The One Big Theory

I have created quite a large number of websites, and if, like me, you have spent hours building yours, then it can be a thankless task when it comes to waiting for customers to hit your virtual door. Like any overnight success, it can take weeks or even months for your website to start to gain popularity unless you have the benefit of advertising in other areas, such as banner adverts, posters, flyers and so on. For the average site builder, the date of publication can come and go as though all your hard work has made no difference to the value of the internet.

After some time you will, almost certainly, start to welcome a few visitors to your site, and maybe a few of them will spend their hard earned money there as well. But you'll probably find that you get terribly excited if you have a few visitors, and a little dejected when you start to work out how much the current rate of visitors will earn you, and dreams of the Mediterranean cruise next month might have to be put on hold. If this sounds familiar, ask yourself what you have actually done to ensure that your site does become a success? Other than a slick design, nice graphics and a catchy address, what practical measures have you employed to ensure success?

You may have spent some time thinking about the keywords used throughout the pages of your site, since you are almost certainly aware of the fact that these will help the big search engines locate your site and evaluate its relevance. Clearly being listed on Google is a significant step, but this in itself is in no way going to guarantee a flood of eager customers desperate to part with their cash. What matters more than being listed, is where you are on the list.

When someone carries out a keyword search for, say 'empty egg timer' and you just happen to sell these handy devices (useful for those who don't have to worry about how long anything takes) then you will need your website to be right at the top of the list, so that people will find you easily, and come looking to buy from you. On Google alone, a keyword search for 'empty egg timer' generates nearly half a million websites! That means that there are approximately 50,000 pages of results. Incredibly, only 3% of people ever look beyond the first page of results, which means that 499,990 websites will be missed, and only 10 sites seen by 97% of visitors! You can see just how important it is to make sure you're on that first page, and preferably at the very top of the list. If your website is on page 2, it might as well be on page 49,999, since almost no one will ever find it.

So what is it that helps you get to the top of your keyword search rank? Is there a single big secret that many SEO companies are aware of, and will only tell you for a huge fee? Certainly many companies do seem to suggest that they alone have the answer, and that only by going through them will the Golden Secret be revealed to you, and suddenly your site will rocket to the top. In fact, there are three things wrong with this. Firstly, there is no single solution - it's a combination of many varied factors. Secondly, no one single company can ever offer guarantees, promises or assurances that your site will be at the top, or near the top - they can try, and almost certainly your site will rise, but this depends on other factors beyond anyone's control. This might, for example, be because your website is in a mass market, such as insurance. With hundreds of thousands of keyword competitors, getting near the top is a huge endeavour, whereas if you're selling rainbow coloured light bulbs then there is likely to be much less competition, and so more chance you'll rise more quickly, and further. The third thing is that any rise is never going to be overnight, and any progress can take weeks, if not months or even years.

Be very wary of those sites that suggest that the best way of getting your site noticed is to use keywords. Although this is certainly true, search engines now take the number of keywords as only a minor factor in judging a site's rank. Search engines got wise to the fact that many website owners were simply cramming great blocks of keywords into the code of a page just to get attention. They get attention now all right - and the result it that they lose their rank position very quickly. There are many other ways now which the search engines use to judge how good a site is, one of which is its popularity. This is measured in several ways, but the most significant is how many other websites are linking to yours. The more links, the more popular, and this in turn implies more relevant and useful.

I have actually come across a website which is able to analyze your website against these, and the myriad of other factors which affect the ranking of your site. I was surprised to come across it because it actually offers its service free of charge. All you do is enter your web address and contact details, and they carry out a whole range of tests to assess how well your site does for certain keyword searches, and what you could do yourself to improve it. Of course, they offer their services as far as making these improvements is concerned, but this is optional, and if you're happy doing the work yourself, it's a really handy service that will save you a lot of time, and a very great deal of money.

It can often be quite obscure little changes that you wouldn't think of - such as the position of the text on the page, the number of menu links and outside links you have, the length of your sentences and so on. Knowing what you can do to help get your website noticed is a massive step toward getting up towards that golden first page. I have a number of websites, and I can't say I have always tried every single bit of advice, but even by applying a few which suit me, I have noticed that my sites are climbing higher. Don't forget, no one ever gets overnight top rank placement, and your eventual position will depend largely on the number of keyword competitors you have, but I'd certainly recommend getting your site checked out, after all, it's free!

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This Article Has Been Published on Sat, 28 Jun 2008 and Read 1490 Times

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