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SEO

From Showit Desktop Manual

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization (abbreviated SEO) is a the marketing concept of driving your website to the top of search engine results for certain phrases entered into a search engine like Google, Yahoo, Bing, and others. At the most fundamental level, getting a website to show up in results is estimated at about 80% how you market and drive traffic and links to your site and 20% what content is actually on your site. There are some great resources below to help you improve SEO but you can also check out this video series for improving SEO with Showit.

For the purposes of Showit, we are most interested in the content on your site and making sure that the content in your site is indexed correctly by a search engine, so that once you do drive traffic to your site relevant results will appear in the search.

Showit and Search Engine HTML

With Showit, all the text content that you include in your site is automatically put into the HTML that search engines use to find out about your site. Showit creates an HTML file for every page which is why you will find many Showit websites in the number one spots for Google search results. Also, you can work on the organization of your indexed HTML using the SEO Tab for a page in Showit.

Tips for Showit SEO

The following are areas to work on to help the way search engines see your website. Note that the SEO content is only included for websites with a Pro subscription. Look for exact steps to edit these options on our SEO Tips

  • Website Title - The title of your website is very important as it describes what the website is and is included in the title of every page. This title should be concise with the keywords of who you are. You set this title in the Site Settings or by clicking and editing the title on the top of Showit.
  • Page Titles - The title of each page is VERY important for search results as it identifies a key part of what is on your site. By default the page name is the title of your page, but with the new SEO update in Showit, you can now have the title of the page be different from the page name by editing the Title on the SEO Tab. (Google shows only 65 charactors in title)
  • Page Descriptions - The description on each page is not necessarily used by search engines to increase your rank, but many times it is what is used to show as a block of text under a search result. Therefore, it is important that this text is clear and to the point and would be brief and descriptive enough that someone would want to click your link if it showed up in a search result. You edit this description as the default one on the Site Settings SEO and then you can edit each one per page on the SEO Tab.
  • Keywords - Most modern search engines including Google completely ignore keywords for search ranking because they are too easy to game, so lots of people choose to leave these completely blank. However, some people like to include keywords for certain systems that are indexing these for use internally for their own search purposes. Basically, don't waste too much time on these if you are just looking to increase your search rankings. You edit this description as the default one on the Site Settings SEO and then you can edit each one per page on the SEO Tab.
  • Text Content - The text content inside of Showit is put into the HTML and indexed by Google, so the better text information and descriptions that you include as part of your site, the more content you will have for search engines to index.
  • Images and Media - With the SEO Showit release, you now have the option to include more media content by using the Include in HTML option for a layer. You can use this to include an image or photo gallery or mp3 or video that you want indexed so it shows up in image or video search results. For photo galleries this will include all the images from the gallery which can then also be viewed on an iPhone.
  • Snapshots - After you complete a design of your site or as you update pages, it is recommended that you Publish Snapshots to represent your site as an image for preview by browsers without Flash and as a version that can be indexed by a search engine to preview your site.
  • Sitemap - It is good to submit your Sitemap to Google when you have made significant changes to the pages or content and this will be a request that will basically ask Google to crawl your site again and indicate all the pages on your site that you want crawled.
  • Drop Down Widget - By default drop down widgets will not be included in the HTML. To add them to the HTML select the widget and go to the bottom of the Advanced settings and check to "Include in HTML" and Publish > FULL to have the change published online (export HTML if self-hosting).

In addition, we also conducted an interview on our blog that covers a lot of SEO tips and tactics.

Working on Ranking

Once you have the key aspects of getting your site content together and published, the next step is to get search engines to index your site. There are two approaches to this, the first is to submit your website to search engines and the second is to get links to your site so that the search engines naturally find you. You can add your site to Google using this form, or you can use the Webmaster Tools to add your site and track how Google is searching and indexing your site. Google also recommends that you submit a Sitemap which tells Google all the pages that exist on your site that you want them to index. Most other search engines provide this and some services will provide ways to submit your site to all the popular search engines. However, some experts recommend that you don't submit your website to search engines as most search engines will find your site once there are links to your site. Instead of submitting your site, you should take steps to get your site listed in directories and linked to on forums so that your site naturally gets crawled and added to search results. In the long run, this will be more effective in getting your site to show up on the front page of search results.

Keep in mind that everyone is trying to get to the front page, so search engines use a very complicated system to determine which results appear at the top and it can take lots of time to affect these factors that are many times outside of your control. Search engines work hard to prevent tampering of search results so you shouldn't work toward doing tricks to get listed as these will often times lead to your site getting completely banned. There are many factors that even Google won't tell you (that's their "special sauce"), but what they will say is that a lot of it is based on Page Ranks and these page ranks are better for sites that have other sites linking to them. Sites with a good page rank linking to another site will increase the other sites page rank. All that's to say, as people like your work and link to your site, it will organically increase your page rank and improve the probability of you showing up at the top.

There are lots of ways to try to fool this system, but keep in mind many of these options could be effective in the short term but risk violating Google's terms of service and could have the consequence of your site being seen as a spam site and removed from search results altogether.

On the other hand, if you work to provide good content and do a good job with describing your site and other people choose to link to your site, the search engines will do their job and find your site and show it in search results. Showit puts the tools there so that you can build an indexed site that has the potential to be found through a search engine, but it is really up to you to build a brand that is recognized and thus will show up in search results.

There are many companies whose only goal is to help you increase your SEO and it's a big business, if you are looking for more info here is a great list of factors to increase your SEO.

Google has provided a Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide

For more information on this topic visit Google's Webmaster tools or SEO Book

If you run into issues with the McAfee Site Advisor please submit your site for retesting.