Once you have your web site complete and ready to be listed you need to take a slow step by step approach to get listed in the search engines. If you do it right the first time and then build on that formula, your profits and your site will benefit in the long run. Those willing to spend the time and put these techniques into practice are the ones that will benefit and are more likely to be successful.
Putting keyword phrases into your pages - Finding the perfect set of keywords for your web pages and knowing the right keywords to use is very important because your site should provide people with what they are looking for. A free program to help you can be found at: http://www.goodkeywords.com Good Keywords makes use of various tools provided by search engines like Yahoo, Google, Teoma and other services like Alexa. Using Good Keywords makes it all very simple, fast and straight forward. Just remember...don't over do it or you will be penalized.
ALT TAGS - The ALT tag or 'alternative text' is an attribute of the IMG tag. (Any graphic on your web site) An ALT tag should be included for every image within your web site. The ALT tag provides an alternate message to your viewers who can't see your graphics. Without ALT tags, images on a web site are meaningless to these users. If you will be using a graphic menu systems for navigation, these alternate messages are an especially important aid to users without the ability to see your graphics. Adding an appropriate ALT tag to every image within your web site will make a huge difference to the accessibility of your web site. Also, for those who use Yahoo and Google image searches, your ALT Tags can be very important and will help bring traffic to your site. Take for instance one of my sites - http://www.spasoftheworld.com I have loads of graphics of different resort spas and the graphics all carry the name of the resort. People looking for information on this resort may easily end up at my website because I names a picture with the name of the resort.
On the reverse side, ALT TAG stuffing, which is using the tags in an image to hide keywords will rarely help a site's position. If you can insert a key phrase into the image description then by all means do so. Remember that Alt tags do usually count towards your overall keyword density so it's better to have relevant keyword alt tags rather than something like "image01.gif".
Spiders - A search engine is a database that has been put together by spiders. Spiders scour the Internet going through pages and recording information available on web pages. Spiders then give the information to the database and the database feeds the results. Theoretically, the web site should show up in the search results the next time the engine updates. It is important that all links on your site be active. A dead link may prevent a spider from doing your entire site.
Robots Text file - Search engines will look in your root domain for a special file named "robots.txt" (http://www.mydomain.com/robots.txt). The file tells the robot (spider) which files it may spider (download). This system is called, The Robots Exclusion Standard.
FLASH - This has to be one of the top mistakes a web site owner can do to hurt their search engine rangkings. Good content will win over flash every time and getting visitors to your site is what you are trying to accomplish. The only thing the search engines will be able to see when visiting a site where the first page is all flash are the title tags and links. In most cases that will not be enough. Over and over it's content rich pages that will get you the rankings you need. You may have to decide between getting a high ranking or having a "pretty" entry page. Remember that you goal is customers and sales. It might be kewl the first time you visit the site but when you have to go there over and over again it becomes very annoying not to mention that people on dialup must cringe when faced with such a page. They often give up because of the length of time it takes to load.
Don't expect results overnight. It takes time to get your ranking up there, even with paid inclusion. You may start out with a low ranking when you are first listed but as you continue to optimize your site and build "relevant" links you will start to see a gradual climb. As you wait for your rise to the top, concentrate on building as many relevant links as possible. Beside increasing your ranking you will be surprised at the number of referrals that you will received from those linked pages.
Jean Sutherland has successfully run her own ezine for over 6 years and has a subscriber base of 35,000. Her ezine is geared to people doing business online and beside offering free software, it also provides traffic & marketing tips, informative business articles, free ebooks and computer tips for those trying to work online. http://www.emailpromotions.net
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Article Submitted On: December 12, 2004
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