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Better Websiting: Super Site Promotion

Friday, April 01, 2005

Using Search Engines Effectively

One key factor in making your online presence known to the public is to register your site with the most popular search engines and directories. This is because the vast majority of people searching for websites immediately go to these to find their information. You don't have to worry about submitting to thousands of such sites, though. A handful of giants -- headed by Google, MSN, and Yahoo! -- take up the lion's share of searches, and also spread their results to a number of smaller engines. The rest really aren't worth your time.

Just having your site listed isn't enough, though. You have to use the keywords many people are searching for, and also which thousands of sites before you haven't yet used. Both of these considerations are vital. A site with hugely popular keywords which are already listed on a hundred thousand other sites is often as worthless as one with top rankings in a keyword phrase nobody searches for. Keyword optimization, which is basically the process of focusing your page on the most relevant topic keywords, is also important.

How can you know which keywords are the best to use? That's where you need to dive into some research. Like your overall site niche, your keywords have to be targeted to a certain subject or group of people. You can get an idea of what's already been done by using online tools such as Wordtracker and the Overture Keyword Selector. Overture is actually a search for what keywords would be best to bid on for placement, but also works to show you what keyword phrases have already been used often.

Wordtracker is an excellent keyword search service which offers the best tools I've found for finding keywords to use on my website. It offers a way to find frequently-searched phrases and then employs a formula to determine how likely your search words are to bring in traffic. A free trial is available, but is limited in that it only has one search feature and never shows you the keywords which would have the maximum effectiveness. In the paid version, which begins at about $8 for one day's unlimited use, you have access to a great variety of search methods and features. This is in addition to finding the keyword phrases which have the absolute highest potential to bring you great results. I highly recommend this service to anyone wanting to increase their site's traffic, no matter what its focus.

$ Webmaster bonus: If your site's content is related to website design or similar topics, you'll want to consider signing up for the Wordtracker affiliate program. When you join, you can earn money for the life of the customers you refer!