Obviously, placement of your listing in the search engines is critical to being found by your customers and top 10 placement will make a significant difference in the traffic to your Web page. At a minimum, you need to be placed in the top 30. A listing further down is not of much use as most users will only view results from the top 10 to 20 positions.
How do you get a top-10 listing?
Quite simply, you’ve got to really, really want to get there. By that I mean you have to be willing to spend the money, and take the time to learn the secrets of getting there. Simply putting a page on the web won’t get you there. Making a one-time submission to the search engines won’t get you there. It takes time, effort, and knowledge – there is no other way!
You have to know the many techniques that will move your web page to a top 10 position. We have spent countless hours studying the search engines and spend countless more hours keeping up with their changes. We have tested our submissions and have a proven track record of achieving that coveted top 10 position for many of our clients.
Basically, you’ve got to discover what the search engines want, create a page that gives them what they want, make the submissions, monitor your placement over a period of time and modify and resubmit your pages to make sure you stay on top.
The best way to optimize your web pages for search engines is relatively simple and follows many of the basic SEO principles. When it comes to search engine optimization, there are two main factors that determine you websites ranking.
- “On page” factors that you can easily control in your favor.
- Make each page unique and its meta data different for each page.
- Make your pages meaningful for the visitor and that they contain good relevant content.
- Create search engine listings that communicate to the searcher what the page is about.
- “Off page” factors such as backlinks and how other sites link or “point” to your website.
Being able to formulate effective relevant meta-tags and on page elements is important to pulling a good ranking. Always keep in mind the following as you optimize your web pages:
Competition for that coveted top-10 position is fierce and there are others out there doing what they can to get a better position than you and in some cases to bump those who have better positions.
Learn What the Search Engines Want
Since each search engine catalogs the web differently, it is necessary to understand the individual search engines and how they “look” at your page. Check Search Engine Watch for details and the latest information on the various search engines.
In general, your copy should be high in keyword rich text, and there should be at least 5 pages that are not dynamically delivered content that the engines can’t read. Blogs are great and search engines seem to love them. Flash and over usage of graphics also pose a problem for the search engine spiders as well as sites in frames that can often not be read.
When you submit your website to a search engine to be indexed in its database, it sends a “robot” to scan your page. Using complex algorithms to rank your page for keyword relevance, the “robot” determines whether you’ll be ranked number 1 or 1,000,000 when potential visitors conduct a search looking for sites like yours. These robots generally look at four key elements in your web page: URL, <TITLE>, <BODY>, and <META> tags. The keywords you use in these tags are the pieces that most search engines use to index your page and are the words that people looking for your page will use to find it.
The <TITLE> tag is the single most important phrase you will write for your website. It is weighted heavily by all the search engines and is usually the hyper linked sentence that leads to the site from the search engine results pages. The title is vital to identifying the web page and should be created to describe the individual page in a meaningful way enticing users to click on it. It is crucial to include your company’s top key terms within the title tag. The title should be a maximum of 10 words total or a maximum of 50-70 characters. Make your titles clear and specific to what the page is about. Do not stuff keywords in your title just to put something there. Ask yourself a question on each page, “what is this page communicating to the searcher?” Format the title to answer that question.
Make your meta tags descriptive and relevant and your site will generally rank higher in search engine listings. Many search engines use your site’s meta tag keywords, to determine if your site should be included in someone’s search results. If your keywords closely match the words entered in a search, your site will generally be ranked in the results.
NOTE: The importance of meta tags has diminished in recent months as current algorithmic studies have shown that the meta tag is no longer such an important part of your optimizations. However, since most engines do display them in the results which can help with getting people to click onto your site, keeping the meta tags strong, relevant and descriptive of your content is too important to ignore.
The <DESCRIPTION> tag is one of the most important sentences you will write for your web page. It is the best place to formulate a more detailed explanation of the page that is being optimized. Think of this sentence as your “hook” and in most cases is what is used as content in the search engine listings – so write a sentence that makes the reader want more – to go visit your website. Keep in mind the following when crafting your description. The description tag should be between 15-20 words and should emphasize the keywords used in the title tag. Keep the description concise and specific to the contents of the page. DO NOT use the same description for every page. Make each one unique.
The <KEYWORDS> tag serves as the location for your key terms and phrases on topics that are covered in the document. This META tag seems to be decreasing in importance and some search engines no longer use them in their ranking algorithms. I do suggest you still use them and more importantly focus on using good keywords in other areas of your web site. The best advice for use when utilizing the keywords meta tag is to highlight QUALITY keywords in your list. Keep in mind the following when creating the keywords tag. Use quality keywords that are specific to the page. Formulate the keywords tag as if someone would be searching for information contained within. Include misspellings and other ways keywords could be used in the keywords tag. DO NOT use the same keywords tag for every page of your website. Begin your keywords tag with the primary keywords you are wishing to target.
I can’t emphasize enough: choose your keywords wisely!!
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It cannot be emphasized enough that TARGETED keywords are critical and your keywords must be relevant to your content and should attract the kind of traffic you can actually convert into customers. Select three to six key words or key phrases that your customers would use in searching for you. Find out some popular synonyms for each keyword.
Every page on your website should be focused around a theme. If you don’t know the theme or keywords a particular page of your website is targeting, visit one of the many keyword density analyzers that are freely available.
