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SEO = BIG DOLLARS

How visible is your website to search engines?

Is a question I asked my self after I built my website when I should have asked myself “how do I make my website more visible to search engines?” before I started. Most SEO gurus will tell you SEO relies on the content of your website like articles, blogs, reports and tutorials, and to drive traffic, as they say, to your website you need good regularly updated content. But at the same time its very important to have every SEO website tweak available, and working for you, as this will increase your chances of being found through the major search engines.

Search engine optimization is big business on the internet costing hundreds of pounds just to sign up for a months worth of website testing. And then most of these company’s are not offering to do the work for you, but instead just point you to all the SEO you yourself need to do. So having built and maintained my own websites I decided the best option and the cheapest way was to take care of the SEO myself.

There are many free tools on the internet to help you with the hurdle of optimising your own site for search engines, one of those is SEOquake.com, a search engine optimisation toolbar. With a large array of options which can be tailored to your own needs, once installed on your browser it will give you various information on any website you visit, like Google page rank and indexing, Alexa page ranking and how connected the website is to social networks . But the one tool I personally found most helpful was the diagnosis tool.

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SEOquake’s diagnostic tool analyses your website and informs you on where you can make changes to your websites optimisation. The analysis consists of a check on your URL length, title length, meta description and keywords, robots text, sitemap, doctype, encoding, favicon and whether your site is compressed with gzip. I have a photography website with lots of images, and the analyses pointed out that all the images on a webpage should have “alt” text, making it easier for search engines and users of non image browsers to better understand what the webpage is about.

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The diagnosis tool also explains the importance of meta keywords and how to properly use them, as although they are generally thought of as obsolete, none of the search engine providers have said that they don’t count. The general consensus is that they do count, as long as they are used correctly. SEOquake explains the correct use of the meta keyword and description tags, what their content should consist of, and what length the tags should be. It also covers a few other important SEO issues, and is a great check list to begin with.

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The first time I used the tool to diagnose my website it came back with lots of red checked box’s. I gradually worked through theses issues page by page, following the diagnostic tools suggestions by clicking on the “Show advice” button, which is where the tool gives you an explanation, about what steps you need to take to solve the issue. Eventually after jumping through several hoops, some of them on fire, I managed to get most of the check boxes green. SEOquake did help me to increase the traffic to my website, and in the process I discovered there was actually a lot more I could do to improve my SEO.

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