How to Make Your Web Pages Search Engine Friendly

Making your web pages search engine friendly is the basic first step in getting higher rankings for your keyword(s) of choice.

Before optimizing any individual page, you need to choose a primary word or phrase that you want to optimize it around. This word or phrase should be something that relates to the content of your page, and that you have a realistic chance of ranking well for. Being the #1 result for your primary keyphrase is a good long-term goal to have.

Once you have selected your primary keyphrase, it is a good idea to put it in high-visibility locations, such as the title and heading tags. You might also want to incorporate it into your meta tags. These tags can be very useful for organizational purposes, even though most search engines pay them little or no attention.

In addition to your primary keyphrase, you should come up with a few secondary keywords. These should be things that relate to your primary keyphrase in some way. A good place to put secondary keywords is in secondary heading tags, outgoing anchor text, and scattered throughout the content itself, as well as in the “alt” attribute of relevant images.

A final step to take in making your site as a whole more search engine friendly is to link every page back to the homepage at least once, and to as many other (relevant) pages within your site as possible.

Once you are satisfied that your page is well optimized around the words and phrases of your choosing, it’s time to move on to the next page, and start the process again.

Has Traditional Web Site Optimization (SEO) Outlived Its Usefulness

When it comes to internet marketing, traditional web site optimization (SEO) still stands as the holy grail, but an increasing number of small and medium sized business owners, facing the prospect of high SEO fees, are just now beginning to turn to an alternative promotional method that is generating consistent and quantifiable results at a fraction of the cost. The cost of SEO, at least when it comes to highly competitive keyword phrases, is prohibitive for all but those with deep pockets.

“Matt Hocken, of Interactive Marketing, Inc., estimates that one can expect to pay upwards of $50,000 – $100,000 a year to secure top ten Google placement for a highly competitive keyword phrase like ‘life insurance’ or ‘debt consolidation’ and that’s obviously out of the question for the small to medium sized business,” Ron Scott, Fast Track SEOP’s senior publicist reports.

Even the cost for placement using less popular keyword phrases can be high.

“A Houston publicist recently paid $5,000 to get her website optimized for a small number of obscure keyword phrases that Overture reports are cumulatively generating fewer than 200 inquiries a month. Not told that 50-75% of those searches are being routinely conducted by webmasters, SEOs, and website owners checking the current status of their websites, she’s now wondering if she’ll ever recoup the expense,” Scott says.

So what•�€™s the alternative? Pop-ups? Pop unders? Banner ads? Email? Not hardly.

Unlike an organic search engine optimization program that can take months and even years to start showing results, internet press releases start generating interest the day they are published.

“A properly optimized and distributed press release will typically generate 50,000 – 100,000 actual reads the first week it goes on line,” says Scott.

According to Scott, unlike traditional press releases, 98% of all internet press releases are read by consumers and B2B prospects.

“Originally, press releases were the exclusive domain of the Fortune 500 and were directed to the mass media, but not any more. Small and medium sized businesses have discovered that they can deliver their messages directly to a broad (national or international) or highly targeted (local or regional) audience on the internet and, thereby, eliminate the tedious process of media placement,” he says.

Scott points out that the value of an internet press release promotional strategy doesn•�€™t stop there.

“Press releases can also be optimized for organic search which enables those who find their newly published websites residing in Google purgatory, the opportunity to secure top ten rankings in a week or less,” Scott says.

To illustrate the value of the internet marketing strategy, Scott points to a release he prepared and distributed on behalf of a little known manufacturer in New Zealand.

“The first 30 calendar days, it generated 133,686 reads, drove over 25,000 visitors to their website, and generated 100s of inquiries from B2B prospects all over the world,” he says. “Since that sampling taken at the beginning of June, the release has generated an additional 42,443 reads and a commensurate level of traffic and inquiries. “It’s the gift that keeps giving,” he says.

Has traditional web site optimization outlived its usefulness?

“For most of our clients it has,” Scott says.

The Best and Easiest Google-Friendly Change to Your Web Site

No matter who you are or how much you pay for web site advertising, free search engine traffic is probably responsible for a big part of your business. So why make your web site so hard for search engines to figure out?

Luckily, it seems like in the recent years people have paid attention to SEO, moved their sites over to CSS, abolished “table” and “font” HTML tags, started using the H1 tag around their titles… and in general, moved the main content of their site as close to the top of the HTML document as it can go.

“But Robert,” you tell me, “I have a bunch of fancy JavaScript and CSS at the top of my site that I don’t want to get rid of.”

That’s ok, you can keep it. Just stash it away in another file. By that I mean… if you were lazy and included your CSS right in the HTML document like this:

(style type=”text/css”)
(!–
CSS code in here
–)
(/style)

Copy all that text out and delete it from the HTML page.

Remove the “style” tags and the “(!–” and “–)” stuff. Open a new text file, paste the text from the clipboard in, save the file as “layout.css” then save and upload to your web server.

Now, back on your HTML page, place HTML code like this:

(link rel=”stylesheet” href=”http://nullrefer.com/?http://www.example.com/layout.css”)

When someone loads your page in a browser that tells them to look to the URL http://www.example.com/layout.css for the CSS info. But when the search engines crawl your site they will see a nice, clean, simple layout.

