Search engine optimization strategies in short
All marketing through the Internet should include many different marketing methods but it should always include with good search engine optimization strategies.
Before I start I would like to quote my friend Shari Thurow: "Search friendliness isn't only about Google, Yahoo!, MSN Search, Teoma, or any other crawler-based search engine or human-based directory. Search friendliness is first and foremost about site visitors. Having a search-friendly site is far more important than having a search-engine-friendly site."
So having quoted that golden rule let's start.
The first thing to remember is that nothing is achieved over night. Search engine optimization is a process. Search engine algorithms are never the same between one engine to the next and they consist of many different elements and can be quite complex. REMEMBER that over doing this might get you banned or demoted by the search engines, there is a very thin line between GOOD SEO strategies and BAD.
What is Search Engine Marketing? Two of the main characteristics are typically referred to as on-page optimization and off-page optimization.
So what are these two?
- On-page optimization,content of your web page that you can optimize yourself.
- Off-page optimization,content of linking and how your link partner sites link to you.
- Each web page should have its own, unique, descriptive title tag, description tag and keywords. The keywords tag is seldom used nowadays. But having said that; I would recommend that each page should have some unique keywords for that page.
- Keep your content fresh and updated and try as you can to have it build up as quality, informative content.
- Be sure your title tag contains your best keyword or keyword phrase; remember that the search engines neither do nor read more that 65 to 72 characters including spaces. So writing more than that may even hurt you.
- Search engines look for quality, structure and organization. Using header tags indicates good outline of form and structure of content. Use header tags in the body of your page text. Header tags are H1, H2, H3 etc. and their look and feel can be managed with Style Sheets (CSS).
- Bold your keyword or keyword phrases, but don't do it more often than once or twice. It's also a good idea to italicize and underline them once as well. Some say it's good to have a major keyword in the begining pharagraph of a text and at the end.
- Pepper each page of your site with your keywords. Use your keywords in the first paragraph, the last paragraph and sprinkle them in between. Keep your keyword saturation at about 1-2%.
- Use keyword alt tags to describe an image used on your page. Since search engines don't index images, alt tags allow the search engines to recognize all your content. Be sure not to stuff them with lots of useless information. Use your best keyword or keyword phrase and keep it short.
- Cross links within a web are very important, link your site pages by placing a navigation bar on all your pages. Remember to be sure that the url name of every page contains what the page is about.
- For example, if a page is about "fisheries machine" the page name should be "fisheries-machine.html" or "machines_for_fisheries.html" and all the links to that page should be named 'Fisheries Machines' and set up as:
- <a href="fisheries_machines.htm">Fisheries machines</a> or <a href="machines_for_fisheries.htm">Machines for fisheries</a>
- The ending .html, can of course be of different sort, like .asp, .htm, .php, .jsp to mention few.
- Create a site map. This is very important, site maps act like a table of contents for the site and can help search engines find, crawl and index all the content of your website ensuring that nothing is left behind.
Off page optimization:
- Linking and link popularity, Google call's it Page Rank, plays a large part in the optimization of your site so don?t just link to any site. Adopt a methodology in obtaining useful, quality links. Here are a few good rules to go by:
- Majority of your links should be to sites that have a similar content or theme as your web site. Be sure the site complements your site. It should be one that you would use and recommend.
- Growing link popularity should be slow and gradual. A sudden explosion of links could indicate spam to a search engine and there for do more harm that good.
- Try to link to pages that have high pake ranking, it inherits to your page. The higher the page rank of the page your link is on, the better. This doesn't mean you shouldn't link to pages with a low page rank.
- Try to have the title of the link's page something other than 'links.html'. If possible try to ensure it has some relevance in meaning to your site.
- And finally when you're exchanging links you should be sure to submit your best keyword in the anchor text and the description text should include your second most important keywords.
The main thing in Search engine marketing is to remember that things happen at a turtle speed, but it's better to get there slowly than not at all. If you have not made your web remember to lay-out the foundation of a good Internet Marketing Stragety before you start designing your web or buying a Content Management System, it might be that the layout or the CMS are not Search Engine Friendly and can hinder your goals to achieve world domination on the Internet.
Having said that I want to remind you of Shari's qoute at the begining of this article.
Kristjan Mar Hauksson
Director of Internet marketing