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- Put box on every single page.
- Always try out product with free version.
- Once you've settled on search function you like, get paid version if you can afford it. The paid version looks more professional because it has no advertisements.
- Use advanced template function to make your results pages look identical to your site.
- If search function has synonyms (FreeFind does not appear to have this feature), then take advantage to guide your visitors.
- Read reports each search function produces to find out what people are searching for. Tune your site as appropriate. For example, if you have a site about "asthma" and people are searching for "breathing machines", then be sure and include a page on breathing machines, with appropriate metatags. This is an excellent way to improve your site.
- Each of these search functions has ways to tune results. Over time, as you examine reports, use them to make your visitors searches more accurate.
- While you are tuning for your on-site search, don't forget other search engines. For example, while you are fixing up a page for your own search engine, add appropriate metatags, titles, descriptions and such. After a while, you may find yourself thinking more and more like a search engine, which means you may get a side benefit of making your site more search engine friendly overall.
- Be careful when asking these functions to spider your site, especially if you have a large site. You can use up a lot of your host's resources to no good benefit unless you are careful. It's always wise to spend few seconds to think about what you are doing from your hosts point of view - it can save hassles later on.
- I like to schedule my spidering for once a week. It's often enough to catch changes quickly, but not so often to put a huge burden on my host.
I would also like to point out that you have a lot of control over these search functions. Tuning your site to use one of them well has some major side benefits:
- They all use "description" metatag, so improving your descriptions helps your personal search. It also helps your site get better listings in some major search engines.
- These functions also use "keyword" metatags, which also helps you with some of major search engines.
- Since you can make changes to your site, spider, then test to see result, you get a better idea of how search results look to people. You will almost certainly find (as I did) that search engine does not display what I thought it was displaying for descriptions of pages. Some quick tuning, and my visitors got not only better search results, but better descriptions of pages that were found.
- As you look at reports, you will find people are looking for synonyms a lot, and thus not finding pages that they should. As you improve your keyword metatags to help them out, you will also help out your sites performance in other search engines.
Another good idea as you become more savvy is to put some of search terms from your reports into major search engines to see what comes up. If your site shows up, look at how it is described. Then tune your site accordingly.
So as you can see, adding a search box is easy, inexpensive (or even free), and has many benefits to both you and your visitors. Perhaps you should check it out.
Free stuff Headquarters http://www.internet-tips.net/Freestuff/Freesearch.htm Search Utilities These services allow you to add a search box to your site.
HTML tag reference guide - http://www.internet-tips.net/HTML/META.htm
HTML tag reference guide - http://www.internet-tips.net/HTML/META_name_description.htm
HTML tag reference guide - http://www.internet-tips.net/HTML/META_name_keywords.htm
HTML tag reference guide - http://www.internet-tips.net/HTML/META_name_robots.htm
HTML tag reference guide - http://www.internet-tips.net/HTML/TITLE.htm
Meta-Tags http://www.internet-tips.net/Webmaster/metatags.htm Be sure and set up your meta-tags properly if you want to be found by some search engines.
Use ROBOTS.TXT to control search engine indexing http://www.internet-tips.net/Advertising/robots.htm You can use ROBOTS.TXT to keep search engines from indexing parts of your site
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