for example). These should feature in the results of search engines even if your site does not, thus providing users with a link to your site.
  3. Your site must be publicised. Company stationary etc should all feature your web address, in fact it has been suggested that everywhere your phone number, fax number and mailing address are listed then so should your web address.
  4. Send people a newsletter informing people what’s new or interesting on your site, this will remind people about your site and encourage future visits.
  5. Provide a Rich Site Summary (RSS). This makes it easier for other sites to distribute your headlines and content.
  6. Ask other sites to link to your website. You must though ensure of their quality as if their site is delisted from a search engine all linking sites will also be delisted. Also if the link is of no value to your site users then there is little point.
  7. Attempt to link with highly ranked sites over lower ranked sites i.e. those that come up first when you search your business area.
  8. Inform the press about your website, the more people that know about it the more hits you will receive!
  9. Do not allow your website to go dormant i.e. regularly update it to encourage frequent visits and do not allow the site to go ‘down’ for any extended period of time as Google and other search engines may delist it.
  10. Allow others to use your website content for free as long as they give you credit and create a link to your site.
  11. Get your site translated into foreign languages.
  12. Search Google for your website as opposed to merely typing in the URL. Google is more likely to improve your ranking if your site receives traffic through Google.
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