One of the most important things for a website owner to consider is search engine optimization (SEO). Having an optimized website, he says, allows business owners to garner valuable search engine traffic.

The good news is that Google has a set of free tools within their Webmaster Tools to help you optimize your website to attract more visitors. These free tools also help you find broken links within your page and learn which websites link back to yours and what keywords are driving traffic to your website.

In order to use these tools, you will need a Google account. If you don't have one, you can create one with any email address account. Once you have created your account, go to https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/ and log in.

On the Webmaster Tools main page, you will see a button in the middle of the page to add a website. Click on this button and enter the domain name of your website. This will bring you to a verification page where you will have to verify that you are the owner of that site.

You can verify your website in one of four ways:

1. Link to an existing Google Analytics account
2. Add a meta tag to your homepage's HTML
3. Add a DNS record to your website's domain configuration
4. Upload a special file to your website

It can take up to 24 hours for Google to collect data about your website. During this time, your Webmaster Tools control panel will be blank. After that, your website data will appear and you can begin to use the powerful tools that Google provides.

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We can all breathe a sigh of relief.

In a recent video for the company’s Webmaster Help channel, Google’s principal engineer, Matt Cutts, said that the concept of search engine optimization (SEO) as spam is wrong.

Cutts, who was responding to a user question, said that white hat SEO tactics are an ideal way to ensure a search engine like Google can locate, index and highlight quality content designed to suit users. He went on to say that carefully planned and highly editorial content marketing can help businesses gain search visibility.

In the video, he points out that some people use black hat SEO to try and trick the system. However, these corrupt tactics, which include keyword stuffing and hacking, will result in poor search rankings.

To bring the most SEO benefits to a website, Cutts advises marketers to consider every element of their websites. He says that URLs should be clear and easily read by search engine spiders and websites should load quickly and exist without any broken links or missing elements. Ultimately, content, according to Cutts, is the most important part of any website and he reminds website owners that articles should be written for both the visitor and the search engine.

“There’s plenty, an enormous amount, of white hat, great quality stuff that you can do as a search engine optimizer,” Cutts said. “You can do things like making sure your pages are crawlable and accessible so that people can find them just by clicking on links.”

Keyword strategy can also falter, he notes, if not properly implemented. According to Cutts, prospects are unlikely to use industry jargon in their searches, so strategies should be developed around more common speech than highly technical language.

Copyright 2011 dzine it, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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