Search Engine Optimization: Get the Low-down
Been hearing the words Search Engine Optimization lately? I know I have. But what is it, you wonder? Well, that's what I'm here to talk to you about.
Search Engine Optimization is a type of pull marketing that uses keywords to boost your search engine rank. What's pull marketing? It's what you might call passive, or viral marketing, where instead of aggressively seeking out your customer, you position yourself someplace where they can find you. The most likely place where you might be found is the first place they'll look: the search engine listings. You know: Google, Yahoo, Dogpile... those guys! But how do you jockey for the best placement? Read on for some helpful tips and tricks.
1. Optimize Your Articles
Article marketing is one of the newest and hottest ways to boost your search engine rank. To check out SEO article marketing in action, go to Ezinearticles.com. Sign up as a member, and start writing and submitting articles that other web marketers will "receive" via an RSS article feed, and promote on their own websites. With every article you write, a link to your personal website is included.
Why does this work to boost your search engine rank? Well, if you add keywords to your web article titles and text, people who type those same keywords into search engines will find your articles before they locate those of another person who wrote about the same topic but didn't use popular keywords.
For prime search engine optimization, your article headline should include keywords in the BEGINNING (the first 2-4 words- not at the end.) You can find out which keywords are most often typed into Google and other search engines by entering each keyword into the Overture Keyword Selector Tool. Want to know more? Paste in the link below for a crash-course in Keyword Article Writing.
2. Optimize Your Website
Not everyone knows about the advantages to making your website keyword-rich. But if YOU know, then that means you're one-up on the next person! So many folks use copy/paste web design programs, paying no mind to title and header creation. As a result, their websites may look pretty, but they're not primed for top of the search index. When designing yours, incorporate the most frequently used keywords into the HTML title tags. If you do this, web crawlers will be able to 'find' you through your keywords and secure you a pretty sweet location in the search engine rankings.
Use the Overture Keyword Selector Tool to research your keywords for popularity and relevance, and then add them to your TITLE, metatags and headers (H1, H2 and so forth). Meta-tags... hmm. What was that again, you wonder? Metatags are keywords used to help identify your web content. These words are listed at the beginning of each page source of your website. A visitor who clicks the page can't see your metatags, but web crawlers can, and that's how you get bumped up on the search engine ladder.
You should be meta-tagging EVERY page of your website, not just the homepage, so you can ensure that every section gets indexed properly. Each of your pages contains unique content, right? Well, chances are somebody out there is hunting for it. Let yourself be found.
More about page titles: web marketers are realizing they can make their websites more easily searchable by standardizing their page titles. Some examples: About Us, Services, Contact, Links. Web researchers and web crawlers both know to look for these words when searching for information on the net. Add these to your pages to make them easy to index.
A final tip on website optimization: the savvy marketer knows not to put a Flash intro on his homepage... because Flash designs aren't keyword-friendly. If you'd like to smarten up your look with one of these, go ahead and use it on another page, but save your homepage for standard, keyword-rich content. It's the best chance of improving SEO rank so don't waste the opportunity!
3. Optimize Your Web Ads
Here's a neat trick: if you advertise your URL on another website that holds a high SEO rank, you can 'get your name out there' by piggybacking on their popularity. This works for print ads and banners just as well as it does for the article marketing I mentioned earlier. Attaching your link to one of the top ranked websites increases hits to your site, resulting in better search engine position for you! The idea, again, is to run ads that are full of those popular keywords, so they'll be picked up by the website indexers.
In short: Search Engine Optimization is really the snowball effect in action... momentum gaining on itself. It's worth learning all the tricks that will bring your website up the ranks and keep the hits coming! If you're still new at web marketing and website design, why not get a brief tutorial from someone who's well-experienced and well-versed in the topic? After that, the only place you can go is up!
Copyright 2005 Dina Giolitto. All rights reserved.
Dina Giolitto is a New-Jersey based Copywriting Consultant with ten years of industry experience. Her current focus is web content and web marketing for a multitude of products and services although the bulk of her experience lies in retail for big-name companies like Toys"R"Us. Visit http://www.wordfeeder.com for rates and samples.
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