Effective SEO tactics

Introduction

This article has been written to help put a stop to the mysteries of both Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing.

What Search Engines Want

Search engines tend to favor straightforward, text-oriented, non-frame, non-tabled, non-graphically-intensive, non-JavaScript, non-shockwave sites. Unfortunately; this is not what most online entrepreneurs want to hear. Search engines love pages that most consumers would agree are non-professional or “ugly”, but search engine spiders tend to score these “ugly” pages highest, because they are looking primarily for text content to index. All the fancy stuff like Flash and JavaScript just confuses the search spider and actually drives it away in some cases.

Google Page Rank

Get to know Google’s technology before starting! This is a useful document to read to learn the basics of how Google ranks each site it spiders. Google Ranking Basics

Relevancy

There are a number of ways to establish a page’s relevancy in the eyes of search engines. One of these methods is called the “on-page factor”. On-page factors involve placing your keywords in strategic locations throughout the pages on your site, so that search engines know to associate those keywords with a specific web page. Important on-page locations include Header Tags, Internal Links, External Links, Anchor Text, Bold and Italicized Text, HTML Lists, ALT Tags, Image Names, Dynamic Bread Crumb, Title, Description, Keywords, Headline, Deck, Page Body, and Page Name. Search engines make money by showing ads. In most cases, that’s their entire profit model. This means that in order to make money, they need to show those ads to as many people as possible. The method in which they get the largest number of people to use their search engine is by giving them the most relevant search results. If the search query, “Make Money” was typed into a search engine, one would expect to see the very best pages about that specific topic. If the results returned pages about Investment Opportunities, Vacation Rentals, or ever worse, pages about Viagra and Online Casinos, the user would probably decide to use a different search engine that could provide more relevant search results. Search engines have a vested interest in providing the best, most relevant search results possible. Otherwise, people could stop using them, and as a result, they would have no one to show their ads to, and eventually go out of business. To submit a website to search engines while your site is still in the design phase is a must, as it can often take weeks to crawl your site

Another method to establish relevancy are “off-page factors”. These are the factors related to the pages that link to the site from other sites. Off-page factors include the inbound link anchor text, the text in the paragraphs surrounding that anchor text, the titles of the pages linking to the page, the other on page factors of the pages that link to the page, the directory categories the site is found in, the directory categories of the sites linking to the page, and many other factors. Of the off-page factors, the inbound link anchor text is the most important, but they all play a role. Some search engines are more advanced than others, and make more complete use of this data; however, all of the major search engines are moving towards applying this data in order to increase the quality and relevancy of their search results. Simply put; the topic of and theme of the page MUST be built around the keywords and key phrases you are targeting. If you are writing long sales copy, this is very difficult task to perform with without making the content read funny. In this case you would only focus on the first 5-10 paragraphs or the eye catcher. A webmaster should always follow acceptability guidelines for each search engine. Review these guidelines and become familiar with them.

Google Guidelines: Google Guidelines
Yahoo Guidelines: Yahoo Guidelines
DMOZ Guidelines: DMOZ Submission guidelines

Their advice is to generally create content for the user; not the search engines – to make content easily accessible to their spiders and to not try to trick their system. Webmasters often make critical mistakes when designing or setting up their web sites, inadvertently “poisoning” them so that they will not rank well. It is worthwhile getting a domain name that suits your company profile, and this can be done by using a domain buying and selling company like UK-Domains

Coding guidelines published by the World Wide Web Consortium should be followed as well as tested using their free valuator which checks the markup validity of Web documents in HTML, XHTML, SMIL, MathML, etc. WWW Validator If the acceptability and coding guidelines are followed, and the site presents frequently updated, useful, original content, and a few meaningful, useful inbound links are established. It is very possible to obtain a significant amount of organic search traffic. When a site has useful content, other Webmasters will naturally place links to the site, increasing its Page Rank and flow of visitors. When visitors discover a useful web site, they tend to refer other visitors by emailing or instant messaging links. As a result, practices that improve web site quality are likely to outlive short term practices that simply seek to manipulate search rankings. Relevant, useful content will ensure you will always come out on top!

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