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Hi I'm after help , I've been busy redesigning my website and now want to start promoting and getting a good placement in the search engines. Its a commissioning modern portrait site, I knows theres huge competition and just after some advice on trying to get ahead of some of my competitors and get the site out there and build on the customer base we've already made.
Any tips would be highly useful and appreciated.
don't pay any money to anyone who tells you that they (or their software) can improve your Google ranking, get you into the top ten search returns, etc., etc., because they can't.
Nowadays, when people talk about search engines they mainly mean Google, because Google is the preferred search tool of nine out of ten 'ordinary' internet users. Google rankings are calculated by Google software - no human beings are involved - and the list-ranking is influenced by a number of factors. Among these is time - don't expect your site to zoom straight to the top of the list in a week because no matter what you do it isn't going to happen - unless you breed purple-crested Andalusian hunting ferrets, in which case you'll be the only site on the planet that has those keywords in its text. That's not strictly true, because this site now has them as well, but you get the point - one of the keys is exclusivity.
Google bots will find your site in their own time, and when they do they'll index it. They'll use some incredibly complex (and secret)formulae to do this,so we can't go there, but there are things you can do to help matters along:-
Make sure your site works properly. By that I mean, make absolutelt certain that all your hyperlinks work, that the navigation buttons are functioning, and that every page can be accessed.
Try to ensure that as far as possible your code is W3C compliant - you can click here to have it validated.
Form reciprocal-linking agreements with other sites. This is an incredibly important - and often overlooked - aspect of web development. Google software looks for the number of external links to your site, and ranks you using a complicated scoring system, based on the traffic via those links. It isn't any good thinking "right, I'll whack in a dozen links to other sites, and get their owners to do the same to me" because the Google bots will be on to your little game, and they'll penalise you for it. Select sites that really do compliment yours in some way, and approach the webmasters with a proposal to swap links. With luck you'll get some traffic from them, and they'll get some from you, and Google will eventually know about it. I say 'eventually' because it will take time, and you must be prepared for that.
Otherwise, work hard at keeping your site fresh and alive - and by that I mean make frequent and regular updates. The Google bots will revisit you at intervals, and they'll see changes as they happen; it will work to your advantage, 'dead' sites will be downgraded in the rankings.
You might even get a Googlewhack, John.
I'm counting on you, and yes, it will be a useful exercise. Since we opened up the site to the search engines we've regularly seen some of our forum threads appearing right at the top of the Google ranks, and it's had a considerable effect on our 'not logged in' traffic. Some of these visitors decide to stay and sign up for full access - which means that they can post to the forum - but many of them don't, they just read about those hunting ferrets (or whatever) and vanish into the vastness of the internet from whence they came.
Not much luck yet click here but it's almost a Googlewhack; the results come from the same site!
Opening an ebay account and link your photos from your website to the ebay site..everytime your ebay page gets hit..in theory, so does your website..that's for the hit counter engines.
Another thing that engines look at is 300+ words on the page.
Search engines are turning into window shoppers.. if they don't like it, they go past it and look at the next one.. the content has got to be there...
hope this helps.
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