Search Engine Optimization - Enhancing Web Site Visibility

I've had several prospects and clients say to me "I want my web site to come up on top in search engines." And some have been contacted by an SEO company asking for lots of money and claiming that they can guarantee top search engine results, which in many cases is just false promises. There is no quick and easy way to make a web site display in the top 10 on search engines. Getting a web site to come up high in search engines "naturally" can take time and effort. When I say naturally, I mean without paying to be a sponsored link. The content of the web site has to be relevant. By this, I mean the web site content should be very descriptive, and ideally unique, about your business, product or service. This way search engines can rank your site according to this detailed, descriptive and relevant content. Some reasons that a web site will rank high:

* Content is relevant to the company or business web site.

* Keyword and keyword phrases are used in important tags such as title, description Meta tag and Header tags.

* Site has been updated with new content regularly.

* Other related businesses web sites have links to your site.

The title of each page needs to be descriptive of the page and not just the web site. So keywords and the site or business name should be built into the title of each page. Avoid using any word more than three times in the title tag.

Make Meta tags keyword-focused. Meta tags are tags in the HTML web page that describe certain things about the page such as the page description, list of keywords, page author, etc. The tags that are important here are the keywords and description Meta tags.

For images on the site, alternate text should be set to keywords as well. Alternate text is the text displayed before an image is completely downloaded and displayed. Alternate text will be displayed in place of the image for text only browsers and if you've disabled the show pictures option in your browser settings. A title can also be set for an image, and by hovering your mouse over an image; the title text will be displayed in most browsers.

Header tags should be used in your web pages, where possible. Search engines look for the h1-h6 Header tags as important indicators for what the text of the document will contain.

Here is an example of building keywords into your hierarchical web page to enhance search engine results.

View an example diagram here of building keywords into your hierarchical web page to enhance search engine results.

Prominent tags used are title, description Meta tags, keyword Meta tags and h1 and h2 header tags. Keyword phrases relavent to the business of the web site should exist in the content of the web page as well is in these important HTML tags. Search engines analyze the text for relevant keywords, among other things, and rank the page accordingly. Additional keywords can be used throughout the document. Many experts recommend not using any keyword in excess of 5% of the total text of the page. Doing so may actually lower your ranking.

A site map can help your search engine ranking as well as help your web site visitors find what they're looking for. For more information on this topic, and other search engine optimization topics, visit google.com.

These are some basic techniques used to achieve higher visibility in search engines, and should help you attain higher results if they are used along with efficient, valid HTML markup. Contact us if you'd like more information on how we can help you achieve high web site visibility.

Norm Euker of NJE Design provides high quality web design, Internet and email marketing to small businesses.

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