You can do the same thing with JavaScript. Say these are your “script” tags:

(script language=”JavaScript” type=”text/javascript”)
(!–
JavaScript code in here
–)
(/script)

Do the same thing, copy the JavaScript code but NOT the “script” tags themselves or the “(!–” or “–)”. Erase the original from the HTML page. Paste the stuff you copied into a new text file and call it something like: “functions.js”

Upload functions.js and in the spot you had your JavaScript code use this:

(script language=”JavaScript”
src=”http://www.example.com/functions.js”)(/script)

One important thing to remember is that NO JavaScript code can be placed between the “script” tags if you use the “src” parameter like that.

So remember: use H1 tags, use meta description tags, and use CSS, but make sure you include your JavaScript and CSS stylesheets in separate files otherwise there’s no point.

SEO Success: Step One is Good Web Design

Creating a well-designed website is the first step in your internet marketing strategy. Once the website has been created and optimized, there are further techniques to employ that will drive traffic to your website for successful, long-term results. You wouldn’t consider opening a retail store in a major shopping mall without signage and you shouldn’t consider having a nice looking website designed without expanding your web presence in order to be found on the internet. But unless the website is designed correctly to begin with, follow-on SEO efforts will have limited results at best. The following strategy overview is designed to bring about productive SEO results:

– Create an attractive website that is complementary to your company image and provides your targeted audience with information about you, your company and your products and/or services.

– Design a website that has a call-to-action in the form of a purchase or providing you a contact, subscription or other commitment from your visitor.

– Create a successful marketing arm for your overall business promotion and marketing campaign to promote your business, products and/or services with the many follow-on strategies that drive traffic to your website.

– Become competitive in your industry and marketplace by meeting or exceeding the industry marketing standards and attracting a qualified audience for your products and/or services based on a strong reputation.

– Generate and maintain or grow internet traffic to your website resulting in a conversion of traffic into sales of your products and/or services by evolving as your market demands.

This search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is composed of several processes in three stages: 1) Good web design, 2) Attracting attention from search engines and directories, and 3) Creating long-term popularity on the internet. However, it all starts with good web design. Website design is the foundation and beginning of a successful internet marketing strategy. It is true that there are websites on the internet that are unattractive but somehow seem to work. If there are aspects of these websites that work, imagine how well they could do if they simply followed basic design implementation tactics that resulted in a good image as well as simply pushed information out to the viewer.

These basics are essential for Tier 1 success:

– Good web design will complement and enhance the company image and offline marketing campaign products creating a corporate branding if done well.

– Easy, logical navigation that leads the viewer deeper and deeper into the web of information provided by the website will keep the visitor on your site longer and give you more time to sell your products or services.

– Attractive but quick-loading graphics that are pleasing to the eye and meaningful to the website will guide the viewer along the route you decide is important for explaining what you offer.

– Keyword usage that is search engine-friendly depends on how the keywords are utilized, the placement of the keywords, the frequency of the most important keywords and their relevance to the website.

– Website coding that is lean, clean and without errors will keep the search engines happy and your viewer seeing exactly what you intended to offer.

– Relevance of content to the theme of the site is essential. Be concise, to the point and focus on your goals. If you have multiple themes and offerings, consider multiple websites to address the different markets, then tie each website back to the others by linking.

– Changing content that changes frequently and stays fresh keeps your viewer returning and prevents the search engines from treating your website as if it were stale news. A stale site will be ranked lower by the search engines.

Content is king — it’s all about content, content, content. But how that content is presented is what makes the difference.

How to Make Better Use of Web Site Page Titles and META Data

We got down to the basics with web site page titles and META data as part of a new study on how manufacturers use natural search engine optimization (SEO). Businesses of all types could benefit from the following case studies that show how poor titles and META data can be improved from an SEO perspective.

Case Studies: Ineffective Optimization

We selected 5 of the web sites (among 350 we studied) that scored the worst in terms of search engine optimization. Here•�€™s a closer look at what they may be doing wrong on their home pages (company names are removed).

Case Study No. 1
META Title: Business Name
META Description: missing
META Keywords: missing
ANALYSIS: Title lacks keywords, page doesn•�€™t include META data.

Case Study No. 2
META Title: Company name followed by corporate attribute
META Description: Features a 20-word description without keywords.
META Keywords: Includes 30 keywords and search terms with no real focus.
ANALYSIS: Title may have one keyword at the most after several non-keywords; META data poorly used. Used a Flash page with •�€œskip intro•�€ button that won•�€™t perform well because it lacks text.

Case Study No. 3
META Title: Welcome to Business Name
META Description: missing
META Keywords: missing
ANALYSIS: Title lacks keywords, page doesn•�€™t even attempt to include META data.

Case Study No. 4
META Title: Company name followed by one search phrase
META Description: corporate domain name www.xxxxxxxxx.com
META Keywords: empty
FRAMES: used on site
ANALYSIS: Title has potential keywords, but they•�€™re trapped inside a long phrase without comma separation, META description features corporate domain name and the META keywords weren•�€™t used. The Frames format may discourage spiders from indexing the web site, especially since this main page doesn•�€™t give them much guidance.

Case Study No. 5
META Title: Business Name
META Description: missing
META Keywords: missing
ANALYSIS: Title lacks keywords, page doesn•�€™t include META data.