When the internet first came out everyone was learning as we all began to travel down the information highway. People who had enough time on their hands to figure everything out were creating cheesy websites about anything. As time passed and everyone got computers and went online, websites became an avenue for advertising and even for selling products. Today a web presence for your business is an important marketing and advertising tool and an inferior website will not benefit your business.
Like stars in the sky, the internet has billions of websites and more and more are created and added everyday. The search engines sort through these billions of websites and help internet users find what they are looking for. Google is the most used search engine, but there are also Yahoo, Live Search, Ask.com and plenty more including the ones in other countries. The search engines use words to sort through the websites, so if your website doesn’t have the correct words to be recognized it will not rank in the search engines at all. There is a technique recently developed called seo or Search Engine Optimization which is used to put the right words in the right places so when someone searches for your product your website will come up in the search engines.
Professional Web Developers will begin a project with Keyword Research, even before choosing a domain name. Unless a business has an established brand name that people will search out on their own, it is best to include some of your key words in your domain name if possible.
Anyone can create a website and anyone can get to it by typing in your domain name, but the trick to the internet is to have people find you when they search for your product or service. In the old days people searched in the phone books and yellow pages, now they search online mostly at Google. In order for your site to rank in the search engines there is a method of optimizing which includes unique title tags, custom URL’s , heading tags, image alt tags, and more.
Another thing to think about is site structure, content and navigation, unless your neighbors son has been highly trained in these areas you may get a good looking website that takes two full minutes to load and NO ONE will wait that long to look at any content. The design of your site needs to be relatively flat, with as few layers as possible, for loading purposes as well as for search engine credit. When developing the end site, you need to use a text based form of navigation, buttons are pretty, and lots of flash is cool, but for search engine spiders, it needs to be supplemented with text based links on another location of the page.
Once you have your site all up and ready to go, you want to help it be noticed, to get some initial traffic coming to your site you need to develop some links. Submitting your sites to relevant directories will build some links for your site and it can take quite some time to do. Search engines like Google look at the number of links to your site and rank you as more important when you have more links. A Professional Web Developer will work on getting your site as many links from relevant industry websites as possible. Anyone can do this themselves, or get their neighbors son to do it, however it takes plenty of time to find the directories and submit to them, it takes a lot longer when you don’t know what you are doing.
Building a website is relatively easy and very inexpensive, anyone can do it and plenty of people know how. But having a web presence in the search engines that will allow for your site to be ranked highly and get traffic is not as easy. Just like it is better to get an electrician to wire your house even though you could do it yourself, it is better to get a professional web developer to design your website.
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Phyllis Imhoff, professional copywriter, editor for Digital Extreme Media Group