Some other Keyword Research Tools One need to choose those keywords that are frequently searched for and which is in high demand, but not being already used by many other websites and competitors, and thus has low competition. There are a number of keyword research tools that can help you find them. Apart from the Wordtracker which was already discussed in an other article, we have some more equally important research tools like the Overture, Google AdWords Keyword and Guidebeam. Overture.com's keyword suggestion tool is free and much quicker to use than Wordtracker. It works more like the Wordtracker but doesn't tell you how many websites are targeting each keyword phrase. For example if you type 'Computer', the Overture search suggestion tool will tell you that during the last month the word 'Computer' was searched, say for example 459550 times at Overture.Com. Similarly 'computer game' was searched 302210 times. Also, given one word it will tell you all relevant combinations of that word, which are based on actual searches done by people. If the word you keyed in is not a common search term then you will not get any results. It means that very few people have actually searched for that word during the last month. Even Google Keyword Tool generates potential keywords for your ad campaign and reports their Google statistics, including search performance and seasonal trends. Features of this tool include, sorting the results of your desired keyword search by popularity, past performance history within the AdWords system, cost, and predicted ad position. Easy keyword manipulation where you can select a few keywords here and there or add them all at once. Searches for keywords present even in any webpage URL specified by your search. It can also expand your keyword search even further to include those pages that are linked to or from the original URL page. More keyword results are generated based on regularly updated usage statistics database. This helps you to get new keywords or phrases. Guidebeam, at www.guidebeam.com, is an interesting resource. Type in a phrase and it will suggest a large number of related searches. The numbers generated against each phrase are Guidebeam's estimation of how relevant that phrase is. These softwares are useful for researching how people search the web and then optimizing your own web pages so that more people find your web site. Submitting Your Website to Search Engines If you have a web-based business or if a significant portion of your business is done on the web through your website, then the best advertising and marketing is done by submitting to a search engine. No amount of press release, newspaper or radio ad, banner ad, spam email or newsletter will achieve the same results, although, maybe effective in a small proportion. Beware of companies that promise automatic submission of your website to hundreds of search engines which are but only false promises. The best way to submit your website for search engine ranking and inclusion is to do it yourself or to hire an expert to do it manually, by contacting the search engine companies and directories. Before you begin to submit your website to search engines ensure your websites are thoroughly designed to the professional quality using the right key words, good graphics and pictures and the relevant content. Don't submit websites that are incomplete. While submitting to a search engine, make sure to provide information about your website, keywords and any other information that may be pertinent, including the name and contact information of your business. Mere submission to search engine companies does not guarantee that your site would be immediately listed and the ranking will be high. Because there are thousands of new websites coming up every day and it may take quite sometime before they take up your site for review by human editors. One important factor to remember while submitting site is to include a site map of your website which makes the crawling easy for the web robots. Search engines like 'http://www.google.com' hardly considers submissions without sitemaps. There are many online companies that accept search engine submission services. You can choose to do it yourself with a software package and service like Webposition.com. Or you may want look into professional SEO asssitance. But don't use the automatic submission services. Here is a list of the most popular Search Engines and directory companies: Search Engines - Go.com/InfoSeek AltaVista - Google, HotBot - Excite/Webcrawler Directories - AOL Search Inktomi - Lycos Open Directory - MSN, Yahoo! - LookSmart Snap Apart from the above there are thousands of search engines and directory companies, where you can submit your website to as many companies as possible. The following links gives info on other search engines and directories: http://websearch.about.com/library/searchengine/blsearchenginesatoz.htm http://websearch.about.com/library/tableofcontents/ blsearchenginetableofcontents.htm The Importance of Referrer Logs Referrer logging is used to allow web servers and websites to identify where people are visiting them either for promotional or security purposes. You can find out which search engine they used to find your site and whether your customer has come from a 'linked site'. It is basically the URL of the previous webpage from which your link was followed. By default, most hosting accounts don't include referrer logs but may be subscribedd for an extra monthly fee. If your web host does not provide a graphic report of your log