Most new visitors to your site will access it through a search engine, so it's important to maximize your placing. Although most of your site activity will come from your membership, you still want to appear as high as possible in the leading search engines.
Search Engine Optimization
Changes have been made over the years, so that previous deliberately unfair techniques e.g.adding invisible keywords, to get your site high on the Search Engine rankings are now ignored or worse, will get a site black listed so it won't appear at all. This has all helped to get more relevant sites being listed for the search criteria. There are however certain legitimate techniques that can be used to help your site get ranked higher.
Keywords in the text
Keywords are the words people search on that you would want to list your web site e.g.church cambridge. A factor in appearing high in the search rankings of major engines is the prominence, proximity, frequency, themes and formatting of keywords in your text.
The prominence is where on the page the keywords will appear. If for example you have the words church and cambridge appearing high on your homepage, then this is better than these words appearing only on a page deep within your web site. Therefore add keywords e.g.your church name, location, the word 'church' etc within the introduction article, high up on the frontpage of your site.
Proximity of keywords is how close they appear together on the page, as this is seen as a guide to if all keywords are relevant. For instance if the two keywords searched were church cambridge then in the following example the second line has higher proximity:
Welcome to the web site of City Community Church. We are located in the city of Cambridge, UK.
Welcome to the web site of City Community Church, Cambridge, UK.
The frequency or density of keywords is the measure of how often the keywords appear within the page text. Search engines want to see more than one repetition of a keyword in your text to make sure it's not an isolated case. The recommended repetition is 3-7 times per 100 words. Search engines also look for a consistency of keywords throughout your site, called themes. You will need to include the keywords not just on the homepage but as widely as possible.
Some search engines give greater prominence to keywords that appear when the text is formatted in a certain way that would emphasise their importance e.g. Headings or bold text are given higher importance by Google. It is therefore useful to use the formating features of the document editor not only to make your pages more scannable but also to help the chance of them appearing higher on search engines.
Meta tags are hidden in a document's source, invisible to the reader. Some search engines, however, are able to incorporate the content of meta tags into their algorithms. No engines penalise sites that use meta tags properly. The description content and keywords of your meta tags can be changed through the Site Settings.
The meta description tag describes your site's content, giving search engines' spiders an accurate summary filled with multiple keywords. The meta description tag is the only tag supported by some engines and is the description text that appears by your site link in the Search Engine. The meta description should:
- include multiple keywords organized in a logical sentence
- be short, around 150 characters
- avoid repeating keywords more than 3-7 times in your meta description as some search engines consider it spam
A meta keyword tag lists all the keywords for which you would like search engines to rank your site. Although not all search engines support this tag, we include it for the ones that do, and no engines penalise sites that use meta tags properly. You can enter your keywords separated by commas in the Site Settings.
Submission to Search Engines
Search engines will eventually find your site but you can speed up its inclusion and have it added to directories through submission.
Search Engines vs Directories
Search engines use spiders or crawlers to index web sites, while directories use people. Directories tend to have smaller but cleaner indexes. Google is the major search engine to submit to, not only because it is the most popular but also because its database is used by other search engines. Google is also free to submit to whereas many other search engines charge.
The directory accessed via Google is the Open Directory Project and is also free to submit to whereas other directories e.g. Yahoo, charge a fee to be accepted. Submit your site to the most appropriate categories and follow the Directories guidelines to help your submission be accepted.
We suggest you need only submit to the following sites as they are free and the most popular.
It may take up to 2 months for your web site to be indexed by a search engine so don't expect it to appear immediately.