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July 2008

Six Tips To Help You Set Up A Sitemap

Just like a book has a page showing its contents, a website has a map of what’s on its site and this is called a sitemap. It lists all of the pages within the website, and acts as a guide for visitors to navigate to where they want to be and search engine robots to find particular pages of the website. Having a sitemap optimizes the site with the search engines and also helps to persuade visitors to return at a future date.

There are three main kinds of sitemaps:

1. An indexed sitemap – as the name would suggest, this is an alphabetical listing or directory. The relationship between the pages is not indicated.

2. A full categorical sitemap – this sitemap shows all links which are classified into categories. This is a popular kind of sitemap as it makes searching for certain topics easier and simplifies things between categories.

3. A restricted categorical – this sitemap displays all links in a selected category at one time; but it will not show all the links of a website, as the full categorical type does. The sitemap limits the list of links within specific categories making viewing easier and reducing eye strain.

With any of the above mentioned kinds of sitemap there are techniques which can be used to set up a superior sitemap and here are six tips to help you do this.

1. Link the sitemap to your homepage only. This ensures that the search engine robot begins searching from your homepage down through all the pages listed in your sitemap and no page will remain unvisited by the robot.

2. Restrict your sitemap to 30 pages. If you have more than this, the search engines may mistake your sitemap as a link farm, and this will result in you being penalized. Limiting the number of pages also stops overcrowding of links and will make viewing less tiresome.

3. Check all the links in your sitemap for error messages. It really puts visitors off it they click on a link and only get a 404 error message or the page requested cannot be found. Sometimes they may click a link and get shown a page which has nothing to do with what they were looking for, so it pays to keep on regular check on your links and make sure your visitors are being directed to where they want to go.

4. Giving keyword-rich titles to your sitemaps helps with optimization of your website. Search engine robots will search your website correctly under the right category.

5. Supply a short description for the link enabling your visitors to know what to expect to find by clicking on a link. It will save them time when surfing your website.

6. Make sure the design of your sitemap is consistent with those of other pages of your website. Use the same HTML template for all pages within your site including the sitemap. This will build character and establish the identity of your website.

If you follow the tips above, your website will look professional, your visitors will be encouraged to make return visits and the search engine robots will crawl through all the pages in your site, increasing your ranking in the search engines.



SEO Step by Step

A general mistaken conviction of search engine optimization
is that all you have to do is submit your Website and then you are done. Search engine optimization is an ongoing process. While it certainly offers many rewards, it is not a, single click solution to bring more traffic towards your Website. Anyone who makes such lofty promises most likely also sells magic stick that will make any wish fulfill.

Like the majority of things valuable, search engine optimization requires at least a modest time to be honestly flourished. Luckily, it’s an investment that rewards you generously when you know the actual right steps to do SEO
.

With Trillions of searches being happening daily, how does an online business strike into this far-fetched market prospective? You must come into sight near the top of the result pages for search keywords that are concerned with your business. That means the search engine must find your Web site’s content more related to a given search term or query or keyword than the millions of other pages in Search Engine’s index.

Just submitting your website and hoping to get enormous traffic and rankings running towards the site will be just like day dream. In its place you must understand the Search Engine Algorithm to attain Top Rankings. To industry Gurus, this process is called Search engine optimization or SEO.

To get free regular traffic for your Website via SEO requires the following steps to be followed:

Step 1 Keyword Selection – With dozens of keyword suggestion tools available on the internet, it’s not that hard to make a list of target keywords for your site. But, make a balance in between high traffic and niche keywords related with your business. High traffic keywords alone would not be manageable by you as competition will tough, so make mix low traffic keywords as well.

Step 2 Measure your rankings – Before you can improve your positions, you must know where you rank for the keywords and phrases that are related to your business’s products and services. If you did your job in step 1, who knows you could have positions in result pages on your niche keywords.

Step 3 Page Creation and Optimization – This is the most important of all the steps stated here. Proper placement keywords in Meta tags, headings, anchor text will make your website perfect for SEO.

Step 4 Submitting – This is perhaps the best known of the these steps and includes all types of submissions like directory submission, article submission, forum submission, press release submission and various other types of link submissions.

Step 5 Traffic and Revenue Tracking – Ultimately, it is not top rankings you are after, but more traffic and sales. So, calculate the loss and profit of running your website and also keep an eye on Traffic source through any analytics tools available online.

Follow up and fine-tuning – It’s essential to determine your rankings at least monthly. While some of the pages in your website may rank well for a year or more without change, most pages will require refinements as the search engines change their ranking algorithm, and more new pages do come online day by day.

SEO may seem like a daunting task at first glance. However, you’d be surprised at how much a tool like WebPosition Gold can organize and simplify the process for you.


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Why Do So Many Internet Marketers Fail?

Many people are attracted to the idea of running an internet business. Start up costs are very low, and almost anybody who can send an email and edit a simple document can get started! And we do hear about big winners, those who get to give up their commutes and bosses, and who get to enjoy running their own business.But the sad truth is that most of the people who attempt to prosper online do not make it that far. I have my own experiences and opinions about why this is so, but lets explore the current state of the internet.

I have been working on the net for about eight years, and I have to admit that the competition is stronger then ever. I base most of my business upon getting good search engine rankings on competitive and profitable search terms. It certainly takes more research to find gems that are not saturated with thousands of other websites
. However, those gems still do exist. And just because a lot of other websites are competing for a search term does not mean that those websites are well optimized, and that I still cannot get my page listed far up in the results of the major search engines.

And now, to make up for the increased number of websites that are competing for surfers on the net, there are also a lot more surfers! Almost everybody, from kids to senior citizens, knows how to surf the net. This was not the case at the beginning of the decade when the internet was much less user friendly and reliable, and access was certainly a lot slower!

So many great tools have been published so that a novice can have a pretty good website running in a few minutes, even though I believe that becoming a great webmaster takes years of testing and experience. And just as it does not take any special high tech skills to build a website these days, it also does not take a bundle of money. In fact, the most popular blogging platforms, are free!

It is also easy for webmasters to find website sponsors, Affiliate programs usually have few requirements beyond a website and a quick registration. Thousands of affiliate programs cover almost every topic one could imagine. And all it takes to start making money is signing up and dropping a snip of code on a website!

So this brings us back to the first question. Why do so many internet marketers fail? I lay some of the blame on the hundreds of ebooks and so-called home business opportunities with names like Internet ATM or Easy Web Profits. While I love working online because it lets me run my own show, succeed according to my efforts, and express my creative side, the last thing I would call this business is easy.

I get to choose the projects I will work on, but I always research them before I start. Even so, I have to cut some very interesting websites loose because they did not return the results that I needed in order to keep the lights on around here. But I always have several projects in the works, and I can concentrate on the 30% of my websites that make me a good return. So, what I am saying here, is that I fail about 70% of the time.

I also expect to put in a full day of work. I do not expect to put up a website and have it magically make money. I spend my time promoting my websites, testing my pages, and then tweaking my results until my efforts either bear fruit or I decide to put them on the shelf for that some day when I have more time. I know lots of other internet marketers too, and the ones that really make their living on the net always laugh at the idea that this job does not require any work.

 




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