In the near future there will be two types of business those that are on the Internet, and those who are going bust Tony Blair, Prime Minister
By 2005 there will be 26 million adults in the UK with regular Internet access Keynote Research
Currently there are in excess of 2.6 Billion Internet Sites on the World Wide Web Yahoo Research
In order to connect to the Internet you must have a web browser. Of course you wouldn't be here unless you had one or you may be using a friends computer or one at a library or resource centre.
The two most common web browsers are Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator. Some Internet Service Providers have a built in browser (Compuserve, for example)
You must also have a modem to convert the signal for transmission through the telephone line. The faster the better 56,000kbs is most common and relatively cheap
You should also have an e-mail program in order to send and receive electronic mail
Most new computers come with Microsoft Outlook Express and it is freely available from most computer magazines.
Microsoft Outlook, the full program, is available with Microsoft Office
Some Internet Service Providers have their own, built in, e mail system (for instance Compuserve) that works from the browser itself
The next step is to sign up with an Internet Service Provider (ISP) of which there are several different types
AOL and Compuserve type, which charge a set monthly fee for access and then you pay for call time at the local rate
Free Internet Service Providers such as Ukonline and Freeserve where you pay only for the local call time
Btinternet and Surftime where you can have freephone access for a monthly or annual fee
Many of the high street banks now offer free Internet Connection through their server and also provide information for business development
Whichever ISP you decide to sign up to they will usually give you 5 or 10 MB of free web space and the ability to set up e mail accounts
Should you register a Domain Name?
This is the address that people would type into the Address Bar when they want to access your site.
At one time there was a rush on short, memorable or significant Domain Names because companies wanted people to find them e.g. Lycos.com or Aol.com
Having a unique Domain Name may also make e mail more memorable e.g. sales@Lycos.com is more memorable than firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition many search engines used to list web sites alphabetically and therefore the domain name was important this is becoming less so because of the sophisticated way search engines now operate.
If you do decide to register a Domain Name, first check it is available and then register it through one of many web sites that provide this facility beware of their transfer conditions, web forwarding conditions and e mail forwarding restrictions.
Search Engines are those sites on the Internet that are designed specifically to categorise and list web sites in order of what they think is important usually by key word
If your web site is not registered, or recognised, by search engines it's a little like dropping a pin in a house in London and expecting someone to find it without giving them the address
In order to improve your ratings it is essential to understand how search engines work
There are basically 3 types of Search Engine
Deep Search Engines
These use a robot or spider which constantly roams the WWW searching for new, or updated pages.
The Robot can only follow links and finds pages in 2 ways
The robot stores every word on every page it visits
Register with them by filling in your URL on the submission form
May take up to 3 months to be registered
Standard Search Engines
These hold information in their database that is input by you, the web site owner
May be more useful than the deep search engines for finding relevant information on general, or popular topics.
You can subscribe to a submission service and pay for this to be done automatically, or you can spend time doing it yourself
These operate like a Standard Search Engine in that they brings up sites grouped in categories, almost like a hard disk
Most important to ensure your web site is placed in the most relevant category
There are thousands of these throughout the Internet
You can subscribe to a submission service and pay for this to be done automatically, or you can spend time doing it yourself, but you can buy software to automate the process.
Only a small % of Internet traffic goes through these listings but if you register with enough, the cumulative traffic can be high.
The King of all the Search Engines, started off as a Categorised Listing and added a Search Engine as it became more popular
Has a partnership with Google and Hotbot, if Yahoo! Cannot find the request, it will default to one of the others Therefore some Web Sites seem to have a Yahoo! Listing, whereas, in fact, it is simply Google or Hotbot
70% of all traffic on the Internet goes through Yahoo!
Yahoo! Is the most difficult to become listed on, because they send human reviewers to categorise your Web Site
If you're going to have your site designed professionally, shop around. Web site prices vary enormously from £80 to £1500 for the same thing!
Ask to be referred to other sites the company has designed and study them carefully
There are 3 areas of site design to be addressed
You can design your own site with Microsoft FrontPage, Microsoft Word, Softpress Freeway, Adobe PageMill and many other packages, find one that you feel you can get along with
KISS Keep It Simple Stupid
Remember - most people will wait no longer than 40 seconds; if your page is not loaded they will click the Back Button
Keep all pages looking corporate, so they don't think they've been diverted elsewhere
If you are designing your site with Frames use a non-frame front page as a Portal to take control of what the Search Engine Robot reads - for an example of why this is continue to the section below on Marketing a Web Site.
Check all of the links work on both major browsers, before you Upload it to the Internet.
Most software packages come with software that load to the Internet (FTP) File Transfer Protocol Software. If they do not you can search for a suitable program and Download it from the Internet.
Remember, regardless of the visual impact, if you've little or nothing to say no one will read it Content is KING!!
