Do It Yourself SEO
By: Matt Colyer
Internet surfers use search engines more than any other tool to find things online. Search engines rank their results using a complex formula that considers web page content, link popularity and other details. This is why you should Search Engine Optimization (SEO) your web site.
First before you start you need to identify your keywords. It is critical that you know and understand the search terms surfers will use to find your web site with. If your not sure yet try thinking of search terms you would use to find your site. After you find your keywords make a list of about 50 (If you can find that many) keywords and target them.
Next you need to identify your competition. Start searching with your site's targeted keywords and research the top ranked competing sites. Create a list of the top 10 to 15 sites and review each one of these web sites. While reviewing each of the competing sites look at the SEO methods that they use.
Meta tags are thought by most to have little impact, If any at all, on your site's ranking, but is still recommend to use. It's better to be safe than sorry! The meta description tag is used to describe a web page's content to the search engines. Most search engines (Google, Yahoo!, etc) get the web site's description from the web page's content and not from the meta description tag. Write a description of your site here and make it short.
The keyword tag tells the search engines what keywords are related to your site. You should place your main keywords here and add no more than 15 keywords. The Title tag is probably one of the most important SEO techniques today. Not only will the search engine's spider see this, but also the surfers. Place your main keywords in it and be creative. Don't make it longer than it needs to be.
Keyword density is a key part of SEO. On each page write approximately 200 to 500 words. Write it with your targeted keyword phrases. Remember not to over due it and get banned from the search engines for spam or make your visitors hate you. Put your keywords in bold and in the heading tag. Try to get a density of 5 to 15%. If your not sure what you keyword density is try using http://superiorwebmaster.com/webmaster-tools/page_primer.php.
Search engines will not only use links to find new sites, but they'll count each link to a site and use this to determine how popular that site is. What you want to get is quality links. These links should come from web sites that are related to your topic. Don't exchange links with every site you can. Take time to check each one before exchanging links. Make sure they are a clean and professional site. Look to see if they use spam.
Other thing to consider is to make sure HTML is valid. Spiders are somewhat like the browser you use, they read the HTML to display the web page. If your HTML code contains errors, spiders might not be able to find the content on the page. Although most spiders will try to correct minor errors in HTML code, it could still hurt your ranking. Visit w3.org to have your HTML code validated.
This article was posted on March 07, 2007
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