I have sent this information to a few members on the Forum that have asked for some help with SEO
. With Sam starting this thread I thought I would post it here as well.
Trust me, I'm no expert, it's the cumulative effect of everything you do that works. There's no single magic bullet.
Here is a list of some things you can do for yourself to get your web sites recognized by the search engines. There are so many opinions about what is right thing to do, and what is the wrong thing to do, that you almost can't keep up. I just keep plugging away at something.
companies that promise to get your 1st page rankings immediately do so by taking an obscure seldom used keyword, then become the top bidder for that keyword, and try to impress you with doing a search for that word, and showing you the ad at the top of a google, or yahoo search.
Blogging, will get your web site indexed faster, but from what I have read that is starting to cool off, or at least that was the opinion of the person whose writing I read. It makes sense to me that if a googlebot crawls a blog, and you have 2000 posts with your web site in your signature, that is 2000 times your web address has been read by that googlebot, giving your site relevance to that subject.
Buying expired domain names is another way to go. With expired names, mainly ones that had web pages attached to them, they have already been indexed by the search engines, that's why the large companies are always buying them. For the organic traffic.
Backlinks is something that is hot right now. I am doing more research on them myself, and may try to do something on the Forum in the future with all who have websites to help each other out. Everybody linking to each other, if there is enough interest.
The truth, or the more realistic approach, is that it takes about 6 to 12 months to get your site recognized organically Internet wide. Search engine algorithms are constantly changing, as they are always trying to one up each other. What works today, or what's hot, may not work or be hot tomorrow.
Here is a list of some of the resources you can utilize yourself to get the ball rolling.
This is the main open source for cataloging web sites. You will have to drill down through categories, to find the area you wish to have your listing. Then select "suggest URL" link at the top right of the page and follow the steps.
At the bottom center of yahoo's home page, you will find the "Suggest a Site" link, this will get you to yahoo's free web site submission area. They also have a pay for submission area to get you listed in yahoo's search results for around $349 a year I believe. If you have the money, I would go that route. I haven't yet, I do pay per click instead.
This information will show you how to create a yahoo map of your location on your site. Maps seem to be all the rage right now among search engine followers. Supposedly, you will get indexed better, and or faster, by creating yahoo & google maps on your site. I work for my home, so I haven't used this.
This is the link for google maps, easier to use than yahoo. If you work out of an office, you should at least do this one.
This is the link to yellow pages free listing, and or paid listing area. I have done the free listing. The object is to get your web address into various search engine data bases.
There are many companies that will submit your web site to various search engines for free. This company will submit it to 40 engines I believe. Prepare for some Spam from these companies. This one, has yet to send me anything, as I opted out of their offers and updates. Keeping my fingers crossed, you know how that goes.
Here is a free site to check for Page Rank, Back Links, Indexed Pages, Etc... Kind of a cool site to check your progress, and see what your competitors have as well. Just enter the web site on the left side of the page.
Pay Per Click:
I use google & yahoo right now. I may add others in the future. You can run campaigns locally, statewide, nationwide, and or internationally.
This will take some trial and error on your part to get it up and running, but this is where the big insurance companies, and the leads companies that we purchase leads from, get many of their leads.
There are many companies that will help you setup, and run a PPC campaign for a fee. But it's not really that hard to do it on your own.
Click on ad words on the left side, and follow the process.
Click on search marketing on the left side, and follow the process.
AOL is also working on a pay per click model, this is another one I may check out in the future. MSN, is another site that offers PPC.
If you just use Google, and Yahoo PPC, you have about 75%, or more, of the internet search traffic covered.
I can help with some of the small things, or
answer some questions you may have.
Just send me a PM.
I'm sure I will need some help myself on insurance matters that you may have knowledge of.