Your body text MUST include the keywords and phrases that tell about your business, its products and services.
|Keyword Density Analyzer Tool is a FREE tool from Article Underground that will show you what words appear on your web pages and how many times they occur. It will even check your meta tags and warn you if it finds errors!|
Keyword density is an important variable that many search engines use when determining how relevant a page is when returning search results.
Keyword density refers to the number of times a keyword appears on a web page relative to the other words on the page. If your keyword/phrase is “Internet Marketing” and appears along with 9 other words, your keyword density would be 10%, if it appears with 99 other words, it would be considered 1%. If it appears on the page all by itself it would be considered 100%.
It would appear that if keyword density is kept somewhere around 2 – 5%, that element of your web pages should generate decent results.
Other elements that can control how your web site is ranked in the search engines include:
- How early on a page is the keyword? Keep you target KEYWORDS at the TOP of the page. Be sure and make each page headline <H1> tag a keyword(s) and have additional lines of text, repeating the keyword(s), immediately following your headline.
- How many times does the keyword appear on the page?
- How close do the keywords appear together on the page.
- BOLD keywords that are important and unique to the page.
- Where are the keywords located? In the title, in the META tags, in headers <H2, H3, etc.>, within links, in “ALT” tags, or in comments tags?
- Hyperlinked TEXT can also help your page optimization. Be sure to include keywords in meaningful links to other pages on the site. DO NOT use the keywords in more than 50% of the links however, because this could be identified as spamming.
- Select domain names and file names that contain your main keywords. Big points can be scored when the url or domain name has the primary target keyword contained within. When building individual pages within your site -name the pages with the main keyword of that page.
- Site maps can be highly effective when created properly. They are a keyword rich static page that lists all the pages and topics on your site, with links for your visitors and the engines to follow through out your site. If you link to your Site Map directly from your homepage then you can be sure that the search engine Spiders will be able to easily reach and index all your pages.
Some Things to Avoid
- Some people will try anything to get a top-ten listing including “spamming” the index by stuffing keywords to trick and fool them into putting their page on top. Most search engines discourage this practice and in some cases will ban the submission from their index or otherwise penalize you.
- Hidden text is a spamming technique that is easily detectable. People change the font color to the same as the background, and then fill the pages with enormous amounts of key term text that some believe is appealing to the search engine spiders. This will result in you being banned from the engines.
- DO not use the same page title on every page in your web site. Each title should be focused on the actual content of that particular page.
- Affiliate links can also present a problem for robots, in that they might not be able to follow them and penalize the page for such use.
Off Page Factors
This is a very important factor in how well your site ranks in many search engines. The more people linking to you, the better placement you will have in the search engines. When the search engines assess your site for ranking they often take your popularity into consideration. The more links you have on other sites the higher your ranking, which means more visitors to your site.
In-bound links are one of the most important factors for getting good rankings in the search engine these days. The very best way to increase the number of similar themed websites linking back to your site is thru the use of articles. You should have topical articles written with the resource box of the article pointing back to your website – written and distributed at a minimum of once per week. Whether you write it yourself or have it written, it is the one single tactic that will do more for increasing search engine rankings and targeted traffic than any other single tactic.
Another excellent way to get more inbound links to your site is to post articles on a blog dedicated to your web site. By posting regularly to your blog you will send the search engine spiders crawling all over your blog as well as your main site. Fresh content is exactly what the search engines are looking for – give them what they want.
The Internet works on links and trading links with other sites is important. Every time you exchange links with another site you increase your link popularity.
Most people get around the web by following links they find while surfing. Web surfers visiting other sites you’ve exhanged links with are oftentimes looking for just what you have to offer and may click to your site when they see your reciprocal link. This process of navigation means the more links you have the better.
Research other sites that are similar to yours and begin developing links to your site at other pages. Don’t be afraid to link to other sites, even your competition. You will find that having good links on your page add value and increase business.
For some search engines, links to your home page are good enough. At least some of your links, though, should be targeted at your internal pages. For example, if your site sells tools for gardeners, get some links set up to your “how to” and FAQ pages too. This will help you get more of your site’s content into the search engine, and increase referrals significantly.
Yes, this can be a very tedious process but posting your page to all the directories, search engines and free for all pages is probably the best start to traffic after you get your site in order. Dedicate 10 minutes a day to locating and contacting other webmasters to swap links and adding your site to directories. Link building is a slow ongoing process that pays off over time.
It’s also important to focus on your own internal links. While not as powerful as in-bound links from other sites, they are counted by the search engines and have some effect on your ranking.
A common mistake is to have every navigational link to the home page use the anchor text “Home” or “Homepage” or something like that. Search engines use the anchor text of internal pages to rank your site, too, so using “Home” won’t help you rank for anything but the term “Home”!
It is better to use keyword rich anchor text in your navigation.
Are You Ready to Submit Your Site to the Search Engines?
More ways to bring traffic to your site
- Social Networking
- Blogs and RSS Feeds
- Banner Advertising
- Email Marketing
- Traffic Exchange
- Free Classified Advertising
Let’s Continue the Promotion Strategy…
Promote, Promote & when you are done, do a little more promoting! Master one method of promotion and then add another, and another, and another. Keep promoting, promoting, promoting.
Implement a Killer Site
Internet marketing really is not rocket science. You just have to get a few things right and then repeat, repeat, repeat. Success will not happen overnight but will take time to build momentum. If you keep promoting, in time momentum will build and you will get an ever increasing number of visitors to your website. If you stop promoting, traffic will likely also slow down.