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How to get noticed on the Web

Global World Wide WebSearch engine optimization [SEO] entails ensuring your Website content is helping you achieve strong rankings on the major search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing.

Keyword-rich Web content on Website pages will have the effect of attracting more traffic directly to your Website – which means more customers and more business.

Search Engines

Before we look at keywords, we should first get a better understanding of how search engines work. After your Website URL has been submitted to the major search engines, it gets visited by search engine spiders that “crawl” all over your Web pages to find out what they are about.  Search engine spiders are also referred to as “bots”, “crawlers”, and “robots”.  These scanning programs read and collect information from your Website content.  This information is then entered and catalogued in a database.  This process of acquiring and storing information is commonly known as indexing.

The first thing these ‘spiders’ will find is probably your home page.  If it cannot find visible links to the rest of the pages in your Website, it will simply give up and move on to another website.  Consequently, the remainder of your website not get seen or indexed.  The reason for this is that search engine spiders only see what is right in front of their face.  They are not highly sophisticated programs and will only see what is made clearly visible to them.  Search engines such as Google and Altavista are crawled and indexed automatically by spiders; whereas directories like Yahoo and the Open Directory are reviewed and indexed by humans.

All search engines rank the results of a search with the most relevant at the top. The sorting of the results is based on:

  1. Frequency of keywords in the content
  2. The proximity of the keywords to the top of the document
  3. Relevance of the Website content to the keywords searched
  4. Link Popularity

Many search engines use the content of the Meta Description tag to provide a summary description of the Website in the search results.  If the Meta Description Tag is not present, the search engine may take the first section of page text.  Therefore, a strong message must be placed either in the ‘Description’ tag or at the beginning of the body of text, to encourage potential visitors to click on the displayed link in search results.

Keywords

Let’s define what we mean by ‘keywords’: they are the words and phrases your potential clients will be typing into their search engines when looking for your kind of business, products or services. If you want to attract particular customers to your Website, you need to establish what search terms they are likely to use.

How to use keywords

When working with keywords, consider each page of your Website separately.  This is the way in which search engines work. If you want high ranking pages, create keyword-rich information pages that focus on one or two keywords [topics] only.  Trying to target too many keywords on a page may dilute your chances of success.

Choosing keywords

Many make the mistake of establishing keywords first and then compiling the page content around them.  This technique tends to create confusion because the page has been built for search engines and not the reader.  In my opinion, the best way to approach keyword selection is to consider the theme of the content on the page and select strong and prominent words within the text which have low competition and relatively high monthly searches.  The Google Adwords Keyword tool can help you with this.

Competition will be fierce so try not to use general keywords and perhaps consider niche markets.  Searchers are becoming more adept at searching by using fine tuned search terms.  If your business caters to a particular region, your keyword phrase could contain the name of the area, for example “Tiler in Ipswich”. To help you ascertain strong and prominent keywords, research your competitor’s sites and discover what keywords they are using for your particular page theme.

Where to put keywords

Try and ensure that your keyword appears in the content of the page, in links, in headings and sub headings, in Meta tags and in image references; approximately 5 to 8 times.  Do not over use keywords to the extent that it ruins readability of the text.  Keywords must blends in with the content in a way that it makes sense.

Lastly…

There are many different factors which influence how well your Web pages rank in search engines.  Many people see keywords as the single most important aspect of Website promotion. While optimizing your website with well-chosen keywords and phrases is an effective way to get your Website known, do not spend too much time on this single task because it could cause you to neglect other equally important marketing strategies.  Consequently, you may find yourself reducing rather than increasing traffic levels.