Most of you with experience of running a website have the chance to dig into the world of Search Engine Optimization. Basic tasks include making sure your keywords are correct, trying to get more sites to link to you and checking to see where you rank on Google. However, with competition online becoming fiercer by the year, many companies see the value in a more detailed and advanced SEO strategy. In this month’s column we’ll discuss two of the most useful techniques, building more than one site and concentrating on your inside pages.
Building More Than One Site
A lot of companies are taking the view that they need to do more than concentrate on their main website. Google rankings are notoriously unreliable and prone to sudden changes, and so smarter and larger firms are moving to reduce their risk by building multiple websites. (Bear in mind that this technique is in for people with quite a lot of time to spend on their company’s website and for firms with a longer term view of SEO.)
Imagine that you are a Car Parts dealer. Ranking well in search engines for the phrase “car parts” is an intimidating prospect. You have over 85 million references online for that phrase and many huge firms to compete with. So what’s a small company to do? You might decide to build several small sites each of which focuses on a smaller and less competitive niche. For example, you can build a site with information all about “transmission in Dodge vehicles”. The domain name does not have to be expensive or easy to remember – it need only be keyword rich. As we speak www.dodgetransmissions.net is available for registration.
Your company would then fill the site full of articles and information about the topic. There is no need to write everything yourself because there are plenty of articles available online that are free to use. Then repeat the trick with other highly specific phrases related to your business. Finally, link the sites together so that they are easy for search engines to find. Many of the more successful online companies have between 10 and 50 mini-sites like this.
You can then turn these mini-sites into profits in two ways. One method is to fill the sites with advertisements for your own company. The other method is to wait around a year for the site to mature. Then you can put Lesson 2 of Search Engine Optimization 2001 into action:
Concentrating on Your Inside Pages
The first goal of SEO is obviously to get the front page of your website ranking well in Search Engines. However, its common to have a website where only the homepage is ranked in Google. The remainder of your site is not bringing in any customers at all.
Here are several common remedies to fix this problem:
- Ask people to link to your inside pages rather than your front page.
- Once one of your mini-sites has been around for a year or more, redirect it to an inside page.
- Write articles that will be of interest to a wider audience and submit them to online article directories. People will be able to republish them but legally require them to provide a link to the original page.
- Buy domain names that have expired but are related to your business. To continue our car example, www.carloanexperts.info expired at the end of November with a Page Rank of 3. These can then be forwarded to an inside page of your choice, brining traffic and incoming links.
- Make sure you keep an up-to-date site map and that each page can be reached from your homepage in just 2 or 3 clicks.