Search engine optimization is the process of increasing the amount of visitors to a website by achieving a high ranking in the search results of a search engine (i.e. Yahoo, Google, etc.). The higher a website ranks in a search, the better the chance that a website will be visited. Most Internet users will not click through multiple pages of search results, so a high ranking in a search is necessary to direct more traffic to your website.
While a top listing is not guaranteed, there are a number of small steps that you can take to improve your chances of gaining a top ranking. I recommend the following 5 basic steps to produce a more desirable search engine listing:
1. Content Writing/Keywords
I’ve found that content targeting seems to be the most successful strategy. Search engines are beginning to use algorithms that identify the main themes of entire websites instead of just single pages. In order to create a main theme for search engine optimization, you must identify a focused group of keywords that exist on and are relevant to the content on most pages of your website.
In practical terms, if you’re writing an article, service description or sales copy for your website, focus on creating informative and interesting content, but factor in keyword phrases that are more likely to give you a better ranking with the search engines.
Key word selection can be a rather complex process as there are many different factors that come into play when search engines decide the ranking of your webpage and how well your keywords rank. You may wish to spend some time educating yourself about this process. A good rule of thumb is to choose 2 to 3 word phrases from content that appears throughout your website that you expect to have the greatest appeal to the visitors you want to attract. I suggest that you consult with other colleagues as your create your list.
2. META Tags
Meta tags are special HTML tags that provide information about a webpage, such as who created the page, how often it is updated, what the page is about, and which keywords represent the page's content. Many search engines use this information when building their indices.
Meta tags should contain your basic content terms. I recommend that you do not use too many words (less than 25) and that you do not repeat keywords as this could cause the search engines to overlook your website. You can use Overture Term Suggestion Tool to find the highest rated keywords.
I also offer a simple free Online Tool to create your own meta tags. Once you’ve created your meta tags, you can use this Meta Tag Analyzer to see how search engine robots analyze your web site. This data will help you to determine if your web content or meta tags need any changes. Please keep in mind that search engines avoid sites with multiple unrelated meta tags.
3. URL Submission
Once your website is complete, its time to submit your site to the search engines. We strongly recommend using Promotion World’s free search engine submission tool. It’s a terrific service that allows you to submit 10 URLs at a time and to receive accurate and descriptive results on the submissions. As you review the results, it’s likely that you will find some failed submissions. For the failed submissions, Promotion World provides information on how to submit your site manually.
4. Site Ranking
Search engine optimization doesn’t end with submitting your website to search engines. You still need to determine the popularity of your site and make any necessary changes. In order to check how your site is ranked, go to Alexa.com. If your site ranking is between 1 and 100,000, it has a solid ranking. If you are ranked over 100,000 or you’re just not happy with your site ranking, a popular way to increase your ranking is to trade links to your site with other sites. This typically works because external links are the main criteria for Google’s ranking and Google is being used by such powerhouses as Yahoo, AOL, Infoseek, etc.
5. Website Promotion
Your search engine optimization endeavors should always be reinforced by other forms of promotion and marketing. One way to do this is to use a newsletter to deliver useful and informative content that will drive visitors to your website. Other methods of promotion include online advertising, print advertising, a special promotion, surveys, and word-of-mouth promotion through friends and family.
Website promotion is a crucial part of eBusiness. Success in sales is a numbers game and without serious web traffic you will not have the numbers you need to prosper.