How to Optimize a Web Page

>> 2008/10/14

SEO hints and tips can inform you how to optimize a web page, and if you can understand how to carry out your own search engine optimization then you can get yourself a whole heap of free traffic to your website. Not only your website, but free traffic to selected pages on your website: pages selected by you!

You no doubt understand all the basic stuff, but in case you are new to this, let's first have look at these basic SEO hints and tips, since many seem to omit them from their web pages. The most important are the essential HTML tags needed to convince the search engines of the theme of your web page.

Give Your Site a Voice!

Note the term 'web page', because many people don't realize that Google, along with most other search engines, doesn't list websites, but individual web pages. It is essential that you understand how search engines work if you want to learn how to optimize a web page.

I am going to refer to Google, not only because it is the biggest of the search engines, but also to save the bother of referring to search engines all the time. I will refer to Google, but what applies to Google also applies to the rest. Here are the main SEO basics:

a) The TITLE tag. This appears in the HEAD portion of your html, and is not actually seen by your visitors but is the most important tag on your web page because the spiders place very high weight on it. Use your main keywords here, and also any other text that will inform Google of the theme of your web page.

b) Heading (H) tags. Your page title should be placed within H1 tags, and should contain the same major keyword as you used in the TITLE tag. Any subheadings should be contained within H2 tags. I don't use any of the lower tags, from H3 down, except perhaps H3 very occasionally. Google will regard any text with H tags as being important, with most weight given to the lower numbers. However, if you place everything in H1 tags, that will dilute its importance on your page and defeat the object.

c) Text enhancements: Use bold, italic and underline enhancements sparingly, and where you once again want to stress the importance of certain keywords.

d) Use your keywords mainly in the first third of your page. Don't use too many: I get good results with under 1% overall keyword density, by using the main keyword in the first 100 characters, once in the last paragraph and once more each 300 words but concentrated in the first third of the page. Thus, an 800 word page will have the keyword three times in the first 250 words and once in the last paragraph.

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e) Meta tags: The only meta tag worth using is the description tag, which is used by most search engines in the description of your web page in their listings. Google mainly uses it exactly as you write it. The keyword tag can also be used, but few search engines are thought to use it: Google does not. Any other meta tags are a waste of your space. Anybody that claims differently is wanting to sell you something.

These are the basic hints on SEO, now here are some of the more advanced SEO hints and tips that will teach you not only how to optimize a web page, but to understand the way that search engines work. These are less obvious, and generally not used by beginners to search engine marketing.

f) Use text links to other pages on your website. Search engine spiders love text, and fancy graphics or java links might look great, but don't get you kudos from the spiders. Stick to text if you want a good listing: there's no point in fancy graphical links if you have no visitors to use them.

g) Try to use as much text as possible, and as little code as possible. Your code to text ratio should be minimized as much as possible because ... yes, you've got it! Spiders love text!

h) Another good SEO tip is to focus on your off-page linking. It is possible to get a #1 spot on Google with no content: just loads of links coming into your web page from other websites. Not just any websites, but authority sites, so reciprocal links to and from web pages not directly related to your niche are a waste of time, and can even harm you. Link farms can positively damage you.

i) Use anchor text for your links where at all possible. Google shouldn't have to work out what your web page is about: tell them. Hyperlink your keyword to your website, but don't use the same form of keyword from every webpage linking to yours. Mix them about so as to keep the links fresh.

j) And lastly: Keep adding pages to your website. You have more chance of a high listing from one website of 60 pages than from two of 30 pages each. Keep refreshing your content with new pages, and take time to revise some of your older pages now and again. Google detests stagnation.

These are just a few SEO hints and tips that can teach you how to optimize a web page. There are many, many more. Some quite basic, others very much more advanced than the above. However, you can't get everything free!


What Are Pay Per Click Reports ?

>> 2008/10/07

A pay per click report will inform you of how many visitors you have had to your website, what keyword they used to get there, and some monitor how long they were there. These reports can be daily, weekly, or monthly. There are free pay per click services however they do not give you all the information that you can get from a paid service.

Companies mainly use a monthly report on the traffic to their websites. In order to utilize the pay per click service to it’s utmost ability, they must report data from web marketing as well as other crucial information. This will allow the user to examine their marketing strategies to decide if they are working.

