Maximizing Return on Investment
Websites optimisation is about maximizing the return on investment of your website. Many people think that website optimisation is purely about improving the ranking of your website on search engine results but this is only one aspect of website optimisation. The poor ranking of many websites is purely due to bad programming. Some times this can be intentional. You pay for web design and then you pay for website optimisation, when no-one comes to your website.
Search engines are extremely powerful. Your website should be found, the more key words relevant to your business are typed in to google. Many websites are not optimised for search engines and will never be found even when typing in every relevant key word. Your website should rank well for your niche market. Search engines are made to deliver relevant results. Most web design companies do not pay any attention to search engine algorithms and that is why their customer's websites can never be found and they don't advise customers on how to create the right content for their website.
Advanced search engine optimisation where 2 very popular keywords are optimised is very expensive and companies need to evaluate the cost benefit of such an exercise, especially as more internet users become more adept in searching with multiple key words. Finding a good website optimisation company is like find a needle in a haystack - SEO companies may even use cheats that will see your website banned from google's index.
Website optimisation involves:
- gaining a high ranking on search engines such as Google for your chosen keywords through appropriate use of title tags, meta tags, keywords and good programming. Keywords are words a user would type in to search for the products and services that you sell and your company name. eg. a keyword phrase for someone looking to rent a computer, is 'rent a computer' .or 'rent computer' or 'lease computer'. The search engine provides the most relevant results and your rank is how far down your website is in the list of generated results. A high ranking is within the first couple of page of search results.
- analysing your web site statistics, the number of people who visited, how many pages they viewed, click path through your website, exit pages, referring websites or referring search engine searches and making changes to your website to improve the user's experience and your ranking on search engines
- developing useful, imaginative content that is appropriate to your target audience
- direct marketing of your website on other advertising material such as brochures, business cards, networking and advertising.
- maximizing the user's experience through fast loading pages and logical layout and design.
- Incorporating customised business application, quotation and enquiry forms to streamline administration.
Optimised for search engines
Search engines index the world wide web of Internet sites, by placing the most relevant records to the top of the search results. You search by words or combination of words.
Search engines catalogue web sites by looking at the text. Pictures, flash animation or graphics will not rank your site higher in search engine results. Search engines are interested in the content of your web site and they look at your keywords, and the text within your web site to determine ranking. Every system that the search engine uses to rank sites is subject to being exploited by those who want to dominate the search results and as a consequence search engines will often change the way they rank sites.
Search engines are the new yellow pages
Increasingly, people turn to search engines to find company details, products and services. A website is becoming more important than having a yellow pages listing because it is a better way of searching for products and services. You don't have to search within a locality or category, you can simply type what you want to find and include a capital city if location is important and instantly you will find what you are looking for. When you want to find a company, just type in their name and their contact details come up faster than you can open up a yellow pages directory. So if you do not have a website, how will people be able to find you? And if your website has out of date information, how can it properly serve your customers?
Website optimisation brings hundreds to thousands of unique visitors to your website. It is an ongoing process and it doesn't come cheap, not because it's difficult but because it's time consuming and results for common key words cannot be guaranteed. If you are competitive by nature, and enjoy creating useful content for your website, website optimisation is a lot of fun. (though, it can be a little addictive) The average business, provided that their website has been coded right and they given a few hints on the way, should do well in search results for their niche market. Google's algorithm is so powerful, that the more words that you type in that are specific to your business, the greater the relevancy of your site and the higher the rank. Unfortunately, most websites fail to be properly indexed because web designers and packaged software is not compatible to Google's search engine spiders.
The key to understand website optimisation is to understand the concept of the internet. The internet is about a web of intrinsically linked webpages. The search engine spider wants to index webpage content so that users can find relevant information quickly. It indexes webpages, not websites. (It is more correct to talk about webpage optimisation than website optimisation) It is therefore important to have both inbound links and outbound links on your webpages that are relevant. A webpage on soap making that links to everything from buying sports cars to crosscountry bike riding, is not going to rank highly because the links and content aren't related. In fact it may ot be ranked at all. A problem with other dynamic website solutions is that they do not consider website optimisation. Passion Computing dynamic website automatically creates the right coding for website optimisation. It's up to you, to deliver the content but we believe that we give our clients a good running start in getting high rankings on search engines.
A web site needs to be coded in such a way that it is search engine friendly. Many websites are coded in such a way, that makes them impossible to be indexed properly or at all by search engines. A good website developer will ensure that their websites are properly coded, so that search engines can index them in their database. One common failing is that a website is designed too deep. Your important content should only be one click away from the front page. Not only will you do better in search engine results by placing more of your content on the front page or one click away from the front page, but your visitors will find the information they are looking for quickly and easily. If your company has multiple areas of expertise, then it would be better to have a website devoted to each one of these areas, than to have one large, chunky website that has important information about services buried deep in the website.
There are many search engines available but the most popular is Google. Google uses robots to crawl through the web and once your site has been indexed it will continue to visit your web site to update its database. Yahoo and AOL use the same database as Google to generate search engine results and therefore it is important to be indexed by Google.
Web site optimisation advice has more detailed technical information about website optimisation and it also has links to the most popular search engines, where you can submit your site and will save you time looking for these pages.
There are many books written and advice given on the internet that will claim to give readers, all they need to know to get top search engine rankings. These books sell a dream, because no one would give away the secrets of getting high search engine rankings. These advisors give you pieces of the puzzle but they won't tell you how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together. After all there are 10 results on every page of google's search and millions of webpages, who is going to tell you how to get within those results for $100 or even $1000.
