Sunday, January 25, 2009

SEO - The Basics You Should Know

What is it?

SEO is a carefully created method of improving the probability of your web page appearing on the results page of a search engine query. The nearer the top of the search engine results page your web site appears, the more likely that searchers will click on your web site link and go on to purchase the product or service you represent. You can perform search engine optimization yourself, or hire an expert to do it for you. There are approved ways to improve your standing and ways that can get you banned. It’s important that you do the optimization correctly to avoid getting your web site shut down.

Who needs it?

Any small business owner with products or services advertised online should make the effort to optimize their web site so as to achieve the best results when the search engine spiders visit your site. There are SEO algorithms that are used that are generally proprietary and different search engines look for different components in order to determine the rank of the specific web page. Naturally, each web site owner wants to achieve the highest possible page ranking for the products or services that are displayed on the web site. Getting your page ranking as near to the top of the search results as possible gives you more web browsers seeing your link.

How to get the best results ?

The best results for SEO is to determine the specific algorithm used by a particular search engine and write your web site to use the best possible mix of keywords, links, and placement so as to improve your ranking. Attention should be paid to using the keywords or keyword phrases correctly. Not only the number of times they are used, but in what context they are used. Even the placement of keywords on the page is important for best results. Another factor that is important is that of links to other web pages.

How does SERP apply?

SEO best results are returned on the SERP or Search Engine Results Page. When a searcher on the internet uses terms in a search engine query box, the search engine returns results on a page called the Search Engine Results Page. This can be a few links up to thousands of links, but few searchers look beyond the first page or two of results, since the results often are less relevant as you move further down the page. The ranking of your web page up toward the top of the list is what can increase your sales significantly.

Page rankings

Page rankings are the somewhat arbitrary number assigned to web pages based on the SEO results identified by the search engine spiders or robots. Each major search engine relies on a different algorithm for ranking, although there are similarities between the three major search engines, MSN. Yahoo and Google. The goal of search engine optimization techniques is to have the web page appearing on the first page of search results for the specific query.

Optimization techniques and resources information can be found at SEO or Search Engine Optimization. SEO is the goal of each business and web site owner in order to increase the sales revenue for the product or service.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Top 20 Search Engine Ranking Factors

1. Title Tag:

Type your targeted keyword phrase in ANY search engine and notice how 9 of the top 10 sites have that targeted phrase somewhere in their title tag.

*Learn from your competitors and remember keyword density and prominence.

2. Heading Tag Structure

H1, H2, H3, H4 and no more. Remember H1 is what the whole page is about and the other 'sub' H's are explaining each section under that heading. A good way to look at this is to look at it in a standard outline format.

A. = H1

--- a. = H2

------ i. H3

--- b. = H2

------ i. H4

------ ii. H3 & H4

--- c. = H2

------ i. =H3

--------- 1. H4

3. META Description

The META description is there to describe the page. So describe the page. Remember your page is about your targeted keywords. Make sure those keywords are scattered throughout the description of each page. Also, sometimes the search engines will display your description under your listings on the SERP's (Search Engine Results Page). Therefore make the description captivating enough to make the visitors want to click on your website and not your competitor's.

4. Age of Site

Arguably, this is the deciding factor when picking between 2 sites with great stats. Search engines trust websites that have been around for a long time. This is because if the site wasn't valuable, it would not be on-line any longer. Even though this factor is a huge factor, it's only a factor for old active domains. Old, yet active domains that have history of constant updates and consistently acquiring links are the hardest sites to beat.

5. Total Pages Indexed

The total # of pages indexed is very important because usually the more pages indexed the more keywords you will be targeting. This is not always true, however considering this is USUALLY true; this is definitely a factor in search engines' algorithms. The more pages you have, the more chances your site has to get found. Furthermore every page linking within your site (if done right) could build strong internal page rank.

6. Anchor Text of internal Links

It's important that the links within your site that leads visitors from one page to another describes that page with the keyword it's targeting.
IE: Get directions to our San Diego Location

7. Total Backlinks

YES, the amount of back links still matters. The more links you have, the better. BUT, it's the more relevant links from the greatest variety of sites, the better. You need links from blogs, forums, authority sites, educations sites, local area sites, industry sites, etc. They all must be relevant to you. The more accurate the relativity, the more closer you are to being the most relevant site to the searcher's query. The more (relevant) links, the merrier.

