Knowing and understanding how to make a website attractive to search engines (optimizing it) can mean the difference between having a website that is listed on the first page or two and one that's buried somewhere on the fifth or tenth page of a search engine's results pages.
Search engines & search results
We continue to be impressed with the effort our customers put into their building their websites with Sandvox. So, in the spirit of helping our customers to get a return on their investment of effort we’ve put together some information on getting a website noticed—and building an audience of visitors.
While you focus on the design and content of the site, Sandvox works behind the scenes—to automatically organize your website and webpage content to use a structure that helps search engines find the most important content; such as the title of each webpage. When you add images, Sandvox allows you to describe the content of the image as text so search engines can “see” that information as well. After all, the more relevant content a website provides to search engines, the better its chances are for ranking well in search results for related keywords.
Here are some resources on Search Engine Optimization:
- Search Engine Optimization · Wikipedia
- Getting Your Website Noticed
- What is SEO, from Search Engine Land
- Google Webmaster Central Blog
Get the word out about your website
Sandvox offers more options to make sure your website is found by Google, the most frequently used search engine today.
Google provides tools (Google Webmaster Tools) that website owners can use to establish their ownership of a website and manage how Google sees a website. The verification process for Google Webmaster Tools is integrated into Sandvox. It is an easy, important step to take to increase a website’s visibility.
When you incorporate a sitemap into a Sandvox website — by clicking a single checkbox — and then registering it from within Google Webmaster Tools, the website’s content will be automatically registered with Google. Google uses the sitemap to generate “SiteLinks,” a small list of the main pages in a website that it may display along with your website information.
There are other steps you can take to list websites with other search engines, and directories that can help increase the prominence of a website. If you want to dive in a little deeper, check out Search Engine Land’s introductory resources on a variety of search and online marketing topics.
How does the traffic look?
You may or may not already know that the stream of visitors that travel to websites is frequently referred to as “traffic.” Google provides easy-to-use, free tools that can help here too—Google Analytics.
In exchange for permission to aggregate visit data from your website, Google provides Google Analytics, which is a set of tools that show how many people have visited a website, and lots of interesting metrics about their visits—including how much time they spend, and which webpages they visit. It is the easiest way to get started with monitoring metrics, and is robust enough that many enterprise-level businesses use it as their primary tool for analytics.