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What is Search Engine Optimization, or SEO?

What is Search Engine Optimization, or SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (or SEO for short), is a process of doing the necessary tasks to make your site known and easily crawled by search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. There are many companies that offer SEO, including DeCarlo Studios. We use special software and systems to help our clients. We would like to share the main tools we use so you can review them.

We use the enterprise version of SEO Power Suite by Link Assistant daily for our SEO clients. You can visit their website, go through a tutorial on SEO and download a free version. Link Assistant updates the software frequently and it provides excellent automation and in-depth reports that we generate weekly for our SEO clients. The reports give you exact, step-by-step instructions about what is needed to optimize your website.
SEO Power Suite is made up of four separate programs:

  1. Rank Tracker. We use Rank Tracker to run reports and closely monitor the keywords for which we are helping our clients rank. Rank Tracker checks our client's page rank on hundreds of search engines and reports the exact page rank for the keywords we are targeting.
  2. Website Auditor. We use Website Auditor to tell us what needs to be adjusted in the website's structure and content. Website Auditor gives us an in-depth report about what needs to be optimized for the web crawlers. It also generates XML sitemaps.
  3. SEO Spy Glass. We use SEO Spy Glass to find out what SEO our client's competitors are using. SEO Spy Glass provides an evaluation report which helps us create SEO strategies to the beat the competition.
  4. Link Assistant. This program works for all link management tasks from building link directories to establishing link partnerships. It includes exporting and reporting facilities.
  5. Check out SEO Power Suite by Link Assistant. http://www.link-assistant.com/

The First Five Steps to Begin SEO

Here are the first five steps DeCarlo Studios completes to begin SEO. In addition to the five steps below, we also run reports with Link Assistant’s WebSite Auditor and Link Assistant’s Rank Tracker. These five steps will help get the SEO ball rolling:

1. Set up Google Analytics. http://www.google.com/analytics

Google analytics is a must!

2. Submit site to Google Places. www.google.com/placesforbusiness/

Google Places gives your business a physical location and phone number on the web. Think of it as a modern day local phone book listing. This information goes into searches based on location and proximity for the searcher using Google. It’s a simple way for businesses to let Google know about them and list where they are located, what the business offers and their contact information.

What is Google Places? How to Register with Google Places

3. Submit the site to search engines for Google, Yahoo and Bing.
Submit your search engine to Google: http://www.google.com/addurl/?continue=/addurl

You will need to create a Google Webmaster Tools account first. Don’t worry, its free and easy to do.

Submit your search engine to Yahoo and Bing: 
http://www.bing.com/toolbox/submit-site-url
  
4. Create a sitemap http://www.xml-sitemaps.com
A site map is a file that lists the pages of your website. The site map is a helper that search engines can use to crawl your website more efficiently.
   
5. Upload the sitemap to your hosting server in the site root folder.
How do I upload a XML site map and show search engines how to access it?

Here are the directions and links to submit your XML sitemaps to Google, Bing, Yahoo and MSN:

Submit your sitemap to Google: You will need to create a Google Webmaster Tools account first. Don’t worry, its free and easy to do. (Webmaster Tools section):
http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=40318
Under Webmaster Tools go to:>home> add site, verify, click on site >current status >sitemaps > no sitemap > add button. Then add your sitemap.

Submit your sitemap to Yahoo: Use this link to add your sitemap to Google, Bing and Yahoo:
http://help.yahoo.com/l/us/yahoo/smallbusiness/store/promote/sitemap/sitemap-06.html

Submit your sitemap to Bing: You may need to create a Bing Webmaster Tools account first. Don’t worry, its free and easy to do just like Google Webmaster Tools.
http://www.bing.com/webmaster/help/how-to-submit-sitemaps-82a15bd4

Submit your sitemap to MSN.com: As of now, MSN.com doesn’t have a similar submission form. So to submit your sitemap, simply add the following line below to your robots.txt file:
Provide the complete URL for your sitemap on this line, and MSN’s crawler will pick it up: Sitemap: example http://www.yoursite.com/sitemap.xml

After you follow these steps, Google, Bing and Yahoo will crawl your website and index your content. This is a great start to your SEO, and you will begin to be found and crawled by search engines online.

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