Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Marketing Your Website - First You Have to Learn a New Language

Okay, so you've made a blog, you've signed up with companies you want to represent, you've added banners and links to your site, and you've even gotten into the habit of posting two - three times per week so that you always have fresh content. So, now what? Now, it's time to market you blog, but before you can do that, you have to learn a whole new language.

SEO

If you've googled web marketing, you've seen the acronym SEO on page after page. It's the mack daddy of the language you're about to learn. All other terms and acronyms bow down to this one, for it is their god. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Put simply, it means making your website as Google and Yahoo friendly as possible. Just like you googled web marketing, other people might be googling to find what you're selling, and SEO is what you do to make your site rank high on the list.

That brings us to our second term, another acronym called PR. If you guessed 'public relations' you're wrong. PR stands for Page Rank. The page rank runs on a scale from 0 to 10. A rank of 0 means you are not listed at all, while 10 means you're at the top of the list.

Keywords are words or phrases that people type into a search engine when they're looking for something on the Internet. Keywords are an extremely important part of SEO, and they can break you or make you. You attach keywords to your blog by using Meta Tags.

Meta Tags can be read by search engines, but are invisible to anyone looking at the web page. They are hidden in the code that makes all web pages visible. If you want to see what they look like, go to your favorite website, right click and select View Source. All that gibberish you see there is the code that makes the web page work. Meta Tags are usually at the top. They serve a lot of functions, but the ones of most interest to SEO are keywords and description.

The Title ... not the one written at the top of your blog, but the one written at the very top in the title bar of your browser ... is also very important in SEO. I'm not sure how yet, but it's one of the things I'll be learning and sharing as this blog progresses. The title is also hidden in the code.

Next comes backlinks. Backlinks are links you put on other websites that link back to yours. Search engines look to see how important your blog is by seeing how many other websites link to it. Not just any backlinks will do. It's better if it comes from reputable sites.

The entire purpose of SEO is to get traffic to your site. Traffic is the term for the number of visits your blog gets. Search engines also measure traffic as a factor in how they rank your blog. Again, not just any old traffic will do. A couple of rounds through the traffic exchanges will only do so much good as far as PR goes. On the one hand, it looks good that your site is getting a lot of visits, on the other, search engines take into account where the hits come from, and exchanges are not considered quality traffic.

That concludes today's vocabulary lesson. Take good notes. There's going to be a quiz. :)

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