Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

"A search engine is a program designed to help find information stored on a computer system such as the World Wide Web, or a personal computer. The search engine allows one to ask for content meeting specific criteria (typically those containing a given word or phrase) and retrieves a list of references that match those criteria. Search engines use regularly updated indexes to operate quickly and efficiently." -- Wikipedia

When a physical business is ready to open to the public, they often have an official Grand Opening. Similarly, once your website is ready for people to visit, it's a good idea to have your own official website launch. This means including your website location on business cards, brochures, outgoing voicemail messages and other forms of advertising, but it also includes one very important step: Submitting your website to various website search engines such as Google®, Yahoo!® and so on.

"Search engine optimization (SEO) is a set of methodologies aimed at improving the visibility of a website in search engine listings. The term also refers to an industry of consultants that carry out optimization projects on behalf of client sites." -- Wikipedia

Before your website is submitted to the search engines, however, it's a good idea to make sure that the website code has been optimized to help ensure a high ranking. Search engines use many different methods in order to determine how high or low to rank different websites, including both the visible content (the text, graphics and links that you see) as well as invisible content (the raw, hidden HTML source code, which you can see if you choose "View Source" from the menu above your browser). The most important invisible content are the META tags, which include things such as Keywords and Descriptions. Keywords are a list of words or short phrases which people enter into the search engine when looking for a particular type of website; the Description is just that: a brief, one- or two-sentence description of the website.

There are also a number of additional META tags which can enhance your ranking, as well as some additional coding tricks which may help move your website up the list. A higher ranking means more people see your website, which usually means more visitors, which (hopefully) means more business for you!

Years ago, in the "ancient" days of the Web (ie, the late-90's), there were a dozen or more well-known search engines and directories, including Alta Vista, HotBot, Lycos, WebCrawler and so on. Due to the ever-changing nature of the web, via a series of mergers and acquisitions, these days the search industry has effectively boiled down to three major players: Google, Bing and Yahoo!, which combined make up over 99% of all website searches.

In addition to doing an all-around search engine optimization of your website, Brainwrap will also perform a properly-formatted submission of your website to the Big Three. This is important, because every search engine has different criteria for accepting submissions. Some may require a contact name, for example; others may require a certain number of keywords, or, conversely, may cut off the number of keywords allowed.