Once you’ve created your website, the next step is to make sure people can find it. There are several ways to market you website. You should start by putting the address of your website in all of your other marketing communications such as business cards, advertisements, signs, etc. However, it’s also a good idea to list your site on any relevant Internet directories and submit it to the search engines.
Search engines like Google “crawl” through all the pages on your site and look for key words within the site description and the site itself. They use this index of key words to deliver search results. The more keywords, the higher your site will appear in search results. For example, if someone searches for “commercial landscaping,” the company with the most keywords related to “commercial landscaping” in their site appears first.
One of the best strategies to achieve good placement is to offer specialization and/or geographic information within you site. For example, a commercial landscaper could describe their specific expertise in solving drainage problems or list the counties or towns within their service area. The practice of applying keywords to improve your search result placement is known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
The first step in optimizing your pages is to setup metatags for your sites. Metatags are special areas of a website that are only readable by search engines. They include the title, description and main keywords of your site. The second step is to make sure all of your pages have enough keywords within their content to score well on the search engines. Two strategies for achieving this are landing pages and articles.
HotDoodle offers a number of tools and strategies to help you optimize your pages:
- Site Meta Tags – The Site Identification screen provides a friendly user-interface for entering the metadata for your site including title, description and keywords.
- Page Titles and Meta Tags – The page properties screen provides a friendly user-interface for entering the metadata for your site including title, description and keywords.
- Landing Pages – A landing page is like an alternative home page or entryway for a site that is designed around a specific purpose or topic area. Landing pages have two primary purposes: SEO and sale closing. In the case of SEO, landing pages are designed to contain a specific set of keywords to place high in related searches. In the case of a sale closing, the landing page is designed to lead the users to a specific action, such as the purchase of a product. HotDoodle provides the ability to create landing pages or “alternative home pages” that take the place of the standard home page in the menu and share the same children pages.
- Advanced and Detailed Logging – HotDoodle provides logs that much more detailed than external logs such as Google Analytics. Search hits are reported and all access from a visitor session or machine can be traced. Visits are summarized by conversion events, etc. HotDoodle also supports integration with Google Analytics and Campaign Tracking. More information about both of these functions is available from Google. • Page URL Aliases – Search engines often rank a page slightly higher if its URL contains a phrase used in the search. HotDoodle allows you to create an alias for your pages so you can include the search terms in the URL.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – SEO refers to the practice of enhancing your site for better placement in search engine results. It includes a variety of different tools and strategies.
- Alias – An alias is essentially an alternative address for a domain or webpage. The page is still known by its true name on the web server, but appears as a different name to outside servers such as search engines. The advantage of an alias is that it provides a “cleaner” look to the user and can contain specific search words.