Top 10 Tips for Search Engine Optimization
One of the most cost
effective ways to attract new
visitors to your Web site
is to obtain high rankings
at search engines. Google
and the other major search
engines are the sites where most Web
users start their search for
information, products, and solutions
The challenge is how to optimize
a Web site so that search engines
will rank your site
so people will actually see —
and click on — a link to your
This challenge is made more difficult
because most people look at only
the first 2-3 pages of search engine
The process of search engine optimization (SEO) has been made to look like a complex — almost mystical — process.
The reality is that
a few simple techniques are
enough to achieve relatively
high search engine rankings.
Later, if you decide to hire
a search engine optimization
expert, they'll be able to
focus on the more complex and
difficult aspects of SEO.
Search Engine Relevancy
The goal of the search engines is to provide links to pages that are relevant to what the searcher is looking for.
Google accounts for over 60%
of all searches, so most Web marketers
optimize for that search engine. Other search engines use ranking techniques similar to Google's,
so focusing on your rankings at Google will result in other search engines ranking your site high, too.
Google's approach to providing
relevant results is to look at:
- Content - How closely the text on a page is related to the search phrase.
- Popularity - the number and quality of links to a page.
The first step is to plan your keywords. Determine the search words used by
customers and users.
Wordtracker keyword suggestion tool
tool to obtain additional keywords.
Search Engine Optimization Tips
With those concepts in mind,
here are some search engine
Page Content - Write informative text that helps visitors learn about
your product category and your specific products. Page length should
be at least 200 words.
Keyword Density - Use important keywords about 4% (i. e., 4 times
per 100 words).
TITLE Tag - Use the most valuable keywords in the title
Tag. Limit the TITLE tag to about 7-15 words to avoid diluting their weight.
Yahoo Directory Listing - Buy a listing at Yahoo's directory. This link will
generate significant traffic from this popular site, and it will raise your rating at Google.
Keyword Emphasis - Use traditional HTML tags to add emphasis to
keywords. The heading tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) should be used for subheadings
Use the bolding tag (B) to emphasize
text in paragraphs.
Both types of tags tell search engines what you feel
are important concepts.
Navigation Links - Use traditional HTML
links to navigate from the home page down to detailed content pages.
popup navigation links, be sure to also use traditional navigation links.
Internal Links - Include a link to your home page on all pages.
These links should be "plain" (e.g., www.company.com) without extra qualifiers. Include appropriate internal
links on all pages, which increases the number of links to each page and makes it easier for
search engines to find all pages in your site.
Site Map - Create a "site map" page that links to all sections. And, for smaller sites, the site map should link to every page
in the site.
ALT and TITLE Attribute on Links - When using graphic images for links (instead of text Links) use the ALT attribute
to provide a text description of the graphic link. Also, use the companion attribute called TITLE to provide popup "tooltip" text for the reader.
Inbound Links - Encourage other sites to link to your site's home page or to specific pages.
to site editors and bloggers suggesting why they should link to your site.
Competing with SEO
There are other factors that will
affect your search engine rankings.
First is your competition.
Other Web sites may decide
to target the same keywords
as you. If they do a better job then your
ranking could go down — even as you apply these techniques.
To know if this is happening be sure to monitor the keyword density and links on your competitors pages as well as their search engine rankings.
The other big influence on your rankings are the search engines themselves.
known for changing their formulas periodically, so be prepared for shifts up and down in the rankings for no apparent reason.
Fortunately, there are many bloggers and discussion forums that will talk about these shifts when they occur.
As you can tell, search engine optimization is a fluid environment. So how does a Web marketer cope with this?
The key to successful search engine optimization is to write excellent content that other sites will want to link to.
This will give you the best search engine rankings, which will generate higher traffic to your Web site much more economically
than any other Web marketing technique.
Cliff Allen is the co-author of the book One-to-One Web Marketing; 2nd Ed., published by John Wiley & Sons, and has consulted with companies on strategic marketing for 20 years.