Here’s a common scenario. I get the call to help develop a website for a client because they aren’t happy with the DIY one that they paid for. So I get access to their hosting and see them paying for services or information that is free! Yes, you read it correctly. They have been paying for something that was free. I understand that the average user doesn’t know that these are free. What really bothers me is how big hosting companies take advantage of that fact. So, I write this post for you, the about-to-be-smarter-than-the-average-bear user.
Free Search Engine Optimization
Some hosting companies charge a fee for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) which includes keyword suggestions, submission to popular search engines and tracking reports. My friends, these are all services you can do for free.
- Keyword Suggestions is FREE with Google AdWords Keyword Tool
This service from Google helps you find the best keywords for your page and also provides a report of the most searched phrases for you. Loading up your web pages with good, quality, relevant keywords will help boost your ranking in search engines.
- Submission to popular search engines is FREE if you have 5 minutes to do it yourself
Submitting your site to different search engines is completely free. Simply visit the links below and enter in your url or domain name for submission.
- Tracking Reports and Analytics is FREE with Google Analytics
Signing up for a Google Analytics account is free and doesn’t require you to have a Gmail email account. You can use your business email. There is a free WordPress plugin called Google Analytics for WordPress that you can use to help add that functionality easily.
- Oh and one other thing about search engine optimization. It does take time. If a company can guarantee you a #1 page ranking in a few weeks, you probably want to hide and lock your doors. Because of Google’s super top secret search algorithms, it is extremely difficult to guarantee that spot within a certain amount of time. It takes time. Google bases your page rank on many different factors such as content, links, lifetime on the internet, etc. You can find out more by using Google Webmaster Tools which is another free service.
Free Domain Names for Life (of your website)
This is another big thing that you shouldn’t have to pay for, at least I don’t. With the web hosting company that I am using, Hostmonster.com, I don’t ever have to pay for my domain name. It’s been free since I started. They offer free domain name registrations for the life of your hosting with them. So as long as your site is hosted with them, they will take care of your domain name registrations for free. You can also choose to transfer your domain name to another registrar if you want to in the future. They won’t hold your domain name prisoner like another hosting company has done in the past. You can read that story here.
There you have it. These are all FREE services that some hosting companies are charging for out there. It does take some investment of your time but I think it’s worth it to be able to invest those funds in other business needs like advertising. I hope this helps to make your internet adventure just a little bit more informed and profitable. Share this info with others so that they can also benefit!