Some pay per click companies put a tracking code in your website to monitor sales. How many customers have signed in and what they are interested in is also tracked. Most will prepare a report that is easy to understand. It will contain information about the sales generated by the people using pay per click, visitor breakdown, and anything else they think is of particular interest to the website owner.

The benefits of using pay per click are invaluable to companies that want to use their website to generate more income for the company. With so many people having access to the internet, it is the number one way that customers seek and find the company that they want to use for their needs. These reports will allow you to see how well your company is doing by how many internet visitors you have each day.

One of the benefits of using a pay per click report is the tracking of keyword use. When advertising your business, keywords are used to direct traffic to your website. When you use pay per click the reports you get will show which keywords worked the best and which ones you need to replace. A good keyword will have more hits on it and the keywords with the least hits means you need to find another. By doing this you will know the difference.

The reports can show you how to optimise your initial web site page to get more visitors. There are certain items that people look for when going to a web page. With the reports from pay per click, the ones that work the best will be suggested so you can get the most from your website.

Pay per click reports can help you to know for sure how many people have logged into your website. It is the best way to be aware of just how well your advertising is doing. You could advertise in the newspaper, on a billboard, or by direct mail but how are you going to know the number of people who have seen your advertisement? Plain and simply, you are not.

By using pay per click you will know the exact number of visits to your website. This report will become an important tool to help you make the most of your web page and give you the knowledge you need to optimise the site you use for generating income. (DR)


Blogging's Future: Up, Up and Away ?

Beyond a doubt, blogging has a bright future. It's tempting to get carried away by all the exuberance being generated.

Bill Gates says blogging "will fundamentally change how we document our lives". Technorati's CEO David Sifry says that there are 11 blog posts being made every second!

While this may well be true, we must resist the temptation to get carried away. Let's analyze blogging's prospects as a 'personal technology', or a technology that individuals use to improve their effectiveness or productivity, or simply to have fun.

All successful personal technologies that gain widespread use (be it the humble pen, the telephone or the iPod), bear certain hallmarks: they are easy to use, fulfil a basic need, and provide a new way to express an existing behavior or habit. Technologies that make the cut on these three respects tend to 'take-off', with their use surging steeply.

Blogging certainly fulfils a basic need, the need for self-expression and social interaction. It is also more powerful in many respects than other technologies that meet similar needs - the telephone, email or online chatting - in that it is more 'permanent', and allows visibility to anyone who can access the Web. It also provides a new way to exercise our natural propensity to form groups with like-minded folks, by allowing us to form 'virtual communities' on the Web. It also allows people to 'discover' others with similar tastes, wherever they may be in the world.

Well, that leaves ease of use. I am afraid blogging is somewhat less stellar in this respect - while it is simpler than creating personal Web pages, it still lags far behind the telephone and email in ease of use. So, ease of use is the first thing that needs to improve about blogs (I hope the blog tool-makers are listening).

If one is tempted to argue that blogging is already very successful, one only needs to pause to consider the numbers: by most estimates there are around 80 million blogs in the world as of today, while the number of telephones world-wide (fixed-line and mobile) is around 2 billion. This is not to take anything away from the success of blogging, but only to establish (an admittedly somewhat crude) benchmark!

However, we've looked at only half the picture so far - becoming successful. Success brings its own problems, and sure enough, blogging too will need to overcome a couple of challenges that success brings with it:

Better ways to manage 'blog clutter'.

Even with the current number of blogs out there, it is becoming difficult for people to navigate the blogosphere. Telephones or email don't need to solve this problem as they are 'push' technologies, which means that you *want* to restrict who can contact you using these technologies. However, if blogs are to truly live up to their promise of allowing the 'discovery' of like-minded folks, then blog search engines should (and will) get smarter.

Search is of course not the only way to manage clutter - for example, Business Week's Heather Green talks about creating 'influential blogger' lists.

Blogging needs to find ways to enable diverse communication needs

Blogging tools already do a half-decent job of allowing the sharing of digital content. However, as camera phones proliferate, sharing pictures and movies will increasingly become mainstream. Also blogging from heterogenous devices (phones and home appliances come to mind) is likely to need support.

Of course, this piece only addresses blogging as a 'personal technology'. Analysis of its prospects in business - which are fledgling at the moment - is the subject of a different discussion altogether ! (Dr V P Kochikar)


Web Development And The Big Time Out

One of the great debilitators in online business is simply the perceived (or real) lack of time. Business owners are used to moving forward. An online web presence can make them feel tied to an office chair learning skills they aren’t sure they want to know.

