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Seo Optimization Tips
Step #1 - Register yourn URL - After you have selected the URL of your choice, then it's time to register it. One thing Google has discovered is that legitimate URL's are registered for more then a year at a time. Only registering your URL one year at a time will decrease it's credibility. I personally tested this to see any significance in ranking, and I definitely saw a difference. At Go Daddy it's currently only $8.95 per year. That's a great deal compared to the $70+ it use to cost when Network Solutions controlled all the domain name registration.
Step #2 - Pick a key phrase - This is important since it will help you know what you are aiming for.
In some cases it might be beneficial to have a Focus Group done on your website/company. I mention this cause your perception might be skewed in relation to what the general population might be entering in a search engine to find your site. Take for example you have a company that does therapy for children. It might be normal for you to type "cognitive behavioral therapy", but
to the general population they have never heard of this before. Maybe in their minds they would
think "my child has problems". If you don't have at least a couple $1000 dollars to sink into
this, then obviously you will have to make your own conclusions.
Step #3 - Define the ballpark - Is a key phrase worth fighting for? That is a great million dollar question. Thanks to a tool at Overture you can get a general idea of what the phrase is worth for searches done in a given month. If the count is less then 2000, then I would look at another possibility. If the count is over 200,000 then I'd find another phrase. Such words as books was at 1,470,583 at the time of writing this. The competition goes up with
the count of searches. At the time of writing this the Overture tool seems to be down intermittently over the past couple weeks. There is still Word Tracker that you can use, but they email you the results, which is the trial version.
Step #4 - Once you find a keyphrase - Now that you have found a key phrase, you probably want to know what you're aiming for. There is a tool on most of search engine that you can use to figure out what to aim for. Go to Google and type in your keyphrase. Lets try books for now. First search for books. Then take the first result, which is probably still amazon, and type in
into the search engine. You will see the text to the right
Results 1 - 10 of about 648
Now just check the domain name itself
You will see the result
Results 1 - 10 of about 7,760,000
No one really knows 100% what the exact equation is, but you can see 7,760,000 links back to a website can really make it significant. This is why competeing for the keyword "books" can be fairly difficult. This means you will need at least 7,760,000 linking back to yours to probably beat them out of the #1 spot. This is in general terms. In all honesty, some links are worth more then others. Using the google toolbar you can see that some webpage get an 8 while others might get a 1. An 8 linking back to your site gives more value then a couple 1's. I've see it mentioned that a high quality link is worth more then 50 low quality links.
Step #5 - Get into the ballgame - Some custom editing is needed to be done on your website. Most of the changes will not affect what the user will see. The text at the top of the page weighs more then the text at the bottom of the page. Header tags, Example: <h3></h3>, carry more weight then normal text. The more credible places the keyphrase shows up on your website the more credible your website appears to search engines
Step #6 - Meta Tags - Meta Tags are mentioned as a thing of the past for search engine ranking. I have read theyhold little or no value these days. I tested this theory and have concluded they are still valid. I saw an increase of about 10 placements after adding meta tags. The actual position change was 55 to 46. Sometimes results fluctuate some, but with a handful off different webpages I saw a similiar increase on every one. The other benefit is that you have a chance controlling what theperson will see when your website shows up on a search engine. Make it relevant to your website. If youuse too many words then it can get chopped. I'd probably keep the description under 25 words. The keywords meta tag helps gets you into the game. These are keywords that you are aiming for. Don't put too many in because it can dilute their effectiveness. This seemed to be more effective with Yahoo and various lesser know search engines. I say this cause I still have the #1 spot on yahoo for a coupel various phrases, but on google I'm at least a couple pages in
<meta name="description" content="I Sell Books Online : No one sells books for cheaper">
<meta name="keywords" content="books, paperback books, hardback books, novels">
Step #7 - Alt Tags - What is an Alt Tag? It is the text displayed when you mouse over an image.
Only do this for relelvant images. Don't do it to spacer images, since search engines are getting better
and better at detecting credible sites. Doing things such as URL stuffing can get you banned from
Step #8 - Page and Folder names - Try to use your keyphrase in webpage and folder names where you can.
Just keep remembering every little bit counts.
Step #9 - Linking - Now that you're in the ballpark, you need credible references. This is where the most weight
will come from. You will have to get creative depending on what your target industry is like. Message boards are a good place to answer questions and leave links back to your website, but in some markets there aren't really any message boards. Make sure
when you leave a link back to your site that the key phrase is in the href tag. This gives you credibility in ref to the key phrase.
A good example of this is the word failure. When searched on google the top 2 entries are George Bush's Biography
and Michael Moore. There aren't really any references of failure George Bush's Biography, but a bunch of admins
got together and linked to him with failure in the href tags. This pushed his website to #1 for failure.
Step #10 - Link exchange - It was something done a good 5 years ago. Sometimes people would make awards for other people to
put on their website that linked back to them. There are other link exchange programs around that handle more of the tediousness for you such as Link Exchanged. There seems to be a money back guarantee also, but I'd be cautious. Too much of a good thing can get you banned if you're not careful.
Step #11 - Open Directories - Register your URL with an Open Directory systems such as dmoz. This can be hit or mis. I had almost 100 links back to website because of dmoz, but I know a guy that his site still hasn't been listed almost 6 months later. Dmoz is done by actually people editing and not machines.
Step #12 - Purchase links backs - Another option is to purchase links, but once again proceed with caution. sbo-linknet is just one of many places you can purchase links from. They claim the links to be added into peoples blogs where search engines are more lenient.
#13 - Search Engine Submitter - For quite some time I had a search engine submission place call me for a good 6 months. I wasn't 100% sure what the results would be. Finally I gave into the pressure since I was in need of pushing the ranking on a site, and I was swamped. It's now been a good 4 or 5 months since they worked their magic. I looked over their code and they relatively did what I recommend in this article. I was hopeing to find other tricks, but was left with what I already know. Unfortunatley, I didn't see any increase in links back to the website. For a $1000 you would think they would insure a couple links back. Anyhow, I took it as a life lesson to beware of snake oil salesmen.
#14 - Blogging and Articles - Over the past year I've been running a blog. I basically use it to keep a bookmark of
things interesting, yet still share with others. I've watched the traffic logs consistently and found some interesting
things. One key element was the frvade game. I noticed there weren't really any result for the search on google.
So I posted on my blog the comments to clues I had found on digg. Oddly enough diggs results weren't showing up on
google. My traffic shot way up and I collected a couple links back to my website also. As difficult as a really good
article is to come by these days, if you're not ready for the traffic... it can shut your website down. This
is a common occurence on slashdot. The article gets posted. Tons of people click to read. Your cable modem can't
handle the traffic. I have read the recommendation somewhere for you to convert your front page of your website to html. This way no scripting or database communication takes place. Another blip I saw related to my blog was information on Denny Kline and HHO. Someone sent me the news video from a couple days before. I tried learning more about it, but after doing a search there was really no immediate information standing out. So I did a little bit of research and found a rare article about him. I also found his company website. I wrote a blog on this and traffic definitely jumped for a good couple weeks.
Good luck on optimizing your website. You're definitely going to need it.