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Top 7 Search Engine Optimization Strategies
By Jimsun Lui
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Search engine optimization refers to the technique of making your web pages search engine friendly so that search engines are more easy to understand and analyze your website. Consequently, your site has a better chance to gain high search engine ranking.
However, please be reminded that high search engine ranking is not your only objective, and your objective should be website traffic and conversion. The following advice helps you to achieve the objectives.
- 1. Make Sure Your Site Will Not Be Penalized
Webmasters realize the importance of attaining top search engine rankings. Hence, they perform many search engine optimization activities on their sites. However, improper implementation of search engine optimization can get your site heavily penalized by search engines. To avoid your website being penalized, webmasters must not commit to the following practices:
- Use of hidden texts or hidden links on web pages.
- Use of cloaking
- Excessive automated queries to search engines like Google
- Web pages loaded with irrelevant words
- Keyword stuffing
- Multiple pages, sub-domains, domains with substantially duplicate content
- 2. Select Correct Keyword Phrases
Correct keyword phrases allow you to drive targeted visitors to your website. Therefore, this step determines whether your search engine optimization effort can improve business result or not.
Do not restrict yourself and be open minded in this area. You may think that most of the search is coming from 1 word keyword. However, it is wrong. Most people uses 2-5 words keyword phrases because they are more descriptive and yield precise results from search engines.
In addition, think creatively and perform linguistics research can help you generate useful keyword phrases.
- 3. Optimize Title and Meta Tags
One of the important steps in search engine optimization is to optimize Title tag in your web page. Pages with the keywords appearing in the title tag are often assumed to be more relevant to the search query than others. Remember, title tag is the most important location of a web page after the main content of the body tag. Almost all search engines give importance to this tag.
Some search engines also give importance to the presence of the keyword in the meta description and keyword tag. Currently, it does not applicable to Google though.
- 4. Optimize Website Content
All search engines place emphasis on your body text content. The main content of your web page should contain the keyword a considerable number of times to make the search engine spiders feel that the content is relevant to the search query. The first two paragraphs are extremely important in search engine optimization.
To prevent your site from being regarded as “over optimization”, you should not stuff keywords heavily in your body content. We suggest that you should present the keywords in a natural way. Apart from this, your website copy should have at least 200-250 words.
- 5. Ensure Clean Coding
To allow search engines to index and analyze your website correctly, you must check correctness of HTML coding manually. Webmasters may build webpages from WYSIWYG HTML editors such as Microsoft Frontpage 2003, but these HTML editors may leave some duplicated or unnecessary tags in your copy especially when you edit the pages very often during web design phase.
In addition, search engines are not good at understanding Java Applet and Flash. If you have Flash or Java applet navigation menu, make sure to duplicate somewhere and include HTML links as well.
Please also check whether your website has broken links. They may stop search engine spiders to crawl other web pages in your website, it may result in loss of hundreds or thousands website traffic per month, and waste your search engine optimization effort.
- 6. Link Building
In case you have a little bit knowledge about search engine optimization, you likely know that link popularity is very important to attaining high search engine ranking in major search engines such as Google, MSN, Yahoo, etc..
Yes, search engines use link analysis to determine search engine rankings. The phiolosophy is that if an inbound link points to your site, your site must have some value. Therefore, the inbound link is regarded as a "positive vote" to your website. The more inbound link you have, the higher is your link popularity. This can boost your search engine ranking.
However, quality of links (link reputation) is also important. If you can get an inbound link from a high popularity website, your site will get more benefit.
There are many methods to perform link building including seeking one-way link, reciprocal links, 3-way links, etc. Because link popularity and link reputation are of great importance to search engine positions, many search engine optimizers spend most of their time in link building.
- 7. Optimize Dynamic Website Content
Search engines are not good at understanding dynamically generated web pages. Therefore, I suggest you should change your dynamic URL to static URL. If it is not possible, you should consider using some advanced search engine optimization techniques such as Mod-Rewrite to optimize website.
Another simpler way is to create a sitemap and list all dynamic URLs on it. This can help a bit.
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Written by Jimsun Lui from Agog Digital Marketing Strategy Ltd., a company offers Search engine optimization and search engine positioning service, visit http://www.agogdigital.com to learn more. The company is also developing Ecommerce Shopping Cart Software [http://www.cartautomate.com]
Article Submitted On: February 21, 2005