Search Engine Optimization Tips

Search engine optimization is perhaps the most important subject to the success of your web site. The more people who come to your web site looking to buy what you sell, the more money you'll make. Search engine optimization is a pretty straightforward concept. I recommend focusing your efforts entirely on google when doing search engine optimization. Any other search engine is a waste of time. Google accounts for 90%+ of this web sites search engine based traffic according to the server logs.

So obviously, you want search engine optimization for all your pages so they'll rank well in google. Here are a few pointers on how to do just that.

     Why read my search engine optimization tips? Do a search for "install cgi". I got this site a number 4 ranking out of 3,590,000. You can too for your keywords!

Pick one keyword per page to focus on Focus on one thing per page, don't dilute your keyword relevance.
Focus your site around a particular theme, using related keywords returned from the google adwords keywords tool at google.
Put your keyword in your title tag This is a pretty darn good indicator of what the page is about.
Put your keyword in an h2 tag at the top of the page Also a very good indicator of what the page is relating to.
Put your keyword once or twice in the first paragraph on the page. If you're talking about it off the bat, the page is probably about that subject.
Don't try to trick google Google has some of the most talented software engineers in the world. Don't screw with them. They will find out, and ban your page, potentially your site and even ip address. This will effectively kill your business. Ways of trickery google doesn't take kindly too are: keywords with the same or similar text color as your background, pages targeting a keyword that the page is not really about, using cloaking software (see below), and stuffing a page with keywords which uses javascript or a meta refresh to immediately go to another page that doesn't make use of search engine optimization.
Put your keyword in your meta description tag (not necessary for google but good practice). Only use your one keyword you're focusing on for the particular page. The syntax for this (which goes in the <head></head> html tag, is:
<meta name="description" content="your keyword">
Put your keyword in your meta keywords tag (not necessary for google but good practice). Only use your one keyword you're focusing on for the particular page. The syntax for this (which goes in the <head></head> html tag as well, is:
<meta name="keywords" content="your keyword">
Mention your keyword here and there throughout the contents of the page If the page is really about the keyword you're targeting, this will come naturally. Don't try and force it.
Once you're page is spidered by google, don't change the title of a page without changing the content at all I've observed what I believe to be penalties levied by google on my rankings for screwing around with titles. Design your pages with search engine optimization in mind from the get go.
Get links from sites and directories that focus on content directly relating to your keyword Very very important. If you're selling european cruises, get listed on all the big sites that list smaller european cruise sites. To find the big directories for a keyword, do a google search on the keyword. Easy enough. You shouldn't have to pay for a listing though - be wary of sites that require money for inclusion. Yahoo and Looksmart may be exceptions to this, I don't have experience with them though.
Put your keyword in the text of the links from the sites and directories mentioned above If your site is called "Bobs Travel", make the link you get from the directories above say: "Bob's Travel Quality European Cruises" or similar.
Don't link to unpopular sites There's a hot debate on this one, but from my research I've found linking to unpopular sites will decrease your pagerank. Drop me a line with your reasoning if you disagree.
Use the google toolbar to determine pagerank for sites linking to you Pagerank is quite popular in determining how optimized your site is for google's search engine results. Download the google toolbar at http://toolbar.google.com. Then, when evaluating if you want to be listed at a particular directory, see what the pagerank is for the home page of the site and the particular page you want to get linked to from. Pagerank is determined by how many sites link to a site, and how many sites link to a site which links to a site. This is potentially google's most innovative, important technology.
Put your keyword in internal links on your site pointing to each page that focuses on a particular keyword Same rationale as in the above tip.
Put your keyword in your domain name This can boost your google ranking.
Have quality content Google's algorithms are so amazingly fine tuned, that it appears they can tell if your site is quality or not via their automated spidering software. Make it quality!
Put your keyword in the name of the html file for the page you're targeting for a particular keyword This can boost your google ranking. my_keyword_here.html or my-keyword-here.html are both good to use.
Make your site easy to navigate for humans and the google spider Make sure each page has easy to find links to other important pages. This way, humans and google's spider will be able to find what they're looking for. For instance, include a site map and alt text in images.
Do NOT use cloaking software Do not EVER use software that shows different content if google's spider is visiting and other content when a human is visiting. It might sound cool, but you'll get caught and kicked off google. Bad idea.
Do not post your site on free for all links pages, or other low quality sites This can lower your pagerank, lowering your google rankings.
Do not put extremely similar or identical content on multiple sites In google's terms of service, they tell you not to do this. They don't want 10 results for a keyword all pointing to the same content. Makes sense.
Target unique keywords If you're trying to get a top ten ranking for words like search engine optimization, php, or web hosting, you will probably have a tough time. Target keywords with a small number of google results returned for better chances of getting a top listing.
Check your search engine rankings in google with Search Engine Rankings software for Windows I wrote a windows program that uses the google API to check your search engine rankings for particular keywords related to certain URLs. Since it uses the google API it is sanctioned by google to use. Nearly all other programs to check your search engine rankings can potentially get not only your ip address but an entire block near your ip address on your ISP banned from using any of google's services. It's actually happened before to some Comcast users.

A lot of this is common sense if you think about it. Imagine you were google - what would you want? The highest quality results for your users. Give them a high quality page for a unique keyword and you will get lots of page views. Simple.


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