Sunday, May 22, 2005

8 Easy Ways to Optimize Your Website

By: Scott J. Patterson

Traffic from search engines is widely considered the best (and cheapest) way to generate traffic to your site. The increasing popularity of search engines has led to the development of a whole industry that revolves around ways to “optimize” websites.

The end result is that many people now think that only “professionals” can help their website rank high within search engines. But, the truth is that anyone can structure their site so they rank high for many keywords.

Below, I have listed 8 simple steps that you can take to optimize your web pages. By following these, you will improve your chances of increasing your rankings:

1) Target one word for each page: A huge mistake that many beginners make is cramming numerous keywords onto every page. Instead of doing this, you should focus on one specific keyword for each page. That way, you can make sure that the page is focusing on that one word without any distractions. If you want to target multiple keywords then it is necessary to create a separate page for each.

2) List your major keywords in the links back to your site: Many search engines, Google being the most famous, have started to take into account the words that are mentioned in the title tag of the links that point to your site. So, a great way to improve your rankings for your keywords is to place it in the title tag.

3) Make your first 100 words on the page keyword rich: Another mistake that most webmasters make is to have a menu on the left-hand side of a website. Since search engines primarily focus on the first 100 words of a website, a left side menu is a misuse of valuable space. Instead of doing this, you should have your title, description and web copy within the first 100 words of your site. An easy way to do this is to have your menu on the right instead of the standard left-hand side. But, since the left-handed menu is now commonplace, you can also choose to put your first 100 words above the left-handed menu, so this text will be the first thing read on your website.

4)Insert the keyword into your title tag: In the source code of most pages are “header tags” (also known as Meta tags), which help search engines understand the content of the page. To fully optimize your website, you can tweak the source code of the page. The first step is to insert the keyword in the title tag. (This is what is shown in the results of a search engine when your site is listed)

5) Insert your keywords in the description tag: The description Meta tag is almost as valuable as the title tag. The information in this tag is listed directly below the title tag in search engine results. As a result, a good description can make your website stand out from other listings. To get the prospect to click on your site, it is important to write a snappy description while using your keyword.

6) Insert them into your keywords tag: Like the title and description tags, keyword tags are used to help search engines understand the content of your web page. Although this Meta tag has become less popular, it doesn’t hurt to put your keywords here.

7) Place your keyword in the header: When writing the actual text of your site, the first part should be the headline. Whenever a search engine scans your site, it rates all words in the headline as being more important then the rest of the web copy. To take advantage of this, you should have your keyword in the page headline. But, since the header tag (h1) is quite large, you should format it so that it is smaller.

8) Write your keyword enriched web copy: Now that you have set up the structure of your page, you can write your web copy. While creating the text, you want to include the majority of the keywords at the top and the bottom of the page. In addition, the keyword should be included a few times in the middle. Basically, the common saying is that the keyword density should resemble an hour glass shape.The total web copy of your page should be about 300-500 words. Also, the keyword should be included about 5-12% of the total words of the page. The percentage varies according to each search engine, so you might want to play around till you find the best results.

If you follow all these steps, you will definitely see an improvement in the search engine rankings for your keywords. The best part is that you do not have to spend any money on the expensive search engine optimizers!

Good luck!

Scott J. Patterson
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5 Comments:

At 11:38 AM, Blogger Hamish said...

Nice article. Writing articles and submitting them to article banks is also a good way of getting links and traffic which a lot of people overlook.

Hamish Hayward
Starting A home Based Business?
Discover the 6 key factors you need to master for success - online or offline. free e-books, newsletter, tools and resources.

 
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At 3:50 AM, Anonymous Eddie said...

Don't forget also..

9/ any pictures on the site...name them after the main keyword.
10/ use alt="keyword" for the picture.

 
At 6:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Added a new value add to my blog this weekend - a news widget from www.widgetmate.com. I always wanted to show latest news for my keywords in my sidebar. It was very easy with this widget. Just a small copy paste and it was done. Great indeed.

 

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