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Search Optimization Fundamentals
Search Optimization is the basic building block of your success on the Internet. This discussion should be read and applied in conjunction with the discussion on Online Marketing, which focuses on what you need to do after creating a quality and well functioning website.
Having a website is great, but without visitor traffic and exposure to search engines, it's not going to do much for your online business. I cannot stress this fact enough. I have received countless emails asking me how to improve website visibility. Visibility, which I also refer to as exposure, is critical for any business venture.
You must take the necessary steps to tell the world that you are here to offer your products and services to it. The purpose of this discussion is to provide you with some preliminary search optimization steps, without getting bogged down with too much detail, to take to improve your visibility in cyberspace. Apply these strategies and monitor your website’s traffic to realize how much benefit these strategies provide you with.
I will be the first one to tell you to apply every strategy that you can learn, even the offline strategies such as flyering, direct mailing, etc. However, your number one priority as an online business is gaining popularity with search engines.
With the rapid growth of the Internet there are millions of people that resort to search engines on a daily basis to search for what they are looking for. Your mission is to get on top of most searches pertaining to your website’s subject.
If you sell perfumes and someone searches for phrases like “Smell Good” and “Colognes and Perfumes” and your website appears of the first page of Google, then I can guarantee that you will do extremely well. The challenge is, of course, how to do that?
Search Engine Optimization (“SEO”) is how you do that. If you already have some familiarity with SEO you know how important and valuable this strategy is to your success online. In a nutshell, SEO is the process by which you increase your website visibility online by focusing on the right keywords that describe what you offer and organizing your site accordingly to capture search engines’ attention.
There are two main components to search optimization; your Meta Tags and the body of your WebPages. Meta Tags are a fancy word for your Page Title, Page Heading & Page Description. The body is the main part of your WebPage; it is where you have all the bulk content.
Page TitleThis is the title of your page as search engines read it. It is only visible to your human visitor if they look at the top left corner of your WebPage. If you are using Internet Explorer, this is the title that you see all the way to the top in the blue background area. It is recommended that you keep this title to under 70 characters for effective search optimization.
So for example, if you look up right now you will see the title “Search Optimization – How to Increase Your Visibility Online”. Count the characters and notice that I have kept the count under 70. “Search Optimization” is my main keyword for this WebPage. More on keywords below.
In HTML the Page Title looks as follows (each tag in "< >" brackets):
Your Title Here
DescriptionThe description of your website is visible only to search engines and not to your human visitors. This looks as follows in HTML (in brackets):
meta name="description" content="Your WebPage’s description here"/
You should include your main keyword as early as possible in your description. Your human visitor will not be able to see this when they land on your WebPage. However, search engine spiders are able to find this detail and list it on search results.
If you type in a search in Google, the results you will see often include the Page Title (in blue) and the description (under the Page Title). There is no rule on how long this should be. However, make it long enough to make sense and so that it presents itself well when it appears on search results. Don’t make it too long however.
If you found this WebPage through a search on search engines, you must have seen the following description: “Search Optimization is the basic building block of your success online. Read this section to learn how to increase your website’s visibility on the Internet.”
Notice how my description includes my keyword early in the sentence? The description is descriptive however not too long.
HeadingThe Heading tag is your WebPage’s title as it appears to your human visitors. Keep this short and to the point. You should also incorporate your main keyword into your Heading for maximized search optimization results.
Though it doesn’t have to be, many choose to mirror their Heading with the Page Title tag. In my case, it is a decision I make on a page by page basis. This page shares the same Heading as its Page Title however: “Search Optimization – How to Increase Your Visibility Online”
Below are examples of the heading tag as they look in HTML.
< h1 > This is a heading< /h1 >
< h2 >This is a heading< /h2 >
< h3 >This is a heading< /h3 >
h1, h2, h3 represent the size of the heading. It does not stop at three and you can certainly keep going to experiment with various sizes.
BodyThe Body is the main mass of your WebPage. It is where you have the bulk of your content. It is important to include your keyword in the body of your paragraph. Include it once at the beginning, a couple times in the middle and once in the end.
A keyword density between 1-3% is recommended for adequate search optimization. This means for every 100 words you should have between 1-3 keywords imbedded. I would err on the lower end.
This is not a rule written on stone. You will definitely hear varying opinions on this. They key is not to over saturate your WebPage with keywords. Search engines look at this negatively and may think you are a spammer trying to trick them into ranking you high. Article directories and other Webmasters will also frown upon you.
In addition to the main keyword, pick a few keywords related to the main keyword and sprinkle them within the body for enhanced search optimization. Read this WebPage carefully and you will find many related keywords and phrases to the main keyword “Search Optimization”.
The Body tag looks as follows in HTML (in brackets):
Your WebPage content here
KeywordsThe soul of search optimization. I cannot stress how important it is to optimize your website around the right keywords. What is “right” varies quite a bit from each person’s situation.
You certainly want keywords that are focused on your website’s topic and content and at the same time are in high demand but low supply. Meaning, the more searches out there looking for the information on your website the better. The fewer other sites using those keywords and phrases, the better.
This website that you are on can be found with thousands of keywords and phrases. I was quite overwhelmed the last time I ran a report showing me the total number. So how did I do it? The answer to this question is exactly what determines one’s success in search optimization over another.
I have dedicated an extensive section on keyword search optimization. It will not only give you a background on the “what”, but it will also tell you the “how”. Specifically, it discusses the best search engine optimization tool, one that I use personally.
You will also learn in the discussion that although keyword demand and competition can be researched manually (the hard way), it is best to use keyword optimization tools to assist you in collecting top notch keywords in your industry that will give you the competitive advantage over your competition.
SBI - The Ultimate Search Optimization SolutionAlthough very basic, I can understand how all this can be intimidating for you as a beginner. I surely was intimidated when I was getting started. That is why I decided to go with Site Build It.
Site Build It eliminates the need to spend hours understanding and mastering the concept of search optimization. It automates the process for you so that you can focus on writing about your passion. It does all technical aspects of website building, including keywords, meta tags etc. in the background. You won't even know it is being done.
The best part is that each page you create will be passed through an extensive test (all happening in the background). You will simply be told what words to add to your page, where to add them and how to do it. SBI has been a blessing in disguise for me. Whether a 14 yr. old teenager or a 65 year old senior, see how many others are making Site Build It work for them.
You can do the SEO on your site with a little time and effort. Be wary of solicitations regarding search optimization software, search engine optimization directory purchases and SEO optimization firms. 9 out of 10 times, these solicitations will only cost you unnecessary search engine optimization fees.
Read here for search optimizations scams to look out for.
Effective search optimization focuses on some key components of your website such as the Page Title, Body, Heading and Description. With thorough research and particular attention to these components you can take advantage of free traffic from search engines.
I hope this search optimization guide provides you with the background and tools necessary to optimize your website and generate a lot of traffic from search engines without any cost.
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