As a consequence, web optimisation companies have evolved that charge hundreds and even thousands of dollars a month to optimize a few webpages. The fact is that more people are coming online every day and your website likely to have an increase in web traffic anyway and often small little changes to the code will fix any compatibility problems with search engine spiders. Developing good website content will not only give you lots of website traffic but will provide your customers and visitors with a great impression of you. There are obviously some good web optimisation companies but there are also a lot of sharks that give the internet a bad reputation.
They will tell you that they can bring you a 600% increase or more. But a 600% increase on 30 website visitors is only 150 more. Statistics can be used in such a way that has little meaning. The tactics of some are also very flawed. One such company approached us to give an reciprocal link to a website of one of their obscure clients. When I questioned why I would want to link my website with a website that had no relationship to my business or website content, I was given the reason, that link popularity will increase my ranking. The fact is that, linking to out of context websites will also reduce your ranking and regardless of what people say, if your website has meaningless, out of date content, then what is the point? The moral of the story is don't link to just anyone. Make sure that it is reputable website and has some context to the content of your own website.
The great thing about the internet and google's search algorithm is that it is indiscriminatory and by creating a useful, relevant and information rich website that is user friendly, google will find it and rank it highly.
Paying for advertising on search engines, submitting your site to various shopping portals or linking it with associated businesses is another way of optimising your web site. Linking with other businesses in the same industry, may improve your ranking but you need to temper this against any disadvantages. .
http://www.1234-find-web-designers.org/ is a directory of web hosting, web developers and programmers, that we have exchanged reciprocal links with.
Optimising a web site to rank well in search results, is a game between the search engines who want to provide meaningful results and the web site optimisation software companies, who want to advance their clients web sites. Search engines change the way that they rank pages and even the way a site is submitted. To ensure, that your web site is submitted properly, it is best to manually submit to the most popular search engines. Ultimately, the usefulness of the information that you present on your web site will determine the ranking of your site and any attempts to gain high ranking by other means is short lived. Focus on your customer, and you are sure to do well in search engine rankings, provided that your website is properly coded in the first place. You can visit forums completely devoted to webmasters, who want to optimise their websites to rank well on Google. Just search on Google for google forum and you are sure to find a few of them.
According to Hitbox statistics search sites account for approximately 7% of web traffic. Direct navigation to the site and bookmarks together accounted for the largest percentage of referrals with 47%. Internet links accounted for 46%. The web site optimisation game can become somewhat of an obsession and there are possibly better ways of spending your time, than wondering where you are in the search engine rankings. However, it is important to spend some time analysing your site's statistics and optimizing your website for search engines.
Passion Computing's dynamic website has been developed to allow users to add more content to their website, easily and instantaneously. Therefore, you can develop a comprehensive, informative website, that is correctly coded and this coding will improve your chances of doing well in search engine results.
Businesses should also focus on their existing clients and using the web site as a means of keeping them up to date with latest developments.
Put your web site and email on business letters, business cards, and with the yellow pages listing. Display it prominently at your place of business and tell people about your web site and encourage them to use it. When you have your answering machine on, make sure that the message tells the caller that you have a web site address and spell the web site address clearly. Let the caller know what information can be found on your web site but still encourage them to leave a message.
Going on line is going to be a cultural change for you, your employees and your customers. The web is a good, affordable form of advertising but more importantly it can optimise the way your business is run by creating efficiencies.
A website that collects email addresses for inclusion in a mailing list is also an effective means of direct marketing, that costs you next to nothing to manage and use.
See also Using Email Effectively
Optimised for speed
In order to make a good web site, a web developer must design web pages that do not take a long time to load. This is because many people in Australia, still access the Internet through a standard 56k modem connection and in busy times, this connection can get even slower. It is estimated that there was only 363,500 broad band Internet users in Australia, in December 2002. Though the U.S. intends to have a 40% of Internet users connected via broad band by 2006, adoption in Australia has been hindered by cost.
Passion computing design web pages to load within reasonable limits. We test our web sites on a slow connection and make sure they load within a few seconds. Too many web designers do not pay enough attention to optimising their web pages for speed. The intensive amount of graphics on their pages and animation means that a user on a 56k modem will wait an unreasonable amount of time before the page is fully viewable and they will more than likely not to read the page at all.
The web is still very dependent on the telephone network, which was not made to transfer data and is gradually being moved to media that supports higher levels of data traffic. Broad band in Australia, is still expensive for the average household and web designers need to take statistics into careful consideration and optimise web pages to be viewed for the majority and not the small minority of broad band users. There is no point in having an artistic web page that takes so long to load that users do not want to view them. It is the content that web users look for when visiting sites not the graphics.
Web pages need to be optimised for speed and laid out simply with logical format. Too many designers make the mistake of putting far too much information on the home page. The home page becomes cluttered and distracting and users don't know where to find the information that they are looking for.
Other factors that can affect the loading of a web page is where the site is hosted, the type of computer that the site is hosted on, the traffic on the Internet network and the user's own computer hardware. Imagine the web to be like a huge road network, there are wide roads and narrow roads, and hindrances that affect the packet transfer rate like the hardware specifications both of the hosting computer and your own personal computer.
Never submit your website to search engines until it is complete. Search engines are not interested to know that you have a domain name, they want to index the content on your website.
Submit your completed, well coded website to search engines and wait for the search engine spiders to visit your website and for your website to be indexed. Results will go up and down for a few weeks after you are first indexed and sometimes you will find you are indexed and other times you will find that you are not. This is normal and you will find that eventually all the search engine servers will be updated and the results will stabalize.
Contact Passion Computing. if you require website optimisation analysis for your website.
Ironically, many website optimisation companies have no control over the content of their client's websites, which makes you wonder, how good their optimisation is. It is also odd that many website optimisation companies fail to publish detailed, before and after statistics, to let their customers make an informed choice about how much is reasonable to spend on website optimisation.