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By Tracy Matthewman
Why buy traffic to your site when you can get it for free? That’s the idea behind optimizing your website….well at least it’s half the battle. Free traffic is the best kind of traffic to get because it’s organic. This means that you don’t pay for it. People who search the internet are getting smarter and they know that links in Google search results that appear at the very top in the yellow box or down the right hand side are “paid for” results. They know that if they click one of those links at some point they will be sold something.
 
So knowing this, it’s ideal to have your site appear in the “organic” results, which is the left side of search results. This tells people that your site is there because it’s really about the topic you’re searching for and the mindset is different.
There are three key elements to optimizing your site:
1) Keyword research
2) Onsite content optimization
3) Linking strategies
 
Let’s start with keyword research. First you need to know what people are searching for.
 

So many business owners thing that if their website comes up number one in Google after someone types in their business name that that’s amazing and they don’t have to optimize because they come up number one. Well the reality is is that no one (or very few people) is typing your company name. People don’t usually search for company names, unless you’re a big multi national. People search for solutions to their problems and most company names do not includethe words that are solutions to a problem.
 
This is the most important part of optimizing your site. You want to look for keywords that people are actually searching for.
 
Onsite content optimization is now taking your research and applying it to your content. Here you don’t want to overstuff your pages with your keywords. This is a big “no-no”. If you do this, Google and other search engines will consider that you are keyword
spamming.
 
The trick is to place your keywords throughout your content with approximately 5% density. You want to ensure that where you place them, makes sense for the human visitor. If you do this, then Google will begin to love your site. Meta tag descriptions are not as important as they once were, but nevertheless they are still considered part of an overall strategy. Particularly the meta tag “Description”. This is the short description of your site that search engines display in the search results underneath the main link.
 
Human visitors will see this in search results, but it will be hidden when they actually visit your site. Keep in mind this is like a first impression and you want to make it a good one.
 
The last step is to strategically link your pages together. Most sites have a navigation or menu area where a visitor can link from one page to another, but this is not enough. Linking from page to page within the body copy and again using keywords will strengthen individual pages for their selected keywords.
 
When optimizing your site, keep in mind that it’s about an overall theme. You really have two entities you’re trying to impress, the human visitor and the search engine visitor. Optimizing is about combining the two visitors needs so that your site becomes loved by
both.
Tracy Matthewman is an Internet Entrepreneur who helps small business increase their traffic and improve their conversions online. She is also the author of the Easy As Pie Website Optimization Techniques course which can be found at www.WomenCanDoAnything.com/optimize.
 
(This article first appeared in the Summer issue of WE Magazine for women).
 
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