files, you can still view the referrer logs for your website by logging into the host server using free or low-cost FTP software, like these: - FTP Explorer: http://www.ftpx.com/ - LogMeIn: http://secure.logmein.com/dmcq/103/support.asp - SmartFTP: http://www.smartftp.com/ - FTP Voyager: http://www.ftpvoyager.com/ The log file is available on your web server which can be download into your computer later. You can use a log analysis tool, like those mentioned below, to create a graphic report from your log files so that the files are easier to understand. - Abacre Advanced Log Analyzer http://www.abacre.com/ala/ - Referrer Soft http://www.softplatz.com/software/referrer/ - Log Analyzer http://www.loganalyzer.net You can view the files using Word, Word Perfect, txt or WordPad files even if you don't have the right tool. This information is very crucial to your business and marketing plans and is not advisable to neglect it. In addition to identifying the search engine or linked site from where your visitor arrived, referrer logs can also tell you what keywords or keyword phrases your client used for searching. As referrer information can sometimes violate privacy, some browsers allow the user to disable the sending of referrer information. Proxy and Firewall software can also filter out referrer information, to avoid leaking the location of private websites. This can result in other problems, as some servers block parts of their site to browsers that don't send the right referrer information, in an attempt to prevent deep linking or unauthorized use of bandwidth. Some proxy software gives the top-level address of the target site itself as the referrer, which prevents these problems and still not divulging the user's last visited site. Since the referrer can easily be spoofed or faked, however, it is of limited use in this regard except on a casual basis. Tools to monitor your website You can't just put your website on the net with right keywords and all the right touches and expect your traffic and ranking will remain constant. As the web is an ever changing landscape, you have to keep track of your own web results like what is happening with the competition and also the best and highest ranked sites. There are many useful tools to help you find out what exactly is happening. 1. A tool which you can use to test your own website links or other websites for broken links: http://home.snafu.de/tilman/xenulink.html 2. With this tool you can check search engines for the number of back links to your URL i.e. other web pages linking to your site: http://www.digitalpoint.com/tools/backlinks/ 3. It sometimes becomes important to know where the servers of your hosting company are physically located. Because, some search engines like Google have the ability to filter search results based on their physical location called geotargeting. This could be used to determine why your site is showing in only a certain country. This link can also be used to research the country location of a particular competitor's website: http://www.digitalpoint.com/tools/website-country/ 4. In order to track the location of the visitor or a customer to your website: http://www.digitalpoint.com/tools/geovisitors/ 5. In order to check the Yahoo! web ranking of your's or your competitor's website use: http://www.digitalpoint.com/tools/webrank/ 6. Here is a link to check the web ranking of a website using a Mac or Apple computer: http://www.digitalpoint.com/tools/pagerank-mac/ 7. You need a Google AdSense account for using this. This link provides you with charts and reports which will help you analyze traffic, clicks, and results from your AdSense advertising: http://www.digitalpoint.com/tools/adsense-charts/ 8. If you have an AdSense account, you can analyze your website address or another website address to see what Google ads will be displayed when the customer selects certain website names or keywords: http://www.digitalpoint.com/tools/adsense-sandbox/ 9. This link will take you to a cooperative advertising network where you can join to display and share your ads with other website owners: http://www.digitalpoint.com/tools/ad-network/ 10. You can add the Search Functionality on your website which uses Google. This works only if your site is listed in the Google Index. http://www.digitalpoint.com/tools/search/ 11. Here are some links to free website counters which you can use on your website to track your traffic and hits: http://www.digitalpoint.com/tools/counter/ http://www.amazingcounters.com/?ref=gad033 http://www.cyber-counter.com/signup.php http://www.statcounter.com/free_hit_counter.html http://www.free-counters.net/ Use Keywords In Page Titles It is recommended to use keywords in page titles itself. This title tag is different from a Meta tag, but it's worth considering it in relation to them. Whatever text one places in the title tag (between the
