Search Engine Optimization: Mystery Unraveled and Hot SEO Tips for Your Website

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a topic that has gained a lot of popularity with the arrival of the search engine Google. In the most basic interpretation, search engine optimization is a way in which webmasters can increase their standing with rules based search engines. This is very important because most website traffic comes through search engines. It is important to be listed in the top of the search results for specific keywords that are relevant to your website in order to generate a significant amount of traffic. The top ten listings receive the bulk of the traffic. Traffic results increase greatly with each successive move up in the rankings. Sites listed below the first couple pages of results do not get near as much traffic as those sites listed at or near the top. This is where search engine optimization comes in. Web pages are optimized to gain the best placement possible in a search engine for a particular keyword target. For example this particular article is targeted for the keyword phrase “search engine optimization”.

So where did search engine optimization come from and why is search engine optimization important to me? In the early days of the Internet, search engines listed results that were submitted, categorized, and maintained by humans. Then search engines went with an automated approach and web crawlers crawled your web site and ranked it by the presence of keywords on web pages. Then they adopted ranking based on keyword density. The more often a specific keyword appeared on a particular page, the higher the rank that page would receive in the search engine’s listing of the corresponding keyword. Now Google has come up with ranking equations that take into account several other factors including the number and relevance of other websites linking to your website. This is Google’s way of determining the popularity of sites so these sites can be moved to the front of their results lists. As a result of this, inbound links have become increasingly important and I will create an article in the future to cover this topic.

So what are the search engine optimization techniques you can use to optimize your site’s listing with the search engines? This of course depends on the search engine you are targeting, but there are some general rules you can follow to better your position with most all of them.

Search Engine Optimization Tips

Don’t leave your title tag blank.
Your title tag should say more than your site’s name. Add a few key keywords.
Make good use of your header tags because this lets the search engines know what you deem as important on your webpage. Use style sheets to manage the look and feel of the headers.
Put links on keywords and not on basic words such as “here”. For example, do not say: “to find more information about xyz click here.” Instead put the link on the keyword “xyz.”
Fill in your meta tags, but don’t go overboard.
Add alternate text to your image tags.
Fill in the title tags on links and images with short descriptive titles. These are displayed when the user mouses over the link or image.
Exchange links with similar sites. This is especially important in generating good rankings with Google.
Maintain a site index page. This will help search engines find each page on your website.
Maintain keyword rich body copy on your web pages. Once you have identified a keyword, try to use it on the targeted webpage somewhere between 3 – 6% of the time.
Pay close attention to this rule! Do not try to trick the search engines! You will be penalized for listing keywords that are not pertinent to your site. You will be penalized for listing keywords over and over again in your meta tags. Keep it simple and stick to the rules. Search engine optimization is not difficult. Most search engines provide a list of things not to do. In fact, here is a link to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Study and follow these lists.


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