Search Engine Optimization for Dummies

Lets face it. Search Engines rule the World Wide Web today. Anytime you want to look up some information or a product you want to buy, you put the relevant keyword in the search field of a major SE like Google. And Violá! The efficient little engine throws up pages and pages of website URLs which carry your keyword.

SEO has become the most popular and the most effective strategy for increasing website traffic today. It gives you more exposure, pulls in more qualified visitors and helps you substantially increase your income. So, if you are a home based business owner with a serious web presence you would know the importance of attracting quality traffic to your website. Among all the strategies and tactics you can employ to attract focused web traffic to your site, optimising your website to get in top SE rankings is the most important. However to keep your rankings that way you have to be on top of what is happening in the SE industry. To understand how search engines work, spend some time at: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/0,4621,316408,00.html

Here are some great ways to optimize your site to get to the top of the SE rankings and stay that way:

  • Reciprocal links: Fish out relevant (but non-competing) websites that complement your services and products and ask them to link to your site. It's a big hit with search engines to see a large number of sites linked to yours. However more important than quantity is the quality of the linked sites. Search engines look at how relevant the links are, that is, how much the content of the linking site has in common with the content on your site. The more relevant, the better. SE s also gauge the importance of these sites; their online presence and the number of hits they get. In a nutshell SE s believe that company matters!

  • Keyword is the king:however much the SE industry changes its rules, algorithms, indexing methods?. the right keyword is still the most important reason they will pick up your site to put on their top result pages. So keyword inclusion and placement is very important. The best places to place your chosen keywords are:

    • Domain name: Putting your keyword in your domain name is both most obvious and the most important. But take care to put it in the root of the URL, not in the stem?that could SE s angry and do you more harm than good.
    • Title tags: in the title tags of your source code
    • Meta description: In the Meta description of your site.
    • Meta keyword tags

  • CONTENT CONTENT CONTENT: Create content rich information pages to get traffic coming your way. A word of caution?unless these pages contain information of some value to the potential visitors SE s may not pick them up. Search engines hate "pointer pages" that have no content and exist only to add to the number of links pointing to a site.

  • Online Directories: Almost all major portals have industry specific directories. Submit your website's URL to directories like Yahoo and About.com as well as smaller directories. This will increase your chances of getting a boost in your SE rankings.

  • Go Forth and Multiply: Create your own community of sites that point to each other. A good idea would be to have different sites if you sell different types of products and services. You can also concentrate on using specific keyword phrases on each site. The more content rich sites that point to your site the better. So that's another great way to boost your search engine ranking.

    Now lets look at some of the most common mistakes that can prove to be the undoing of your website.

    - The number 1 mistake is not putting enough CONTENT. Your website must have keyword ?rich content that adds value to the visitors' info search. Without meaningful content your visitors can click out just as easily only to never come back again.

    - Using frames is a technique that makes the Webmaster's life easy but can easily prove to be a major put off for SE s. SE s may find it difficult to move around in frames and will fail to include all of the pages in their list. These missed out pages will never show up to the people who are looking for them and defeat the whole purpose of your exercise.

    - Enclosing text in graphics is another technique used by web designers to give the website an even, uniform look for every visitor. Unfortunately, SE s cannot differentiate between a photo in a graphic and text in a graphic. Hence they will overlook it. There you go again! Beat this problem by putting the real information in plain text that search engines can recognize.

    Being visible the Internet is the first step to being found on the Internet.

    So take advantage of these proven success tips and avoid the traps that will make your rankings fall down in the SE abyss. What you'll be left with is a great website ranking bringing in focused qualified visitors to help you boost your sales.

    For more information check out these websites:

    http://www.powerhomebiz.com/vol127/optimization.htm
    http://www.dummies.com/WileyCDA/DummiesTitle/productCd-0764567586.html

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