8. Anchor Text of Incoming Links

Originally if someone linked to your site, that someone was a different person with a different website giving you a link titling your company name. So if someone Googles your company name, you'd be the first to show up because other sites said that's who you are. But, new potential customers aren't looking for your web site. People are searching for your services. So you have to find ways to get links describing the services you offer.

This way other sites are vouching that you are "men's clothing". The SERP's already know you're Men's Ware House.

9. Average Time on Site

One factor that helps Google determine if your site is a site that will give visitors a pleasant user experience is to record how long visitors stay at your site. The longer you can keep a visitor on your site the more likely you are providing that user with an experience worth sticking around for.

10. Bounce Rate

Like Average Time on Site, Bounce Rate is a metric that measures the worth of your page. Do visitors come to your site and click the back button more often than not? Normally if 80% of the people visiting your site are clicking the back button, that site is not relevant to what they were searching for.

11. Strength of Competition

To be honest, this really isn't a factor in its own. The strength of the competition is probably the backbone of every factor. Ranking results are based on a comparative scale. Meaning the number 1 site is more relevant then the number 2 site based on ALL of these factors. Good ways to measure the strength of the competition is analyze their Alexa Rank, Total Pages Indexed, Total Backlinks and their Google Pagerank.

12. Total Character Count

The more content you have, the better chance you have at satisfying your visitor's query. Google looks for special keywords within your content to back up the keywords you are targeting.
If you are targeting men's clothing, Google looks for terms that will answer every visitor's query. Like pants, shirts, prices, location, xl, discounts, customer service, socks, fitting room, fabric, fashion, etc. Usually to cover all of the visitors' possible questions, you need to provide a lot of unique and informative content.

13. Page Rank

(Ceterus Paribus) Yes, page rank still counts. Many "SEO's" will tell you that this doesn't matter. But, the core of Google's algorithm is based on Page Rank.

14. Keyword Placement

Where amongst all of your content and web pages is your target keywords located? Keywords should have prominent placement in paragraphs supporting their matching headings. Naturally placing your keyword in rich related content the right amount of times is arguably the top ranking factor.

15. Types of Media

Have you noticed videos on the SERP's ranking higher than you?
Or, have you ever ended up at a site through a picture?
Having a variety of media types shows that you are presenting your targeted keywords in various forms, this is most likely pleasing a variety of visitors.

16. HTML Validation

Content : Code ratio is a ranking factor. It must be easy for the bots to run through your site. Also when spiders run through your site, it's necessary that you prevent any traps that could prevent the spider from crawling your site completely and finding all of your content. Broken links are also a big no, no. The bots hate getting led to nothing.

17. Navigation and Architecture

How your site is built and themed is very important for spider indexing and visitor navigation. The paths your visitors take are being recorded. So make sure the pages you want to rank well are easy to find for the user. Having your targeted keywords categorized and your page structure in a siloing format is best. Also add a site map to your website so the spiders could have a one stop page to your whole domain.

18. Click-through-Rate on SERP

Google wants to provide results the visitors want. And to help them determine what they want is to record how many times out of a 1,000 impressions do people click through to your site. If your listing has the highest click through rate it must be because your title, description and or brand are what the users was most likely looking for. This is why title tags and META descriptions are 2 of the other 20 factors in ranking well on the SERP's

19. Total Search Queries Conducted After Leaving Site

If the user searches for that same term over and over again, they must not have found what they were looking for. Your site should answer the visitors query by proving data to the engines that proves that visitor don't need to look any further.

20. Percentage of Return Visits

The higher percentage you have of returning visitors, the better. High return rate means people who have visited your site before enjoyed their visit and found your site valuable. This factor is used in helping Google help others find a site that the visitor may find interesting. So if your site is relevant to the searcher's query and everyone that visits your site returns, Google will use this as a measure of a relevant and interesting site, thus leading to search engine higher rankings.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Be Aware Of SEO Errors

Doing search engine submission and just having a flashy web site is not enough. It is important that potential customers locate your site to keep your business growing. You might say, “What is wrong with my site? It has a beautiful design and an impressive content.” But give it a second thought. Are you really satisfied with the business that is flowing? If this continues, will it be possible for you to survive in this competitive world? This brings us into the realm of SEO.

Be aware of SEO errors:

1. Non-standard title: One should have a clear concept about the title. A standard title should always include the major web site’s keywords and it is recommended to use the company name after the keyword phrase. For more information logon to should always be chosen keeping the viewers in mind or else it can prove to be lethal for its search engine ranking.

2. Use of Meta data: Meta data provides useful information about a web page and the three pieces of metadata that requires our concern are Title, Keywords and Description.

