U-C WEBS' founder Nardo KuitertBy Nardo Kuitert, U-C WEBS
[Published in Minding Our Business, July 2008 for the Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce]

If you want your website to be found on the web, start with Google. Google is a big fish in a big pond with a marketshare of about 75%. Is your site visible in Google? Do you have all of your pages indexed? A few things you can do to see how your site is doing in Google:

1. Check how many pages Google has indexed of your site: Type into Google’s search box: “site:yourURL” (without quotation marks), for example site:www.cwchamber.ca. This search returns 207 results, so Google knows about 207 pages of the Chamber’s website.

2. Type in your most important keyword phrase, such as “Centre Wellington Chamber” (again, without quotation marks). You will see that the Chamber’s new website is ranked third and fourth, just behind the old site (the site could rank higher with a little help). But how does YOUR website do, for YOUR most important keyword? Are you anywhere to be found in the top 10? Top 30? Top 100? Make sure you use regional keyword phrases if you are relying on local business, for instance “Fergus florist”.

3. Another good thing to check is your link popularity; how many sites link to yours? Here it is probably better to use Yahoo’s search engine, as Google does not show all links to your site. So, go to yahoo.ca and type in “linkdomain:yourURL” (you guessed it – without the quotation marks). Now you will get a list of all sites that link to you – and more is better. If you want to check this in Google too you will have to type in “link:yourURL” instead (yes, no… again ;o).

Using the abovementioned search tools you can find out what Google thinks of your site. Do you like what you see? If not, then you should maybe spend some time learning how to promote your website, or ask a website professional.

NOTE: why do I keep saying “without quotation marks”? Because in the search engines, quotation marks are search parameters: EXACT match. Searching for “site:yourURL” WITH quotation marks will return search results that have this phrase literally on their site. And unfortunately Google tells me:
Your search – “site:yourURL” – did not match any documents…

Nardo Kuitert is an Internet Consultant with Fergus Website Development and Optimization firm U-C WEBS (www.u-cwebs.com). U-C WEBS also offers Internet advertising opportunities on www.ferguspages.com. (link opens in a new window)

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