Web Design Beginning Web Page Design Advanced Web Site Design Web Site Management Professor Higgins Web Design Resources

CSC 112 - Lesson 7

The Final Touch

Now it the time to test your site and be sure everything looks and works the way you want it to in as many browsers and computers as you can. Check all the forms. Place an order for each of your products. Click on all the links. If anything doesn't work, fix it. Get everything write before you submit you site to the search engines.

Submitting your Site to Search Engines

Having perfect navigation and relevant content is not enough to make you site successful. You have to let the world know you are open for business. Last weekend, I saw a sign at the airport that said, "The man who advertises his business, has one." You need to advertise your web site in order to have the amount of visitors you need to make you endeavor successful.

Since most of us don't have the budget to advertise in the New York Times, we will need to generate the majority of our traffic through search engines, directories and other Internet related search programs. Although I do recommend buying keywords, significant free traffic can be generated through search engines if you know how.

I won't go into great detail here about search engines placement techniques because these have already been covered in lessons on the CSC 110 and CSC 111 sections on Site Promotion.

In this lesson, we will learn about tools that can help us optimize our web pages faster in with greater accuracy.

Tools for Optimizing

In this class, we have been using software that is installed on our server and this lesson will be no exception. As usual, this software may or may not be similar to software that is provided by your Internet host. There are many standalone programs that do similar functions too. You may choose to use one of these programs instead.

The search engine tools software for this class will give you the basis for understanding and configuring software that you may use in the future. This type of program compares your page with a top rated page of your choice and shows you how they did it.

Even with the software, this is a very time consuming process. The program just tells you what to do, but you still have to do the modify your pages yourself to optimize them against your competition. Spend the time optimizing your pages. You'll be glad you did.

Search Engine Tools

This software can be used to secure good search engine rankings. The way the software assists you in doing so is simple. It compares a well ranking page to your page (the one you wish to obtain a good ranking for).

By matching your page (the parts which matter to search engines) to the well ranking page ('compare to' page) as closely as possible, search engines will assign your page a similar ranking.

Note that this does not involve copying/stealing content from the 'compare to' page. All you are doing is giving search engines reasons to rank your page/site as well as the 'compare to' page.

Search Engine Tools can be found at:

Instructions for using the Search Engine Tools provided on our server are online for review.

Each copy of the software can be easily customized to blend in with your site. The following files can be modified :

- header.html (control the look of the actual pages, change background, use your own logo...)
- footer.html (control the bottom of each page, user your own navigation)

There are many other programs that help you optimize your pages for the search engines but one of the most well known is Web Position Gold. I have used their program in the past and have found it useful although I have had better luck following the rules in my Site Promotion lesson. The reporting features from Web Position are some of the best. For reporting, I find Web Position Gold very useful.

The folks from Web Position Gold also publish an excellent Newsletter called "Market Position." Even if you don't wish to subscribe, it is definitely worth viewing their current and back issues, which are available online. Even though some of the stuff in the back issues will be obsolete, much of it is still relevant. I recommend printing out all of the issues from at least the last twelve months and reading them. These people are really into search engines.

There are many tools for submitting your website to search engines and directories. Search the net and you will find many to choose from but there is one that I do use:

World Submitter

This site offers free submissions for up to five sites, which are saved so you don't have to type them in again for free. Even though the basic service is free, you are still required to sign up to receive your login and password. A more comprehensive submission program (up to 30 web pages) is available of a monthly fee.

World Submitter now submits URLs to over 1640 search engines including Yahoo!, Open Directory Project (DMOZ), Hot Bot, AltaVista and many other top worldwide search engines/directories as well as Country-specific search engines/directories. They also submit to an amazing 135000+ FFA (Free For All) link pages and 51000+ Classified Ads sites! All free and no catch ever!

World Submitter is so cool that I bought the premium membership and I think it is the best submission service on the net (and believe me, I have looked.)


*NOTE: Before submitting to any search engine or directory be sure to get a junk email address at hotmail.com or somewhere else. When you submit to search engines, directories, classified add sites or ffas, you generate a significant amount of junk email.

If you use your "real" email address for submitting, you will be sorry you did. GET A JUNK EMAIL ADDRESS!

How do I know where I am listed?

There is software available to help you track your listings on the web. Some are desktop and some are web applications. One place to start is at Market Leap. They have three useful "Search Engine Marketing Tools" that will help you track your listings:

  1. Link Popularity Analysis - Who is linking to you? http://www.marketleap.com/siteindex/default.htm
  2. Placement Verification - Verify placement in 30 engines.
  3. Search Engine Index Counts - Number of pages listed.

With a little imagination, you may find some interesting ways too use this information. If nothing else, you can get an idea of how you are doing and track your progress.

I friend of mine uses the first tool to help him select new link partners for his site. He types in his competitors url in addition to his own. He finds sites that are linking to his competitor that are not currently linking to his site. He then sends a personal email to the site owners asking for a link.

His return is currently about 8% using this method. In other words, for every hundred emails he sends, he gets eight links back to his site. Play around with these tools, maybe you'll think of some new an innovative way to use this information. My friend did.