A Good Foundation Starts with Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
By: Ryan Attelle
If your business is just starting out, and your getting ready to launch your site or have just done so then your going to want to read this article in it's entirety because we have some great incite on how to get a head start on your SEO efforts.
So the very first thing you are going to have to decide is how the user will see your URL. There are two choices here. There is the www. Version and the non www. Version. For example the user can see your site as www.yoursite.com or yoursite.com. Once you have made your decision your going to want to use what is called a 301 redirect to channel users from the name you do not want to the name that you do want to use. A 301 redirect is considered a permanent redirection that lets search engines know that everything from the page being redirected should be applied to the page being redirected to. Just so you know, a lot of major company’s like to use the www. method but the choice is really your to make.
Since Google is the most popular search engine on earth it is wise to register with them. One benefit of doing so is that you can verify the ownership of your website by utilizing Google's webmaster tools. With in webmaster tools the is a feature called email forwarding, a tool that lets Google contact you when ever they might have an important message. These communications could include instances where Google my suspect you have been hacked, or that your sight is hosting programs that you did not put there, programs that could be harmful if not addressed. Sometimes Google wants to let you know there bots are having difficulty navigating your website. In being alerted to these types of problems you can quickly and easily avert SEO disaster.
Its always a good idea to do a background check on your domain so that you can see what it has been up to before you bought it. Just like an employee you are hiring your URL can have a past, the more educated you are on it the position you are in to repair any damages. A thorough background check include searching out what key words have been used under the domain name. You can also find out if you are indexed. This is done by doing what is called a site colon search which looks like ( site:yoursite.com). If your search turns up an any irregularities that you find troubling it is recommended to head over to Google's webmaster guidelines to see if it is in fact a problem and what you can do about it.
A great way to hit the ground running is by utilizing a tool provided by Google called “Fetch as Googlebot”. This program allows you to give Google a heads up on the existence of your URL. When they are alerted the will crawl your website and alert you to any inconstancy's or errors. Not only does this allow Google to crawl your sight and learn about it, it also allows you to “submit to index” which is very powerful. Once your sight has been submitted to index, when ever you update, ad or edit your site Google will know and the search results will reflect that fact sooner. It's like adding a turbo charger to your SEO efforts.
A major step a lot of beginners miss is to include analytics, code that prompts the storage of important data. This should be done even if you don't think that you are prepared to utilize the information. The information is always good to have and can prove very useful down the road.
If your businesses online endeavors are still on the starting block, be glad you read this article. Although there are some great tips provided, there is a lot of work to be done, and as a final suggestion sometimes its best to let an expert take over, so you can focus on what important, you business.
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