Search Engine Optimization: 5 Keys To Success

The higher a website ranks in a search, the better the chance that a website will be visited. Most Internet users will not click through multiple pages of search results, so a high ranking in a search is necessary to direct more traffic to your website.

While a top listing is not guaranteed, there are a number of small steps that you can take to improve your chances of gaining a top ranking. We recommend the following 5 basic steps to get success search engine optimization:

1. Content Writing/Keywords

We’ve found that content targeting seems to be the most successful strategy. Search engines are beginning to use algorithms that identify the main themes of entire websites instead of just single pages. In order to create a main theme for search engine optimization, you must identify a focused group of keywords that exist on and are relevant to the content on most pages of your website.

In practical terms, if you’re writing an article, service description or sales copy for your website, focus on creating informative and interesting content, but factor in keyword phrases that are more likely to give you a better ranking with the search engines.

Key word selection can be a rather complex process as there are many different factors that come into play when search engines decide the ranking of your webpage and how well your keywords rank. You may wish to spend some time educating yourself about this process. A good rule of thumb is to choose 2 to 3 word phrases from content that appears throughout your website that you expect to have the greatest appeal to the visitors you want to attract.

We suggest that you consult with other colleagues as your create your list.

2. META Tags

Meta tags are special HTML tags that provide information about a webpage, such as who created the page, how often it is updated, what the page is about, and which keywords represent the page’s content. Many search engines use this information when building their indices.

Meta tags should contain your basic content terms. We recommend that you do not use too many words (less than 25) and that you do not repeat keywords as this could cause the search engines to overlook your website.

3. URL Submission

Once your website is complete, its time to submit your site to the search engines. We strongly recommend using Promotion World’s free search engine submission tool.

It’s a terrific service that allows you to submit 10 URLs at a time and to receive accurate and descriptive results on the submissions. As you review the results, it’s likely that you will find some failed submissions. For the failed submissions, Promotion World provides information on how to submit your site manually.

4. Site Ranking

Search engine optimization doesn’t end with submitting your website to search engines. You still need to determine the popularity of your site and make any necessary changes. In order to check how your site is ranked, go to Alexa.com. If your site ranking is between 1 and 100,000, it has a solid ranking.

If you are ranked over 100,000 or you’re just not happy with your site ranking, a popular way to increase your ranking is to trade links to your site with other sites. This typically works because external links are the main criteria for Google’s ranking and Google is being used by such SEO company as Yahoo, AOL, Nerder, etc.

5. Website Promotion

Your search engine optimization endeavors should always be reinforced by other forms of promotion and marketing. One way to do this is to use a newsletter to deliver useful and informative content that will drive visitors to your website. Other methods of promotion include online advertising, print advertising, a special promotion (i.e. chance to win a digital camera), surveys, and word-of-mouth promotion through friends and family. Website promotion is a crucial part of eBusiness. Success in sales is a numbers game and without serious web traffic you will not have the numbers you need to prosper.

Difference Between Black Hat SEO And White Hat SEO

In fact, the SEO consultants themselves as well as their methods can be subdivided further into two different groups. The categories are best known as “white hat SEO” (which is aimed at improving overall site quality, and increasing the site’s ranking through approved methods), or “black hat SEO” (often use methods such as cloaking and spamdexing to increase rankings.

However, using such methods can lead to your site to being removed from search engine listings). Those in the white hat camp charge that black hat methods are not only giving nerder SEO a bad name but are also attempting to manipulate and undermine the search rankings. The black hatters counter that argument by saying that in truth all SEO is an attempt to manipulate rankings, and therefore the particular methods one uses to increase rankings are irrelevant. In other words they take the more Machiavellian approach of using the end results to justify the means they use.

So what more specifically are the methods being employed by the two camps?White hat methods:

These methods typically involve following the search engines’ published guidelines as to what is and what isn’t acceptable. The advice typically given by the white hat search engine optimization agency is to create more user-friendly content, and not focus so much on the search engines. That is if your site is well put together and presents something users need it will naturally climb in the rankings.

Also by making content that is easily accessible to the search engines spiders it will be properly read and therefore properly indexed in the search engines. The white hatters are needed most often because a webmaster has made critical mistakes in either the design or the set-up of their websites, inadvertently “poisoning” them so that they will not rank well. The SEOs then attempt to discover and correct these mistakes, which may include unreadable menus, broken links, temporary redirects, or simply a poor navigation structure.

Here are a few examples of SEO activities which the search engines find acceptable:

  • Using a reasonably-sized, accurate description meta tag without excessive use of keywords, exclamation marks or off topic terms
  • Optimizing tags, titles and other parts of the code as necessary
  • Using Word Tracker or a similar database to find popular and relevant keywords and phrases to use for your site
  • Monitoring the various search engines to ensure that your URL gets indexed
  • Increasing the amount of unique content on the site
  • Writing quality content for the website visitors instead of the search engines

Black hat methods:

Whereas the white hat methods follow search engine guidelines “Black hat” SEO methods to try to improve rankings by any means necessary. Most of these methods are disapproved of by the search engines, typically because of their deceptive nature, but also hamper the ability of the search engines to provide quality content to site visitors.

Search engines often penalize the sites they discover using black hat methods, by reducing their rankings or eliminating their listings from the search engine results altogether. These penalties are usually applied automatically by the search engines’ algorithms, because the Internet is too large to make manual policing of websites feasible.

However once they are discovered, search engines may take action against those found to be using unethical SEO methods. Take for example Google’s removal of both BMW Germany and Ricoh Germany in February 2006 for use of these practices.

One common black hat method is known as Spamdexing. Spamdexing is the promotion of irrelevant, chiefly commercial, pages through various deceptive techniques and the abuse of the search algorithms. Unfortunately it often gets confused with white hat search engine optimization techniques, which do not involve deceit.

Spamming involves getting websites more exposure than they deserve for their keywords, leading to unsatisfactory search results. Optimization involves getting websites the rank they deserve on the most targeted keywords, leading to satisfactory search experiences.

One example of Spamdexing is link farming. Link farming can be basically defined as any group of web pages that all link to every other page in the group. Another common practice is listing popular keywords in fine print or in the same color as the background so they can’t be seen by users. These were only a few examples but there are many other deceptive practices that may be employed by black hat SEOs. So how can you tell the difference between Black and White SEO practices? A very easy way to distinguish between the two is though the amount of time involved in getting the desired results.

White hat SEOs use methods that produce results slowly over time and only after a good deal of effort has been put into the site. Black hat SEOs offer you quick and easy results most, if not all, of which will obtained through deceptive practices.

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