Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Easy Ways to Excel at Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization refers to a number of ways that a website can get a better rating with search engines. There are many ways to improve a website position, and it is always best to use a combination of all or most of these methods. Each search engine has their own set of criteria for ranking their results. It is important to know what is required by a website to get a high listing.

1. Find your Niche Market

Often the keywords that are most recognizably associated with your business are also relevant to millions of other sites as well. Finding a niche market allows you to specialize or narrow your search field. A search request for “gifts” may return almost three billion website addresses in the results making it difficult to be among the first listed. Yet if you change your keywords to “Christmas Gift Baskets”, it will return a smaller result of less than eighty thousand. After researching what niche keywords are appropriate for your company you can narrow the
search results even further. This makes your odds of being closer to the top, or even allows you to be number one when combined with other SEO tools.

2. Research and Use The Right Keywords
After you determine what your market is and who you are trying to reach on the internet, you will need to research and choose the keywords that are most effective in your field. Check competitor’s webpage designs to see what keywords are working for the top listed companies. One of the first sites you should visit during this step is Google Keywords. This is a tool that will help you determine the right keywords and track how many sites are attached to them. Google Keywords and other free tools are available on line but you may find an investment in a program like WordTracker may be much more effective.

3. Effective Keyword Placement

It is not enough to simply place your keywords randomly throughout your content. Search engines can pick up on this with their ranking tools and sites are often penalized for trying to trick the search engine, even to the point of being banned from the rankings all together. You do not want incoherent page content for your customers either. This will cause them to leave quickly and not find the content you wanted them to read in the first place. Each page on your website should be rich in content and contain your keywords at least once or twice for every few paragraphs. It should appear naturally and fit into the rest of your page without looking forced. Heading tags should also be placed above the rest of your content. Having your main keyword in your Heading tag 1 will greatly increase your search engine ranking.

4. Search Engine Submission

Individually submitting your website address to search engines is not the most effective way to make it into their listings. This can take weeks or even months to achieve any placement in their results let alone making it to the front of them. The pages that consistently make it to the top of searches are using Search Engine Optimization tools on a weekly or sometimes daily basis. You need to get listed in the top ranking pages with relevant content. Every time the site is then indexed your website address with be automatically included in the search results.

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