3. Back-links: Some sites tend to link them with other important sites. But the most genuine way to get good links is to develop good contents. If your site can enchant your users then other site owners will have a good reason to link to you, benefiting you from the SEO point of view.

4. Flashy images: Flashy images might be attractive to you but it may not be so to search engines and users. What matters most is the quality of information that is provided to the users – because spiders can’t read flashy images and so they fail to index them.

5. Consistency and Maintenance: One must always remember that it is important to keep an eye on the rankings of your page. To be successful one should maintain an updated site.

6. Reduced site usability: Inconvenience created to the user always results to a poor lifetime value to the visitors and makes the site less attractive.

7. Not staying within guidelines: Search engines have guidelines and violating them may prove to be costly as it may lead to a site being removed from the search engine index or otherwise penalized.

8. Keyword density: It is the ratio of the number of keywords used on a web page to the total number of words on that page. For more infomation logon to keyword density of an article ranges between 2% to 12 %. Repetition of the keyword sometimes damages the charm of the content.

9. Wrong keywords: Knowing and understanding the customers’ needs is very important. Based on it, effective keywords should be chosen so that it brings traffic to the site and makes it more SEO friendly.

10. Insufficient data: Stuffing your website with irrelevant data will create a negative impression on your customers and it may harm your rankings if not taken seriously.

Thus, the role of SEO is vital to a successful online marketing campaign. A website designed beautifully with original contents following the varied information stated above will definitely generate a good business and collect higher returns on investments

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Search Engine Optimization Tips and Tricks

Everyone knows that search engine optimization is the game to play these days. After all, it seems as though it’s the only thing that everyone talks about anymore. But how do you go about properly optimizing your website? Do you really need to spend a bundle of money for special tools and consultants?

The answer is no - as long as you have a little bit of time and willingness to learn. In this article, we’ll take a look at some simple steps you can take that have been proven to greatly improve the ranking of websites within search engine results.

But first, I’ll define search engine optimization, according to, so that we start on the same page: [search engine optimization is] the process of choosing targeted keywords and keyword phrases related to a Web site so the site will rank high when those terms are part of a Web search; abbr. SEO. A good basic definition - you will see in a moment, however, that SEO does go above and beyond mere keywords.

So let’s get started from the ground up.

Website Structure

We’ll start at the very basis - your website’s structure. This pertains to the way your site is put together, and every other aspect of SEO builds upon this. I’ll start with the basic website/web page elements you do not want to have, and I’ll also explain why:

>Re-directs - Re-directs refer to pages that are blank and just point to another page. Many search engines run into trouble when they try to add re-direct pages to their databases, so this is something you want to stay away from. Many re-direct pages are not indexed, and if you are using a re-direct for your homepage, there goes any chance you may have had of any part of your website landing in search results.

> Frames - Frames consist of essentially two separate web pages being displayed as one. Frames are usually used so that, for instance, a constant navigation menu can be displayed in a panel on the left side of the screen, while the rest of the screen changes each time a link in the navigation panel is clicked. This can make a website look snazzy, but search engines just can’t process frames, and you’ll end up with the same problems as if you tried to use re-directs. It is best to stay away from frames. The good news is that you can emulate the function of frames pretty easily, through the use of simple HTML - the only difference is that you’ll have to include the navigation menu code on each page, but it is worth doing this to have your website indexed.

> Image maps - Image maps are images that have had separate links added to them. To illustrate, suppose you have created an image with three areas of text on it: ‘Home’ ‘Help’ and ‘Links’. By "mapping" that image, you can create three separate links around each area of text, without having to break the image into three smaller images. Image maps are usually used for navigation menus, but here is where the problem comes in: search engines cannot follow the links in a navigation menu. (Aren’t you starting to get tired of all the problems these navigation menus cause?) There is an easy work-around, though, if you really want to use image maps - just include the links as text links somewhere else on each page that has an image map. Search engines will be able to follow these text links and index the rest of your site.

> Macromedia Flash - You either have a love or hate relationship with Flash, but the bottom line is it chokes up search engines too. If you don’t have to use it, please, don’t. (Not only for your sake, but for the sake of us who have gotten just a little bit tired of those tacky Flash headers on every website now!)

> CGI, PHP, and all that stuff - CGI, PHP, and other web programming and scripting languages are very powerful and can contribute a great deal to a website’s functionality. But dynamic web pages are just one more thing that search engines can’t digest. Oftentimes, there may be no getting around using scripting in a website, but use it sparingly, and if you’re using it for the sole reason of looking impressive when HTML would do the job just fine, by all means, switch to HTML!

