Thursday, September 3, 2009



Add More Doors to Your Store

Good for you. You’re building your own vision on line. It’s not hard – all design elements are click and go so you don’t need a degree in graphic design to create a super-slick, professional looking site. And writing the text about your area of expertise isn’t so tough, so you can do this thing.

But, as you’re building and then optimizing your site there are some very simple, behind-the-curtain tactics you can use to create a bigger search engine presence, to create a more prominent on-line persona and provide more points of access into the guts of your site.

Here are some simple things you can do to quick start your e-business. They don’t cost anything, but they really deliver a punch.

Create more doors to your store.

If you Google “indoor plant care,” somewhere on that first search engine result page (SERP) will be a link to a book listed on Amazon. If I click on that link, I’m taken directly to the Amazon page that describes that book. I didn’t come through the front door, via the Amazon homepage. The Google link took me to an interior page through another access point for the Amazon site.

You see it all the time. Not all of your site visitors enter your site by way of the home page. Why? Because search engine algorithms are intended to produce the most relevant search results, and that’s a book on indoor plant care on Amazon.

Using simple HTML code, it’s possible to create dozens, even hundreds of visitor access points. The key is to use HTML

The information in the title tag is indexed as a separate entity back at the search engine storehouse. The reason? Search engines don’t index web sites. They index web site pages. These bots are none-too-smart with very little in the way of AI so they track letter strings and read title tags.

Add a title tag to each page of your site. This page will be indexed differently than another page on the same site, including categorization within a completely different taxonomy. This is especially true if you sell numerous products or provide a variety of services. Your financial advisor pages will be indexed differently from your insurance broker pages because search engine users want relevance.

Treat each page of your site as a distinct entity. Add title tags that describe that page’s content and be sure that the information in the title tags synchs up with the actual text on the presentation layer. If it doesn’t, search engine algorithms (a suspicious group) may slam you for perceived black hat tactics and ban you. Not a good start to your new venture.

Update Meta Data

Meta data appears above the HTML code that actually forms the structure of a web site. It’s meant to be seen only by spiders and it provides information spiders need to technically assess and index a web page.

Most site designers (even the high-priced professionals) don’t change the meta data on each page since most of the information remains the same. So, to save time in development, coders produce meta data at the outset and use the same information throughout each page of the site.

Though they don’t carry the weight they once did, meta data includes your site page’s . That means you have the opportunity to distinguish each page with keywords and phrases specific to the page’s content. Once again, this turns every page of your site into a visitor access point.

  • It provides increased specificity within search engine taxonomy (you’ll be in the right category, even if it’s a niche category).

  • It increases the likelihood of seeing some organic search results when your site page appears on page one or two of the SERPs.

  • It makes it easier for visitors to find what they’re looking for without having to click through drill down screens to find the exact product shown in your site’s SERP link.

  • It places your site before potential buyers who wish to purchase a specific product and know make and model of the item. Make and model are the keywords the search engine buyer will use. If your pages are all distinctive, when a search engine user enters “Scabbard 480 miter saw w/change out templates,” you’re page 84 will show up on page one of the SERPs as long as the page has been properly and completely indexed.

Add title tags and keyword tags to each page to create as many access points for visitors as possible. They’re more likely to find you and more likely to stick around long enough to see what other items or services of interest you sell.

Increase On-Site Connectivity

More doors. Only these aren’t doors to the outside web. These are interior doors that lead visitors to specific information and encourage further exploration of the site.

Embed text links, especially when they employ a keyword. Embedded links, in the ubiquitous blue font color, provide doorways for easier access to specific information, they pull the visitor deeper into the site and they assist visitors in their search for information.

Consider embedded text links as sign posts directing visitors to related information. However, don’t overdo the use of embedded links. You’ll have visitors bouncing around like ping pong balls and they’ll eventually move on to another site after one too many pings or pongs.

As you’re deciding where to place embedded links remember this: search engine spiders follow links. They don’t move about randomly. They follow whatever path or paths are present. That’s good. That means when your site is crawled, the spiders will follow the embedded text links. This accomplishes a couple of important things.

First, it assures that the different pages and zones of your site are properly indexed. If there’s any confusion on the spider-side (bots are brainless) your site may be indexed improperly within the search engine taxonomy or system of classification. That means you’ll see more unqualified traffic if you see any at all.

Second, it ensures your site is completely indexed. Again, spiders follow links including links that take them off your site to another, related site. Interconnectivity between mutually relevant sites is a good thing. Search engines like interconnectivity because it makes it easier for search engine users to continue their search.

However, this also means that a site – especially one with few embedded links – may not be completely indexed the first time it’s spidered. Entire sections may be missed. Entire sites may be missed. Web lore has it that some sites never get indexed for unknown (and therefore scary) reasons.

Help the spiders. Help your visitors. Help yourself. Provide more doors to the store by adding title tags to each site page and changing meta data on appropriate pages. Add embedded links to direct both visitors and spiders to useful information about your products or services, order pages, contact information and other key data. These internal links increase the intra-connectivity of individual site pages.

It takes time, especially when your site is made up of hundreds of pages. Just think of each of those pages as a doorway to your site.

Instant expansion of your site’s web presence. Free.

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