andportions) will appear in the title bar of browsers when they view the web page. Some browsers also append whatever you put in the title tag by adding their own name, as for example Microsoft's Internet Explorer or OPERA. The actual text you use in the title tag is one of the most important factors in how a search engine may decide to rank your web page. In addition, all major web crawlers will use the text of your title tag as the text they use for the title of your page in your listings. If you have designed your website as a series of websites or linked pages and not just a single Home Page, you must bear in mind that each page of your website must be search engine optimized. The title of each page i.e. the keywords you use on that page and the phrases you use in the content will draw traffic to your site. The unique combination of these words and phrases and content will draw customers using different search engine terms and techniques, so be sure you capture all the keywords and phrases you need for each product, service or information page. The most common mistake made by small business owners when they first design their website is to place their business name or firm name in every title of every page. Actually most of your prospective customers do not bother to know the name of your firm until after they have looked at your site and decided it is worth book marking. So, while you want your business name in the title of the home page, it is probably a waste of valuable keywords and space to put it in the title line of every page on your site. Why not consider putting keywords in the title so that your page will display closer to the top of the search engine listing. Dedicating first three positions for keywords in title avoiding the stop words like 'and', 'at' and the like is crucial in search engine optimization. Web Hosting Companies With thousands of web hosting companies in the market it can be difficult if not impossible to know which web site hosting companies truly provide an excellent hosting solution at an excellent price. When you have an established domain name with a good web hosting company, you can get reports on your traffic and which of your pages your customers are visiting most often, as well as many other statistics. Your web host will charge you a fee for monthly service that ranges from $10 or $20 to the more expensive $50.00 per month. Plan to pay between $300 and $500 per year to your web host. Always avoid free or very inexpensive web hosting services, because you may experience bouts of server downtimes and you are likely to have significant limitations in storage, number of email addresses, FTP upload etc. Be sure your web host can accommodate e-commerce and storefronts, wireless capability, bogs, forums, chats, online interactive helps and anything else you want to add onto your site. Estimate what your growth needs are and ensure that this web host can serve you as you grow. The last thing you want to do is change host mid way unless you absolutely have to do so. Check your bandwidth capability to be sure that, if your website traffic grows rapidly, your customers will not have to wait to download or view information. Three things to look for in a web hosting company are: 1. Excellent Customer Support: Your hosting provider should be there for you 24/7 and give you instant access to the technicians you need to solve your problem. Ask them how long it takes for them to typically respond to your problem. A good test is to call them in the mid night to check if you get to a live, level 3 support. 2. A Sound Infrastructure: Check whether they offer a multi-homed network powered by multiple bandwidth providers to ensure redundancy. Some offer a 100% guarantee on its network availability or network uptime. 3. Financial Stability: If you're running very critical operations, you can't afford to be with a hosting company that may not be in business in a few months. Web hosting Services and Domain names Choosing an appropriate domain name is very important. First and foremost, when it comes to domain names, try to stay away from the silly, stupid, ridiculous or clever. Keep your domain name simple and make it something your customers can remember if they lose the link to your business website. Take note that, while your domain name on Geocities or AOL may seem like the least expensive way to go, it may also get you dropped from certain search engines. Some search engines ignore domain addresses that reside on these 'free servers' or on the 'cheap' servers. Even if your site is recognized and considered by search engines, a professional domain name that uses your primary company name or associated words is likely to get more attention and be considered as a stable business by your prospective customers. Purchasing domain names are not that expensive which cost about $100 and there are many companies that can register the name for you, provided it is available and has not already been used by another company. Using one of your keywords in your domain name can increase your score on some search engines. For example, solderingirons.com could be more effective as Electric-soldering-irons.com, if that domain name was available. You might also choose to establish more than one domain name using keywords and then link your 'doorway' domain sites to your primary site. But you will have to pay for each of the domain name and also the monthly hosting fees. It all depends on the type and size of your business and your competition. Keep in mind that some search engines disregard 'doorway' sites. So put at least a page of content on the doorway site with some useful information and then link it to your primary site. But don't design it as an empty page. The other reason being, you can have one, three, five, or even more email addresses that all contain your business name, and give your business a professional feel. When customers get emails from firstname.lastname@example.org they feel as if they are dealing with a stable, professional business operation. No need for customers to understand how you manage all your email boxes on your domain. They just need to feel your business is dependable and reputable.
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