Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Of Websites, web-spiders, bats and other creepy crawlies

I always think that Fall (or Spring) are good times to clean out the cobwebs, re-structure, re-think, pull out the map - make sure that we are going in the right direction and so on......  I joined the visa entrepreneurial group on Facebook and came across some really interesting information. One was an article by Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Mobile etc.  I'll talk a lot about this later but here is the link

If you have trouble with this link - you may have to "join" sorry.

He really is a very funny person and an amazing marketer. There was also an article posted about optimizing your website for search engines often referred to as SEO - Search Engine Optimization. A few years ago I paid $80.00 for a book on SEO only to find that the software that structures my site was not very SEO friendly - another upgrade & more money.  I did a lot with meta tags then and now it is time to do some more tidying up.

When I clean, I often have visions of opening up closets and having bats fly there is this virus killing bats....I have very mixed feelings - I don't actually like bats; but I know that they are important, not only for the environment, but also, because I live in fear, that if I don't clean out closets, attics & basements, I'll be overrun with them. Don't tell me about the virus, I may never clean again.

But, I will tidy up the website. Here are the tips to improve your ranking in the search engines from the article on SEO

1. The first tip was to look at the title bar - the coloured bar at the very top of your screen - Don't just look at it once - look at every single page and every single image and enlargement of image and so on - this is the fine toothed comb exercise - now don't get me talking about lice!!

These title bars should include as many of the key words and phrases that are important to having search engines, often called spiders or web-crawlers, find your site. Words like "hand knitting",  "lace shawl", "hand dyed yarn", "cashmere yarn" etc.

2. The next tip was on the importance of having a "text rich" site. (quite different from the tag "rich text") The suggestion was to have 250 words on each page !!!! - please, we are knitters - yes, some of us read too - some of us even read and knit at the same time - most of these knitters are also librarians and get paid for the reading part. How they do it, I don't know, because I have difficulty knitting and thinking at the same time. If you can't manage 250 words opt for 100 of the very best key words.

3. The third tip was to make sure that your site was in html format and you could check this out by moving your cursor over some text and if it highlighted, you were in html format. Some of mine did and some of it didn't - more e-mails to the webmaster.

4. You should also make sure that you are set up for meta tags and you can do that by clicking on the VIEW tab on the tool bar and going to SOURCE. You should see something that looks like: meta name= "keywords" content=. This one worked - one great big tick - sorry check mark - off the list. I am not going to discuss ticks.  Now, I know what they mean by things going "viral".

5. Finally there was "link popularity". I was crushed. I thought that when I finished high school, I didn't have to worry about this popularity thing anymore - but there it was and there I was with the few links that I considered important. Sorry these weren't important enough!  Not only do you need a lot of links; you need links of  high quality i.e. lots of hits.

So here is my proposal - I will link with your site, if you link with mine (sounds a lot like knitting) and we will improve our networks one link at a time.

Dinner to-night - something without legs. How about vegetarian. Here's a layered vegetable casserole that sounds delicious.  It looks like a great site, although there is some effort to convert the omnivores - after this post you may want to consider it!  Have a great day!

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