Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization is a misunderstood part of web design: No Doubt. With a million companies and websites, SEO rates from $10/mo. to $500/mo. how is one to determine, what works, and why? Small Business websites require a low budget solutions. SEO Tricks are really just a myth. Decently coded pages with key words, are a reality. The truth is, search engines are still not incredibly intelligent.

Search Engine Optimization is the responsibility of whoever is paid to care about the position or rank of a web site, on a given search engine, for it's given set of key words. So who should care? Anyone who publishes a web site, who wishes to benefit from traffic derived from people searching - that's who!

What is it worth? This is probably the biggest enigma. It's worth, and ROI is skeptical. Ultimately, the worth is determined by the ad copy at the end of the road. The quality of service and motivational factors of the site. A click-through to your web site is worth nothing, if your website doesn't offer good services, or products. It sure doesn't hurt if your website gives away some general, valid information on the topic or key words closest matched to your service industry: A autoparts website that offers great deals and warranties on autoparts - and gives you general information such as crossreferencing parts. It isn't worth a dime if no one ends up being interested in your services, after they arrive. If your site is ready for success, clickthroughs are of value, and SEO may be for you!

What techniques would produce the ultimate search engine optimized site? No one really knows the answer to this, but my guess is, it would include:

  • Either a very tightly optimized CSS layout or Table Trick. Forces key word content to the top of the browser in a place of prominence.
  • Excellent content on the website, that is key word laden.
  • A domain name with key words.
  • Written by an expert in the field, and containing cutting edge discussion and articles about the given industry or key worded topic. This promotes spontaneous "backlinks".
  • Hundreds (or thousands) of links leading back to the website containing a good variety of the key words in place in the anchor text. Many of these links being high Google PR Rank and appearing on the home page of a domain, if possible. Many can be "reciprocal" links, but the most valuable are high PR links, from a home page, that does not contain more than 40 or so links on it.
  • An .xml feed of the site updates - at very least. A complete strict site may help, especially at Yahoo - but this hasn't proven to be totally necessary and may restrict audiences.
  • A Blog (which could provide the above - .xml feed)
  • Continuous updates changes - "tweaks" to the position and use of keywords
  • Continuous addition of content
  • Tip of the Hat Links - Links to high PR content rich sites in theme with the site.

Search Engine Optimization begins with several main procedures:

  1. Optimization of HTML Tags
  2. Optimization of Word Copy
  3. Link Building - Reciprocal Link Building
  4. Directory Submissions
  5. Content Building
  6. Experimentation
  7. Waiting - Resubmitting - Ping and Blogging
  8. Server Log Analyzing
  9. Key Word Swapping
  10. Pay Per Click Programs
  11. Domain Name Strategies

This BLOG will attempt to teach the beginner webmaster a few techniques to help get pages ranking better at the search engines. Please note, that techniques change, over time - as search engines change their "ranking algorithm", or methods for determining which sites will rank highest.

Stay Tuned For Search Engine Optimization Articles To Come!


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