Most people who come on to your Web Site will do so through a Search Engine
Only 1% of people who visit a Web Site arrive at it because of off-Line advertising and promotion
Word of Mouth will actually bring more people to your Web Site than any amount of advertising
Exchanging Links with other complementary sites can increase traffic and also puts you higher in a Search Engines ratings if you have a lot of links in and out of your site you must be important
The key is to get listed on the Search Engines!!!
The 3 areas most Web Site Designers forget about, or are not even aware of are:
For many people keywords and meta tags are a mystery and will always remain so because they are either unaware of how to access them or frightened that they will not understand them As with anything to with computers it's very logical.
Try this now point your mouse arrow to the browser bar and click on view, now move down to where it says source code and click that. Lo and Behold, a new window has opened showing you the meta tags on this page.
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">
<TITLE>Profiting from the Internet</TITLE><META NAME="GENERATOR" CONTENT="Freeway 3.0"><META NAME="KEYWORDS" CONTENT="starting internet business,internet start up,making money internet, search engine success,search engines"><META NAME="DESCRIPTION" CONTENT="making money on the internet, starting an internet business, internet start up, virtual business e-commerce"><META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="index, follow"><META NAME="REVISIT-AFTER" CONTENT="30 days"><META NAME="ABSTRACT" CONTENT="basics on starting on the internet from finding an ISP to Search Engine Placement"><STYLE TYPE="text/css">
How do we know this? Because we put them there when we were developing the site and each of them serves a purpose as far as the search engines are concerned. Please note that the <BODY> content is negligible, this is because you are looking at the frame, rather than an individual page - if you were to do this same exercise on the opening page (where you have to click to enter) you would note that the <BODY> content is all of the words and the picture on the page in HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) format.
After you have designed your page, or paid to have it designed for you list all your keywords on a word processing page then prioritise them. Which do you think will be the order that people will type in keywords to search for your service or product? Remember, try to think like your customers not like you so, for instance, if you produce massage oil it is possible that they will type in sports injury (or injuries) What does your product do, or solve, not just what is it.
The next step is to pluralise your key words, as in the example above if someone typed in sports injury and your keyword was injuries they would miss you. If you make orange oranges then searching on either word will find you.
Consider putting in mis-spelt keywords if those words are commonly mis-spelt or mistyped for instance servcie. This is to ensure that people who mis spell or mis type can also find you. However, a word of warning, the market leader in a particular product range is very low in the ratings on most search engines because their designer mis-spelt a keyword in the design of the web site. If you're not sure whether or not this is true search for 'veleting'
Also include a ridiculous code word such as agriptanch why? Because when you need to find out if your site is registered with a search engine you simply search on agriptanch and if your site is registered up it comes. If not you may have to re-register it.
Target vs. Blanket
This is deciding whether or not to use a series of keywords that will cover everything anyone could possibly type in when looking for your product or service, or taking the gamble and knowing what he or she will type in and just put that as a keyword or phrase.
So, for example, this site has blanket keywords because we have such a wide range of subjects people may type in to search for us. Whereas if we dealt with a specific subject such as Sea Fishing then we may use just that phrase knowing that the majority of people who were searching for us would type that in as their query.
Have empathy with the customer think like they think
Now you must apply the key words to the areas of your Web Site that the Search Engines are interested in. Selecting add HTML in most web design programs can do this.
Study Search Engines
Before you venture forth onto the Internet, it is worth looking at how some of the search engines differ in the way they work. For instance Google and Excite search almost exclusively on the Title of your site and by putting Business Planning as a title you will come very close to the top - if the searcher types in 'business planning' or 'planning a business' - but if they type 'starting a business' you will drop down the list fairly rapidly.
If, on the other hand, they are searching AltaVista or Mirago these search engines work almost exclusively on Keywords and so the title of the site is almost irrelevant. For example you may have called your site XYZ Limited, but your keywords may be Business planning -if the searcher types in 'business planning' or 'planning a business' you should see your site near the top of the search list - but if they type 'starting a business' you will drop down the list fairly rapidly.
How can you take advantage of knowing how search engines work - well imagine you build a web site and give it a TITLE of business planning (remember this page should have the file name index.html or the search engines will not know which is the first page of your site) - that takes care of Google and Excite (if the query is 'business planning') then you list your META KEYWORDS as business planning - that takes care of AltaVista and Mirago. Now design a few 'Portal pages' titled 'Starting a Business', 'Business Start Up', etc. with the same phrase as the tile for the keywords and give them file names such as index1.html, index2.html, etc. Then simply place a 'redirect' script such as this example below in the html coding - before the head of the page.
if (top == self) self.location.href = "index.html";
You can cut and paste this script if you like. What happens now is that the search engine has a choice of Titles and keywords to choose from and any query may bring you to the top of the list if it exactly the same as your title (in Google or excite) or your keywords (in AltaVista or Mirago) - when the searcher clicks on the page that they have found they will be taken to your index.html - because you re-directed them there.
