Search Engine Optimization - How to Improve Your Ranking
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Title: Search Engine Optimization - How to Improve Your Ranking
Word Count: 1159
Author: Wendy Maynard
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Search Engine Optimization - How to Improve Your Ranking
Copyright 2005 Kinesis, Inc.
Rankings, Rankings, Rankings!
How do you get your website ranked well by the search
engines? Well, it isn’t as hard as you think, but it may
not be as simple either. It takes patience and an ongoing
commitment to making search-engine ranking a long-term
investment in your website. You will need to give it time
and energy – it isn’t a quick fix.
One caveat before I dive into this: If you are a company
that is working on attracting local customers, there are
many other incredibly effective offline marketing tools to
DRIVE people to your website. But, if you really want to
work on search-engine ranking for your site then keep
reading to learn more!
Keep these points in mind:
1. Search engines often change their ranking formula.
2. Each search engine has its own algorithm (formula) to
determine site ranking.
3. META tag keywords are not a magic bullet to improve your
4. Search engines can take many months to index new
information, so patience…patience.
5. Be cautious with graphics-rich websites if search-engine
ranking is important.
How Do Search Engines Work?
Let’s start at the beginning. When you type a query into a
search engine, what happens? Some people think that each
time a search is entered into a search engine like Google,
that the program hunts through the entire Internet to
produce the answer. This is NOT what occurs.
Let’s say I type in the words “dog obedience” into Yahoo.
Yahoo then takes these keywords and searches through its
own unique database of indexed websites to find matches. To
add to and update their databases, search engines have
programs called “spiders” that crawl through pages on the
Internet looking for pages and sites to index. However,
they do NOT locate sites on their own. They find sites if
someone has purposely entered a website into a search
engine’s “Add URL” form. They are also able to find a
website if another site in its database has links to it.
When a search engine finds a site, it considers the text on
the website to be the number one thing to extract. It
places data its database categorized by information it
perceives as being important. So, if you have a company
that has free articles teaching people how to train their
dogs, but you don’t have the word “obedience” listed
anywhere, your site may not be listed in the above sample
So then, after all of this – how do you get a high-ranking
Your Keys to Search Engine Ranking
You must think of search engine optimization as a long-term
investment in your website. It is an ongoing marketing
effort that takes persistence. As you begin to implement
optimization techniques, remember it can take several
months before you see the results, so be patient. Here are
some tips to help you improve your website rankings in the
1. Plan Your Content: Before you develop your site, make a
list of all the possible search words and phrases you think
a potential customer would use to locate your website. A
research tool such as WordTracker can help you in this
process. Write compelling, professional marketing content
for your site that is rich with these search words and
phrases, especially on your home page. Make pages about 250
words. Tip: Hire a professional web copywriter to write
your site content.
2. Meta Keyword Tags Are Overrated: Contrary to what many
people believe, your META keyword tags in your HTML code
have very little bearing on the words a search engine uses
to reference your site. What does this mean for your site?
Make sure your web pages have easy-to-understand paragraphs
that describe your site and contain many of your important
search words. These search words should match your META
keyword tags, otherwise, the spiders tend to disregard the
3. Title Tags Are Vital: Most search engines give a lot of
weight to your title tags. These are also the phrases that
appear at the top of each web page. So, take the time to
create juicy and precise title tags. Use words and phrases
that people would be likely to use in their search for your
business. Reflect what is actually on the specific web page.
4. Meta Description Tags: This is the area where you write
HTML content to describe each of your web pages. Although
it is not a major factor in search engine ranking, it IS
what is displayed in the search results. People searching
will use this description to make a decision to visit your
site or not. Use this area for marketing purposes to entice
people to click on your link.
5. Design a Site That Search Engines Like: Websites that
have graphic Splash pages or are designed in Flash are not
as friendly to SE indexing. For the most part, search
engines do not index graphics. They read text (but not
graphic text). Use small amounts of Flash animation and
graphics in appropriate places, along with great HTML
content. Along with these graphics, use text for your image
ALT tags. If you have a graphic-based navigation system,
make sure you have a site map that the spider can use to
find all of your site page links.
6. Create a Compelling Site: If you haven’t created a
website with gripping content that speaks to your visitors
in plain, easy-to-understand language, you won’t get good
long-term search-engine visibility. Nor, will visitors ever
want to come back. Make your site so good that people will
want to link to it. They will want to provide their viewers
with your copious amounts of useful information. You can
also go to sites that offer complimentary services or
products and e-mail their webmaster to ask them to add a
link to your site. This will enhance your link popularity,
something search engines tend to consider important.
7. Submit your URL to the Directories: Read each search
engine’s FAQs and follow it exactly. Mistakes in the
submission process can make things extremely difficult to
change down the road. Keep your website description short
and sweet. Be sure to include keywords, but don’t use a lot
of sales jargon.
8. Balance Your Online Marketing Approach: You will get the
best results if you create a website that is content rich,
popular with viewers, has a credible reputation, and is
programmed using a smart approach to Meta tags.
Search engine spiders can be extremely slow to index new
information, so be patient! It may take months to see your
changes affect your search engine ranking. Remember, a
website is a dynamic marketing tool that you are building
over time. Treat it well, give it a little love and
attention, and your long-term rewards will be well worth
About the Author:
Wendy Maynard, your friendly Marketing Maven, publishes
REMARKABLE MARKETING, a free weekly ezine for
entrepreneurs, business owners, and freelancers. If you're
ready to skyrocket your sales, easily attract customers,
and make more money, sign up for her FREE ezine and
marketing report now at www.gomarketingmaven.com