Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of making your website attractive to search engines (like Google and Yahoo) so that your website will appear when people run a search using keywords that are relevant to your business. The higher up the search listings your website climbs, the more people are likely to see the link to it when they search on a related keyword. * Does your website show up on Google and Yahoo? These are the two main search engines. If your website shows up on either of these two, it will get picked up by all the others. To submit your site to Google, all you have to do is go to www.google.com and click on the 'About Google' link at the bottom of the page. On the next page you reach, you'll see a section called: 'For Site Owners'. Click on the 'Submit your content to Google' link. That will take you to a page where you can 'Submit a URL for inclusion in Google's index'. This won't get your website to the top of the rankings straight away, but it will at least allow the climb to commence! * Adding in your keywords behind the scenes You may need to check what is and isn't contained in your website code with your designer. And it doesn't have to be a complex conversation, so don't worry! All you need to ask is whether the code for each page contains 'title, keyword and description meta tags'. The code of every page of your website should contain 3 meta tags (also sometimes referred to as head tags). These are: 1. The page title - this is what you see across the topmost bar on your screen when you look at a web page. The tag will look like this: meta name="title" content="Your business name - life coaching" 2. The page description - this is what usually appears as the brief description when your page is listed by a search engine. The tag will look like this: meta name="description" content="As a professionally trained and credentialed life coach, Mary McNeil offers one-to-one life coaching over the telephone." 3. The keywords - these need to be relevant to each page and reflect what people searching for your website might enter into a search. The tag will look like this: meta name="keywords" content="credentialed life coach, coaching services, one-to-one life coaching, telephone coaching" Just in case it's not clear - for each of these tags it is your choice what you include the 'content' section. * Getting specific One of the tricks of a lazy website designer is to add meta tags to the home page and then copy the same description and keywords to every other page. While this does give you keywords on every page, the problem is that they are not relevant to the particular content of that page. Your website is more likely to be picked up and ranked highly in searches for your more specialised, niche keywords than for the generic 'life coaching' type ones. This is because there is less competition for the specialist words and phrases. So you need to read through the copy on each of your web pages and pick out the 4 - 8 keywords and/or phrases that you think are particularly relevant. There's no point in adding lengthy lists of keywords to your code as this defeats the object of picking out the terms that are genuinely 'key'. Once you've decided on the keywords for each page individually, there are a couple of things you can do with them... - Get them coded in to your keyword meta tag section. - Check through your copy again and make sure that, as far as is possible, you have used the keywords in your headline, sub-headers, and in the first sentence of paragraphs. Using bold and italics to highlight your keywords can help too. It all makes it easier for the search engines to recognise the keywords in your copy.
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