So now you have a basic understanding of the technologies and areas to avoid when building - or re-designing - your website. A properly structured website facilitates the easier "crawling" of "spiders" through it so that it receives a higher search engine results ranking.

We’ll now move on to the content of your website, an often-overlooked aspect of search engine optimization.

Website Content

The content your website contains is very important. All the search engine crawling in the world won’t do you any good if the search engine "spiders" don’t find any useful content on your site. Oftentimes, you won’t see search engine optimization programs cover your website’s content, but this is a very important point that I think should not be left out.

Your website should consist of a good amount of relevant, explanatory content, containing your keywords (which we’ll talk about in a few moments) and several good supporting images (we’ll get to those in a second as well).

Upon hearing that more text is better, many webmasters make the mistake of adding un-decipherable jibberish to their sites. This is also something we’ll discuss under the Keywords & META Tags section, but for now I will say that this is a big no-no. Search engines can tell when you’re trying to fool them, and if they consider your site to have committed a large offense, they may even permanently blacklist your domain from their results database. So it is extremely important that the content on your website makes sense.

One good idea is to include articles on your website. Search engines greatly prefer content that changes often, and what better way to have changing content than to continuously post articles on your site. Not only will you be perceived as an expert in your field, you’ll also make the search engines happy.

I think that’s as far as I’ll go with content - much of what will be discussed in the next section applies here as well, so keep reading!

Keywords & META Tags

Keywords are yet another integral part of your search engine optimization campaign. For starters, you need to sit down with a sheet of paper (and don’t forget your good old thinking cap!) and think of keywords that pertain to your business. (For the record, keywords can be both single words and phrases - just make sure they’re not too long!) Think of what your website does, and develop keywords that you would use to describe your website and its content. It does not matter how many keywords you come up with, although it is best to have no less than five (and the less you have, the more targeted your search engine marketing can be).

After you’ve developed your list of keywords, there are a few things you’re going to want to do with them. First, sprinkle them within the pages of your site. Anywhere you have text on your website, include these keywords. It is best to have at least three per page (of each one), as the search engines likely will not pay attention to them otherwise. Keep these tips in mind when inserting your keywords:

> Do not repeat a keyword over and over.

> Do not repeat a keyword over and over (or even just once) and make it the same color as your website’s background.

> Do not include your keywords all together as jibberish that no normal human can understand.

The second thing you’re going to want to do is to include these keywords in the descriptive sentences you will use in the ALT tags for the images you have on your site. Again, follow the rules in bold above that can be applied to ALT tags.

Third, add these keywords to your META tags. There are three elements to the META tags that you will be using: Title, Description, and Keywords. For the Title and Description META tags, follow the rules in the bold text above - and be sure to include your company name in these two tags, if it is not already one of your keywords. For the Keywords META tag, you can go to town adding your keywords, one right after the other! Separate them with a comma, and do not include the same keyword more than once! Doing so (as well as violating any of the bolded ‘Do not’ points above) can also get your domain name permanently blacklisted.

Inbound Links

Another great search engine optimization technique that is often overlooked is incoming links. Every link you have coming into your website raises the "awareness" of your site in the search engine’s minds. If the links come from websites with high Google PageRank ratings, that is even better (in Google’s eyes, anyway - this doesn’t apply to MSN, Yahoo!, etc.).

How do you go about getting links to your website? One of the easiest ways is to add your site to as many industry-related online directories as you can find. A couple of other quick and easy methods include posting ads at Craigslist and other free classifieds sites, and swapping your links with similar (competing or not - this is up to you!) sites.

Remember, the more inbound links you have, the higher your Google PageRank, as well as your position in the search results of Google, MSN, and the others.

Outbound Links

Did you know that outbound links are just as important as inbound links? Perhaps the search engines don’t care for traffic hogs, but whatever their reason, websites containing links leaving their sites consistently rank higher in search engine results than those that do not.

So who do you link to? Remember that you can swap links with other related sites and you can both benefit. You can also link to complementary websites that visitors to yours may be interested in (but that don’t in any way compete with you). The main idea for getting both inbound and outbound links is to be aggressive, as well as innovative in your approach.


This is by no means an exhaustive guide. But I can’t keep rambling on and on either. You need time to go perform the tasks we’ve discussed here today, so that your site can be on its way to the top of the search engine results.

So stay tuned for further search engine optimization articles here at I’ll be posting more search engine optimization techniques very soon!