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Once you have spent your money on website design you will naturally want some kind of return on your investment. Having a great website will however not bring you much fortune if your potential customers never get to see it. The next step is therefore to consider ways to promote your website.
A phrase which you may have come across which is relevant to this subject is "Search Engine Optimisation" or SEO for short. In a nutshell SEO refers to the process of making a website search engine freindly. Search engines such as Google need to be able to easily identify what your website is about. The easier you make it for Google to be able to read your website, the more chance you have of appearing on the first page of the search results when an online search is done for the service or product which your website is offering.
At this point it is worth mentioning that when we talk about Search Engine Optimisation, even though thousands of search engines exist, the one we are most concerned with is Google. Nearly 80 per cent of all online searches are done through Google. It has more popularity and influence than Yahoo, Ask Jeeves and all the others combined. However it also worth mentioning that all the other Search Engines tend to feed off of Google, so should your website make an appearance in Google it will naturally start to appear in the search results for Yahoo, MSN, Bing, Ask Jeeves and all the other smaller Search Engines.
Google: The Facts
Websites do not automatically appear in Google - Many people believe that having their website appear in Google is an automatic right and that Google is the whole internet, so if their website is on the internet it is in Google. This is definately not the case. Google is essentially a website, nothing more nothing less. It was founded by 2 guys (who are now extremely wealthy!) and, to simplify things, these 2 guys decide who makes it onto their website. Just as you decide what will go onto your website, the Founders of Google have the right to decide what goes onto their website. To help them make their decision they have come up with a very long list of rules and criteria known as the Google Algorithm. For obvious reaons, the Google Algorithm is top secret, but certain aspects of it are well known. The closer the design of your website matches the expections made of it by the Algorithm, the greater are your chances of appearing in Google. Some of these criterea are mentioned later on this page.
Google do not accept payment - It is a common misconception that Google accept payment. In some respects this is true; if you've ever used Google, you will notice on the right hand side of the screen are small advert boxes (or "sponsored links"). These work on a pay-per-click basis, ie, everytime someone clicks on one of them, Google charge the advertiser a few pence. But as far as having your website appear "naturally" on the left side of the screen, you need patience and a well designed website which is in keeping with the Google Algorithm. Money has nothing to do with it.
You do not need to submit your website to Google - A lot of website marketing companies state in their blurb that they will "Submit" your website to Google every month. This is a totally pointless exercise which will achieve nothing, not only that but they charge for providing this service. You can easily submit your website to Google yourself by visiting the Google Submissions page. The reason this will make no difference is because Google uses different means to locate new websites, ie "links". Google sends out a robot known as the Googlebot which jumps onto websites at random and searches for clickable things such as buttons, images, text etc, which will lead it to other web pages and websites. If no websites link to yours the Googlebot has no way to find you and your site will never be indexed into the Google search results.
Getting Your Website Into Google
As mentioned above, Google have in place a secret list of criteria known as the Google Algorithm. Not much is known about the Algorithm, and to prevent any one particular website design company discovering too many of the secrets, the Algorithm is changed periodically, however it is generally agreed that the following things are priority:
Website Design Content - Google are keen on websites with lots of quality content. Note use of the word "lots" and "quality". If you have an amazing website with little content, perhaps only 3 pages of content your site will not do well in Google. Likewise if you have a 100 page website filled with total rubbish, your site will not do well. Typically to do well in Google your site needs about 10 to 15 pages of content. If you contact us with regards to having a cheap 3 page website, do not expect it to appear anywhere in Google. Common sense should also prevail in this area. If, say for example your website specialised in selling mobile phones, you already know that the websites that appear on page 1 of the search results in Google for mobile phone sales belong to Nokia, Vodafone, etc. Your website would need to have hundreds of pages to compete with them and you would need a budget of millions of pounds!
Relevance - It helps if the content of your website is themed or relevant to one particular topic. If you have a 100 page website devoted to Ferraris, the chances are if someone goes to Google and does a search for Ferraris, your website will get brought up on the first page. If you have 100 pages devoted to 100 different cars, your website is now only 1 per cent relevant to Ferraris so you are unlikey to appear in the search results. Our website is 100 per cent devoted to website design. Every page talks about different aspects of website design, It is very strong on the website design theme and so good Google rankings for the phrase website design should result for us.
Coding - It essential that behind the scenes your website is created using the correct html coding. Such coding includes "meta tags" the most important of which is the "title tag". We take care of all of this for you.
Links - LINKS ARE ESSENTIAL - A link can take the form of a word or piece of text, a button, or a graphic. Once clicked on a link should take the person who clicked on it to another page of the same website or a totally different website altogether. In this respect, a link is like a road or a path. Google uses these roads and paths to find websites. If a visitor to Google does a search for a product or service which your website provides, the more roads and paths that lead to your website, the quicker Google will be able to find you. The process of getting websites to link to you can either be achieved manually (we will show you how to do this) or automatically. The automated process will get hundreds of websites to link to you, it will achieve far better results than doing it manually and the results will come faster, however the catch is that it will cost you several hundred pounds!
Getting your website into Google is a lengthy and complicated process. The more competitive an industry you are in, the more lengthy and complicated is the process. To simplify things and put them on a non-technical level, your competion are ranking well in Google because they have amazing and hence expensive websites. If you want to be able to compete with them you must be prepared to spend the same amount on website design as they have. Do not expect to pay £300 on website design if you want to have a successful business and a website that ranks well in Google.
For more information on website design and website promotion please call our help desk: 020 8449 1753
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