In this way you can submit several portal pages to cover all phrases the searcher may type in the search engine and improve your ratings immensely.
In addition it is imperative to know how each different search engine uses, or doesn't use, the META tags you create. here's a brief outline of some of the major engines
Excite does not read Meta tags, but they do look at the words in the Title of your document, so be sure your page uses the most relevant keywords that describe your site.
Alta Vista is one of the more difficult engines to get listed in the top with. While they do read Meta Tags, you will want to remember that Alta Vista uses a case sensitive algorithm. Meaning, that typing in Promotion will give you a different result from PROMOTION or promotion.
HotBot utilises Meta tags within your HTML code to their fullest extent. HotBot will score the words higher in their relevancy rating, so use unique spellings or characteristics when describing your site. HotBot also looks at descriptive words in your title and Meta description tags, so use them carefully. As with other search engines be sure that the words you use in your Meta keyword tags are words that someone would type in to find your web site.
Infoseek does utilise virtually all types of Meta tags, and getting your site indexed in Infoseek is easy. The results of your submission can usually be seen instantly, giving you a good idea of where your site will be listed. As with all of the search engines, be sure that the words you use in your Meta Tags are what someone would type in to find your web site.
Lycos places more weight in the <TITLE> and the <DESCRIPTION> of your document, but does look at your Meta Tags. Definitely use Meta keywords, but make sure you repeat those words again at the start of your document.
Google uses the <TITLE> and the main text of your document. Try to be as specific as possible at the top of your pages so searchers can see what you have to offer. Google is by far the easiest engine to get listed on.
Webcrawler adds new submissions to their database every 2 to 3 weeks. If your site is not showing up in the first 200 it may be because your page has not yet been added to their database. Webcrawler does not take advantage of Meta tag, utilise keywords that someone would type in to find your site.
Open Text does not utilise Meta Tags, but rather looks at the first 100 words of your site to determine relevancy.
The <TITLE> is the most powerful aspect of your Web Site, as far as the Meta Robots are concerned This does not mean the first major heading on the page itself but the caption that appears on the title bar of the browser.
Choose your <TITLE> carefully because this is what appears on the search results. A long string of keywords at the top of a list may not attract as much traffic as a clear descriptive title half way down.
Remember, each page in your Web Site can have a title keep each one short with a different keyword in each.
The <BODY> is the text content of the page and is the second area that Deep Search Engines look at
They are looking for the density of keywords in the page as a percentage of words on the page e.g. if your site was listing London Hotels and all it said on that page was London Hotels it would calculate a 100% density for someone who was searching for London Hotels. If it said A Review of London Hotels the percentage drops to 40%
Don't use text on your page which is the same colour as the background it's a myth and most Search Engines will exclude your Web Site from their database.
Don't repeat the same keywords over and over on a page looking to get higher ratings. Any more than 7 repetitions will cause your Site to be penalised, any less than 3 is losing the advantage your <BODY> keywords would have had
<META> Tags are the <DESCRIPTION> and <KEYWORDS> part of your Web Site
Only a small number of Search Engines recognise <META>Tags but these are some of the most important ones
<META>Tags are nowhere near as important as the Page Title and Keyword Percentage of the Page Content, however if you use all three it will increase success.
You are allowed approximately 200 <META> KEYWORDS per page! the format for keywords is word, comma, space e.g.
cleaning, upholstery, upholstery cleaning, etc
Restrict the <META> DESCRIPTION to 150 characters, including spaces, it does not require keywords, but make it appealing to a human being
This can give you a slight edge, by controlling your Domain Name, for example if your Domain Name (URL) is
and your business is predominantly to do with Hotels, consider putting your Web Site in a separate file on the Internet, e.g.
There are 3 advantages to this
Armed with this information we wish you well in designing and developing your own Internet Web Site - however we do hope that, at the least, this information has helped you by saving someone from being 'ripped off' by unscrupulous so called Web designers.
In order to help you we have included a free service to register you with the top ten Search Engines by entering your details you can have you site submitted to the main Search Engines automatically, it only takes 30 seconds - and it's FREE, simply click 'Resources' above and go to 'Web developers resources'. Alternatively you can visit each of the Search Engines listed below and submit manually.
Alternatively click on the folowing link to go to an associated site http://www.site-pro.co.uk for information on web site optimisation and submission services
Northern Light: http://www.northernlight.com
Direct Hit: http://www.directhit.com
Search UK: http://www.searchuk.com
UK Max: http://www.ukmax.co.uk
UK Plus: http://www.ukplus.co.uk