The SEO Journey:

Written by Christine Stander

Working inrepparttar fast-paced search engine marketing industry, I have often been faced withrepparttar 127826 question: “Where exactly does SEO fit into web site development?”

The relevance of SEO cannot be overestimated. Increasingly, webmasters and site owners alike are beginning to realizerepparttar 127827 importance of optimizing a site to increase rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs). However, they are not always sure how to go about this.

The Growing Importance of SEO:

A few years ago, web sites were created withrepparttar 127828 goal in mind of bringing companies closer to their clients, i.e. their target market. Asrepparttar 127829 popularity of search engines grew,repparttar 127830 number of web sites being created increased alongside. During this process, webmasters and site owners began to realize how important it was to get that all-important competitive edge by reachingrepparttar 127831 ideal top 20 positions on SERPs. Thusrepparttar 127832 battle forrepparttar 127833 top 10 positions ensued.

With this was bornrepparttar 127834 need for people to find and understand a method of constantly reaching those positions. Inrepparttar 127835 case of SEO,repparttar 127836 techniques which evolved can be divided into “good guys” and “bad guys” (the proverbial “white hat” SEO and “black hat SEO”, respectively.) Of course, some SEOs evolved into more shades of black than others, finding techniques to “outsmart”repparttar 127837 spiders, while others remained true to developing content-relevant sites aimed at users rather thanrepparttar 127838 spiders, while still attaining those sought-after top positions. (But that is a topic for another day.)

Althoughrepparttar 127839 black-hats may differ from my opinion here, SEO is no quick fix to propel a site into high-ranking top positions. SEO and usability go hand in hand. Target search engines and searchers atrepparttar 127840 same time by writing good, relevant, converting content. Map your site well with internal links to related sections. In so doing, you will provide your browsers with easy-to-follow navigation and simultaneously help spiders to index your site. Achieving a well-balanced site is a tedious journey, but when implemented correctly, may produce long-term stable results that will drive your site to top positions and increase your conversions.

Know your territory.

If you want to experience something fully, you have to be prepared for it. You have to research what you need, fromrepparttar 127841 most basic needs through torepparttar 127842 finest details. I have been privileged enough to experiencerepparttar 127843 wonders of an African safari. Beforerepparttar 127844 journey, one knows to pack comfortable bush clothes. One also knows that you’re not going to need high heels or suits inrepparttar 127845 bush. It’srepparttar 127846 basics that count: jeans, sneakers and t-shirts.

When you go out on a game drive, what keeps you at ease amongst lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo isrepparttar 127847 fact that firstly, you know you’re in a Land Rover, driven by an experienced safari guide, and secondly, that if it comes to it, there’s a trusty rifle inrepparttar 127848 back seat.

The lessons illustrated by this analogy are: research your territory, be prepared, dispense with what is unnecessary and remember thatrepparttar 127849 basics count most of all.

To takerepparttar 127850 analogy further, launching a web site is not unlike going on safari. Before sending it on its journey torepparttar 127851 World Wide Web, you need to pack it full ofrepparttar 127852 things you know it’s going to need. Start withrepparttar 127853 basics.

Improving the ROI of Web Directory Submissions

Written by Will Spencer

Submitting your web site to web directories is a great way to build high-quality inbound links, increase your PageRank, and improve your SERPS.

The Internet now features a large number of both general purpose and specialized directories. The specialized directories focus on a specific topic or region.

Unfortunately, submitting your web site torepparttar plethora of available directories requires a significant investment of time and effort. The key to achieving a positive ROI (Return On Investment) from directory submissions is to focus on those directories which will provide you with high-quality inbound links.

It is important to note that many web directories have issues which prevent them from providing useful links. Takingrepparttar 127825 time understand these issues and submit only torepparttar 127826 directories which will provide value will provide significant time savings in promoting your site.

A Taxonomy of Web Directory Issues

Web Directories Which Are No Longer Managed

A survey of 79 general-purpose web directories revealed that 62% of those web directories do not appear to be processing submissions.

In many cases, this is becauserepparttar 127827 operators ofrepparttar 127828 web directory launched their site with great enthusiasm, became overwhelmed byrepparttar 127829 amount of effort required to maintain a web directory, and stopped maintaining their directory. These operators leave their directories online to take advantage ofrepparttar 127830 residual advertising revenue, but no longer investrepparttar 127831 time required to process directory submissions.

Web Directories which Block Search Engine Robots

Some SEO's believe that they can preserve Google PageRank by not giving outbound links from their web sites.

Web directories which operate in this manner will sometimes block Googlebot and other search engine robots from their directory pages using robots.txt or meta tags.

Before submitting to a web directory, checkrepparttar 127832 PageRank ofrepparttar 127833 directory page upon which you expect your listing to appear. If that page has a PageRank of zero, it could mean thatrepparttar 127834 site operator is blocking Googlebot.

However, this same symptom can also mean thatrepparttar 127835 site orrepparttar 127836 page is new, and has not been assigned Google PageRank yet. To research this further, examinerepparttar 127837 sites robots.txt file andrepparttar 127838 source code torepparttar 127839 directory page upon which you expect your listing to appear.

Web Directories which use Scripted Links

Many web directories use scripted links to avoid leaking PageRank. Scripted links use PHP or JavaScript links to redirectrepparttar 127840 user torepparttar 127841 target page. Although these links work correctly for most site visitors, they do not work for most search engine robots.

To determine if scripted links are in use, place your mouse cursor over an outbound link onrepparttar 127842 directory page upon which you expect to appear. Examinerepparttar 127843 link text which appears inrepparttar 127844 lower left corner of your browser.

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