It’s not uncommon for those who deal in full time web design to have individuals contact them for a site design, but have absolutely no idea what they want. Furthermore when the designer questions them the response might be, “I don’t know, just make it look nice.”

Let’s not forget the core values or mission of the business. Many business owners have no idea how to answer those kinds of questions. They may stare blankly for a moment or two and there’s no more time for further deep thought so they go back to action – without answers.

In many cases it is possible to answer some of the questions needed, but it may require taking time away from a familiar setting. It may also require more time than you think you want to give.

If you can get to a place of concentrated contemplation you are likely to find yourself stripping ideas to their core to find out what your business is trying to accomplish and what your ultimate goals might be.

As with almost any project you can turn frustration around if you will just take the time to come to terms with your vision.

Sometimes we spend so much time ‘doing’ we never stop to ask the question, “Why?”

This process can be a bit like taking a bus that drives around the park. You keep looking at the flowers and the park bench and long to sit in the quiet shade of a tree and just absorb the calming atmosphere. You know they will have a positive effect on you, but for some reason you just can’t seem to find the energy to get off the bus.

It seems to me there are some sites that are misguided or rarely guided that could benefit from the process of self-evaluation. These sites may look nice, but there is a sense of disconnection that may not be easy to identify, but it’s fairly obvious to visitors.

Creative energy is at a minimum while business owners simply tackle what seem to be the most urgent details.

As more people gravitate to online business there needs to be a shift in the thinking of how one goes about doing business online. In many ways it can’t be approached in the same way a traditional business is developed, yet that is typically the way many new web commerce ventures choose to tackle the subject.

You may discover your business will be more successful if you take some time for rigorous reflection. The time set aside can be a bit like an architect that takes the time to develop plans for a new building. You wouldn’t expect the architect to simply tell a construction crew to, “Go out there and build – something.”

Work at ‘building’ your online business in a comprehensive way. Your effort can develop a firm foundation for long-term success. (SL)


Help With Starting A Small Business

>> 2008/10/06

Big or small, a business brings lot of responsibility as well as risks with its. Starting a business is not a child's play. It requires the same amount of hard work as involved in starting a big scale business. As an owner of small business, you have to face many challenges in various arenas. A small business whether in retail, wholesale, industrial, or manufacturing units, the businessman need to plan accordingly to achieve the set goals to exist in the competitive market.

Networking: The Foremost Step

Apart from the other steps involved for starting a small business, networking is the foremost step that should be followed. Networking means expanding your network of friends and businessmen that could help you in starting the business. You can expand your network by-

Join the Chamber of commerce of your region. You can benefit from the advice of professionals.

Join a professional networking site. Through these sites you can become aware of the business world and opportunities beyond your local network. Benefit from your current circle of friends and family. Talk to them about your new business and seek their advice, if necessary . Starting A Small Business

Starting a small-scale business requires planning, study of market, and knowing the competition. There are important points one should keep in mind to initially start a small business. These include-

Selecting the best opportunity: Among the various opportunities, you need to select the best opportunity. You can create as well as choose an existing business idea.

Prepare a business plan: After finalizing on the kind of business, the next step is to prepare a well-crafted business plan. You should gain complete knowledge about the market and investment required while preparing the business plan.

Financing: A small business is usually funded through family/friends, banks, and financial institutions. Each of these options need some degree of authority or guarantee over the money that is being lend.

Opting business structure: You need to choose a legal structure for your business. You can run your business as a sole proprietor or can be a part of partnership or Limited Liability Company.

Registration: Business registration involves paper work, which lays down the different rules, and regulations that are to be followed while commencing it. Along with this, always keep a back up for your business by opting for small business insurance.

Accounting and bookkeeping: Right from the start, regularly keep the records of accounting in order to avoid any type of future financial crisis.

Financing a Business: Various Options

After the business plan and idea for starting a small business is finalized, the next question arises for arranging funds. Before arranging, calculate how much capital is needed and then look out for various options available. Being a small-scale business, your first dependency is on your personal savings. Other options available are investors and banks. But the financial institutions and investors will always ask for a share in the management and profits. Moreover, you may also need to submit collateral as a back up for the money borrowed. (James Copper)


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