Search Engine Optimization

Basic Strategies – Five Basic Steps

1) Add Meta Tags
2) Add Home page title
3) Have “good” Home page content
4) Initiate link agreements with other websites
5) Submit site to search engines and directory services

Step 1:

Keywords Meta Tag
Example from Starbucks Web site

<meta name=”keywords” content=”Starbucks, Starbucks.com, Starbucks Corporation, Starbuck, Starbucks Card, Gift Card, Coffee, coffe, coffie, Coffee beans, Coffee sampler, Coffee at home, Coffee gifts, Coffee brewer, Coffee brewers, Coffee maker, Coffee makers, Business Gifts, Corporate gifts, Espresso machine, Espresso machines, Espresso, expresso, espreso, Encore, Foodservice, Frappuccino, Gifts, Home delivery, Latte, Mocha, Music, HearMusic, Hear Music, Mugs, Office Coffee, Tazo, Pods, coffee filter, Brewing Equipment, Steep, Tea, Ice Cream, Double Shot, Brewing Equipment, Seattle, Pike Place, 1971, Siren, doubleshot, jazz”>

  • Include keywords or phrases of all subjects related to your site
  • Place a comma after every keyword or phrase (except for the last one)
  • You should use many applicable keywords for your web site. You can use up to 1000 characters (80-90 words) for the keywords in the tag.
  • Don’t repeat keywords more that 4-6 times. Your site may be disqualified by search engines if you do (it is considered keyword spamming)
  • Only use keywords related directly to your web site. Search engines check the keywords against the content of your site and will disqualify sites that put fake keywords in their list.
  • Put your most important keyword or phrase first in the list, and place the rest of the keywords in order if importance.
  • Include the misspellings of commonly misspelled keywords in the list
  • Use upper case letters only for proper names

Description Meta Tag
Example from Starbucks Web site

<meta name=”description” content=”Starbucks Coffee Company is the leading retailer, roaster and brand of specialty coffee in the world. The Company’s other brands enhance the Starbucks Experience through best-of-class products, including Tazo Tea Company and Hear Music.”>

The description text is used by about half of the search engines to describe your site in the results section of a completed search.

  • The description should be a 1-2 sentence description of your web site with maximum of 250 characters (25-30 words)
  • Use as many of your important keywords in the description as possible, especially your primary keyword

Step 2:

Home page title tag
The title tag serves to identify your site to the user, as well as to the search engines

  • The title can be up to 100 characters
  • It should include as many important keywords/key phrases as possible

Step 3:

Home page content

The home page content is important because many search engines use this text to analyze the site and create appropriate match-ups with search requests.

  • Put your most important keyword phrases in larger text and make it bold.
  • Include your important keywords in your content, and place these keywords in the upper part of the web page. The search engines check your keywords against your page content.
  • Limit the amount of content on the home page, and focus on your most important search words. Put the most important searchable content at the top of the page.
  • If your content is embedded in images, be sure you use ALT text for all images.

Step 4:

Initiate link agreements with other websites

Many search engines (especially Google) determine the placement of a site based on how many other sites link to the site.

  • To increase the numbers of sites linking to your site, initiate link exchanges with other sites. These work by a mutual agreement where each site links to the other site.
  • Make sure any of your affiliated sites have links to the your new site. Often companies will create multiple sites related to a topic, and link between them to enhance their position.
  • If your site already exists, you can search for other sites that link to your site and see how well you are doing. In Google, use the “link:” prefix before your web address. For example: link:www.company.com

Internal links
It’s important to have links within your site to your different pages.  The text used in the links is also very important and should directly correspond to the key phrases you would like people to use to find these pages when  searching.Step 5:
Submit site to search engines and directory services
Search engines may not find your site automatically or very quickly. To improve your listing among the search engines, you must submit your site to the search engines. There are several approaches to submitting sites:

  • Submit the site manually to each search engine using their free submission forms
  • Submit the site to a web directory
  • Pay the search engine to submit your site. The policies vary depending on the search engine, but this will at a minimum ensure that your site will show up sooner than the free submission. Some sites will list your site better if you pay them.
  • Pay a submission service to submit your site to many search engines.  This saves you time, but opens you up to spam mail.
  • Hire a professional organization to manage your site search engine status
  • Buy SEO (Search Engine Optimization) software to automatically analyze and submit your site to many search engines.

Suggested reading

How does a webmaster increase the number of visitors to a website?

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