Studies show that Internet is the first activity in the past 40 years that keeps people away from watching TV! Is your business online? If you answered “NO” – it should be, because your competition is! If you answered “YES” then “Is your website visible when you type in your keyword in Google or Yahoo?” And I mean visible on the first three pages? If your website is stuck on page 18 of 361,000,000 results returned you have wasted your time and money creating the website in the first place. At this point in the ball game, you should really think about Search Engine Optimization.
There are two main rankings with which your website is measured – Page Rank and Alexa Rating. Page Rank, developed by Larry Page founder of Google.com, uses links pointing to your website to determine its popularity online. Alexa Rating uses results of surfing collected from users that use Alexa toolbar to determine the popularity of the site. Alexa Rating is somewhat biased, because it determines the results of site’s popularity based on toolbar users, which represent only a fraction of online users.
Page Ranking uses a scale between 1 and 10, with 10 being the best position to have. Alexa Rating ranges from 1 to 4,000,000 with 1 being the best. So the objective of any search engine optimization campaign is to raise Page Ranking and lower the Alexa Rating.
What can be done?
The term “Search Engine Optimization” encompasses just about every aspect of “Being Seen” online. Remember, the main objective it raise the Page Ranking and lower the Alexa Rating. In order to do that you should consider starting exchanging links with other webmasters online and building up traffic to your website. We’ll go through least expensive and slowest to most expensive and fastest result-building techniques.
Content, Description, Title and Keywords – these four have to be in accord, playing the same “symphony” of relevant information for the visitors. These can be and should be orchestrated by the best composer of your business – YOURSELF. No one knows your business or what matters to it better than you do.
Free Directory Listings – make sure your website is listed in all directories you can submit your website to. Stay away from murky directories – you don’t want to be associated with sites offering adult and other shady content. That’s a sure way to get banned on all other engines! Lists of current directories are available on any major search engine. Make sure to also include your site with local directories.
Paid Directory Listings – you can further improve the position of your listing by being listed in what’s called “sponsored” or “featured” listing. That way your listing appears above the results returned for a particular keyword. There are various programs, some are pay-per-click and some are flat rate. Stick with flat rate listings unless you have pretty substantial marketing budget.
Enroll in link-exchange programs – there are some wonderful websites that provide a meeting place for link exchange partners. www.link2me.com, www.linkexchange.com, and www.linkmonster.com are among the most well known. Simply create your account and start trading links. Keep in mind that it takes a couple of weeks for search engines to update the links from other sites.
Load link exchange scripts on your website – these are similar to link-exchange program but you don’t have any control over the content that will display on your website. If you don’t care which websites send you links, then this option is the way to go. Usually programs like these range from $9-$25 per month depending on the visibility you require.
Online Advertisement – you can create a banner ad and place it on selected websites to which your target audience frequents. The other alternative is to sign up with Google’s Adwords. With Adwords you bid on a keyword. Prices range from a few pennies to several dollars depending on the popularity of the keyword.
Alexa Ranking Boost – as I mentioned earlier, Alexa measures traffic to your website based on the results from users with Alexa toolbar installed. So, the most inexpensive solution is to load the Alexa Toolbar from www.alexa.com and set your homepage to your website. Then, make sure to click “Home” button several times a day. Oh, and have everyone you know to do the same as well…
Automated Alexa Ranking Boost – as a solution to unknowingly becoming Alexa salesperson, you can sign up for Alexa Booster exchange programs. They too require you to load the toolbar, but you don’t have to harass everybody else. Other webmasters that join the exchange program agree to run the software on their computer. It is usually a simple program which opens and closes Internet Explorer and displays a random website for about 30 seconds. In turn, your website will launch on hundreds of other machines.
This article described several well established routes to boosting both Page Ranking and Alexa Rating. What ever route you decide to follow, make sure to allow at least three months before judging the effectiveness of any program. Beware: it is addictive!