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Improving Web presence takes time

Posted: December 6, 2012 6:00 a.m.
Updated: December 6, 2012 6:00 a.m.

Arndt speaks to the group.

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Google is very picky about what makes for a high-value website that deserves top real estate on its search engine.

So SCV Startup brought in Andrew Calderella, founder of Santa Clarita-based ConsultingAce, to share how to effectively manage a website to be most successful with search engines and market content.

Internet marketing is “critically important for every startup to understand,” said Erick Arndt, SCV Startup founder, while introducing Calderella. “Otherwise you can do damage to your brand and product.”

Arndt explained how making intentional, careful tweaks to his website timesharejuice.com, increased his monthly traffic from 1,000 visitors to 35,000.

“This works if you do it right,” he said. “This isn’t black magic; this isn’t hocus pocus.”

Calderella started his presentation Tuesday night with the caveat that you can’t transform your website into a search-engine favorite overnight.

“This is really complicated stuff,” he said. “You’re not going to do it in a weekend.”

Also, if possible, try to incorporate his strategies for key words and linking as you build the site, as opposed to having to go back to an old site and make it work efficiently with search engines, Calderella said.

“It’ll take a year to re-convince the search engine of what you are,” he said.

Key words

Key words are words that describe the point of your website, and it’s from these key words that search engines decide which searches your website is relevant to. Key words can be anything from basic, core words (“real estate” for a real estate company ), to action words (“buying real estate”) to locators (“buying real estate in Los Angeles”).

Take some time to write out all combinations of key words that could be relevant to your website, and decide which individual pages on your site should use which key words. Calderella said the goal is to not “spam” your website with these words because search engines will know when you’re overloading your website to try to get higher on the search engine. Aim for using a key word for every 25 words of text that don’t reference the key words.

The key words can be included everywhere on the site from the domain name to the text to the metadata within the site’s code and the names under which you save your videos and photos (real-estate-los-angeles.jpg).

“You can build up your key word density on a page without stuffing it in the text,” Calderella said.

Ultimately, your content should be written and presented for the users first, and for search engine optimization second, otherwise you’re creating a poorer experience for the users.

Linking

What outside websites you link to on your site impacts your search engine rating, as well as what outside websites link to your content. Calderella recommends you make sure any links you post go to trusted websites — .edu, .gov, etc. — and also go to websites that have a high page rank. Be careful, Calderella said, because Google, for instance, doesn’t consider Wikipedia a trusted website since it can be edited by anyone.

It’s still good for your website if another site with a low ranking links to you, as long as their site is extremely relevant to your website content.

Just don’t use services that will post your website’s URL in a bunch of places or buy links, because search engines are able to tell when the links are posted that way, as opposed to an organic link, Calderella said.

Other points to consider

n Whenever you need to redirect a page, make it a 301 redirect, because search engines can tell that that is a permanent, reliable redirect.

n Create site maps for your user, as well as separate site maps that search engines can read to help them understand the organization of your website. You can learn how to do these online.

n Put all of your websites fonts and styles into CSS instead of the page’s coding. This is cleaner, and makes it easier for search engines to read your website, Calderella said.

n Validate your website through various online services, so that you can ensure each page is conforming to standards for handicapped users, search engines, etc. Make sure to validate before going live on Web pages, so you don’t have to back track after making the site public.

smitchell@signalscv.com

661-287-5593

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