Not only do you have just a few seconds to grab the
attention of the web visitor, content developers must
perform well within search engine searches so they are
"found"when web surfers search on related
keywords or phrases. In order to perform well, a website
must have traffic. Decent traffic will result if a website
ranks well in search engines, that is why strong placement
in search engines for critical keywords and phrases
When struggling with search engine optimization just
go back to the basics. What do search engines want?
Search engines want to return search results, that are
relevant and useful to the searcher. Webmasters can
help search engines discern what keywords or phrases
their site relates to.
Search Engine Optimization Dos
1. CSS - Cascading Style Sheets.
Use header tags and cascading style sheets in your
website design. Many search engines value H1 and H2
tags more than others. The assumption is that header
tags are used to highlight the most important items
or themes that appear on a page. By using header tags,
webmasters can bullet those keywords or phrases they
deem to be most important. The CSS file will help your
site load quickly and provide a consistent look and
feel throughout the website.
A website is the collection of webpages under a
single domain. A webpage refers to a specific page within
a website. Unique page titles throughout a website is
important. Websites typically contain many webpages
and using unique titles on webpages will help highlight
different key phrases while uniting all the website
content in a single theme.
3. Related Links.
Links from related or relevant sites are more important
than generic links from unrelated websites. Links are
seen as "votes" of quality content. Search
engines weigh links from websites that contain related
or similar content more importantly, than links from
unrelated websites. Work to obtain relevant quality
links from related or authority websites.
4. Anchor Text.
Vary anchor text. Use a variety of phrases to link
to a site. Using different anchor text to link to a
website is seen by search engines as "natural"
linking. Search engines use the anchor text of a websites
incoming link as part of their algorithm to determine
a websites theme.
A minimum of 200 words of copy is suggested for
each web page. In order to spider a site a search engine
must have sufficient copy to spider. Less does not necessarily
mean more, when it comes to search engine ranking. In
general try to keep copy "above the fold",
so that visitors don't have to scroll. Copy above the
fold is usually sufficient to determine the context
of the webpage.
Keep it fresh. Search engines take notice of how
frequently content is updated or added. Search engines
spider websites that update content on a frequent basis
at regular intervals. Add new content or webpages daily
or weekly to increase a search engine spider's frequency.
Provide quality, consistent, fresh content. Consistent
related content is critical to encouraging both visitors
and search engines to return. Providing consistent quality
content encourages links which will increase a websites
Relate the contents of a website by a single theme.
Uniting content using contextual words will help websites
rank well for less critical but very targeted related
keywords and phrases.
Search Engine Optimization Don'ts
1. Keyword Stuffing.
Don't stuff web pages with keywords that is similar
to or the same as the webpages background color. Most
search engines have ways to detect keyword stuffing.
Keyword stuffing will likely result in a search engine
Cloaking is when the website identifies the IP address
of a search engine spider and feeds the spider content
that it is not really on the page. Essentially the search
engine sees optimized content that is not currently
on the web page that it is spidered. It is difficult
for search engines to detect cloaking, but if a site
is banned or cloaking it is very difficult to convince
a search engine to relist the content.
3. Don't Sacrifice Quality
Don't sacrifice quality for optimization. While
search engine optimization is important, it is equally
important that the content on a webpage should make
sense. Placing well in search engines at the expense
of a quality professional image with decent web copy,
will not usually result in sales. It is a matter of
striking a balance.
Not much to be said about this one, don't spam.
Don't spam search engines, don't conduct email spam
campaigns, and don't spam forums. Being labeled a spammer
is a hard reputation to shed.
A website is an important part of a business, search
engine optimization is a business investment and requires
attention and effort in order to succeed. Website creation
is more than just pretty images and an attractive design.
In order to "sell" your product or service
your information, your site must be found. Therefore
it is imperative that search engine content is optimized
for search engine placement.
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll Feed
Editor software for creating, editing, publishing
RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing
for RecordForAll audio
recording and editing software.