For technical writers
It seems that no matter how good our technical writing services are, these days we have to rank well in search engines for our clients to find us. I had a recent exchange with fellow Vancouver-based technical writer Stephen Arthur about the value of being searchable. While potential clients may be more inclined to look for technical writers on a site such as LinkedIn, monster.ca, or workopolis.com, and also in the Contractors Directory of the local chapter of the Society for Technical Communication, I think that it’s also imperative to ensure that clients can find our lovingly crafted websites through conventional search engines.
For technical writing clients
What I say here applies equally well to anyone who has a website and wants people to find your site on the internet. You must be searchable! And findable! So this article gives a few tips.
I tend to focus my efforts on Google, but there are many other search engines that people use. So here is a list to consider checking your site on:
For an unbelievable list of search engines, see the Search Engine Guide.
If your site is new, you’ll have to be patient, as it can take up to 3 weeks for the “robots,” “web bots,” or “crawlers” of the search engines to find your site and glean what’s on it. Google offers Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics to assist you. These free tools help you track what Google is finding on your site and get statistics about visitors to your site.
Try this simple trick:
In the Google search box, type site:yourwebsitename.com
This will show you whether Google has indexed your site yet. Indexing means it has found your site and made a list of keyword terms. Webmaster Tools will show you what terms it has found.
In the Google search box, type link:yourwebsitename.com
This will show you the links to your site that Google has found on other websites. This is the number one way to increase your website ranking in search engines. The more sites that link to your site, the more important Google thinks your site must be.
For a final tip, make sure you frequently use terms on your site that you think your clients will search for. The more times a term is used, the more relevant Google will think your site is and the higher it will rank your site if someone searches for those terms.