Search Engine Optimization Guide
By David Callan
Not by any sense of the word is search engine marketing a
secret. However there are secrets and tricks to search engine
marketing. In this article we'll try to successfully educate you
on the different factors which contribute to SEO, SEO is
becoming a 'Hot Word' in Internet marketing
In case you don't already know, SEO stands for Search Engine
Optimization. It is a vital part of any online marketers quest
It means preparing your website with the 'right ingredients' for
the search engines to 'like' it. If they 'like' your site you
can expect to get hundreds if not thousands of free visitors
In fact some research has found that at least 65% of traffic to
websites comes from search engines. This is just a general
figure and of course varies depending on the other marketing
methods you employ, however this figure does give you an
indication of how important SEO is to any online business.
OK now we'll go through the different factors which affect your
sites ranking. First things first!
Choosing the right
With most of the big 'useful' engines now operating express
submission services you will want to spend your dollars wisely.
Do You want:
If you answered yes to these questions, then forget about
choosing the rights keywords, realize the benefit of keyphrases.
This approach is likely to generate much higher click through of
highly qualified visitors.
Let me explain this to you - How many people do you think search
for the word music? ''A lot'' - How many results come up
for music ''A lot''. What do you think your chances of appearing
near the top are, well I'll answer that one for you. SLIM TO
VERY SLIM. Not to worry though because visitors who
click-through to a site after searching for music are not highly
targeted, you don't know if they're searching for:
It's so vague that your time and effort would be better spent on
However if a search engine visitor types in 'Special Offer Music
CDs' and you have targeted that keyphrase in prominent places
where search engines look on your website, you have a much
better chance of appearing near the top of the pile. Also if in
fact the visitor clicks through on your listing, you are much
more likely to make a sale, because you have exactly what the
searcher was looking to buy.
The more complex your keywords are the more highly qualified
visitors you are going to get from the search engines.
Qualified visitors = Sales! Sales! Sales
Try also to regionalize your keyphrases if possible. This will
of course only apply to certain websites.
What I mean by this is that if you operate out of a specific
location target that location and the surrounding areas in some
of your keyphrases. This helps to improve the quality of your
Example: Imagine that the biggest & best car dealer in
Detroit happens to have a website, but they're unwise and their
title tag is as follows:
#1 Car Sales
Dealer and Garage in America.
They think this will bring them lots of visitors because it has
an alphabetically high start (#1) and has decent keywords,
they're probably right. The visitors it does bring however will
not exactly be targeted. A visitor from the other side of
America could visit their website, are they going to travel
across America to buy a car from someone just because they
visited their website? No.
Now let's say a man from Detroit is looking to buy a new car.
The dealer he bought his two previous cars from has closed down
and he doesn't know of any other dealers around. He therefore
decides to use the Internet to look for "Detroit car dealers"
The likelihood is that the above car dealers competition will
show up because he or she has used a title like this: #1
Detroit car dealer, garage and sales website.
Obviously the man looking to buy a car in Detroit is going to be
interested in the site. It's for these reasons that if it's
appropriate for your business I recommend that you always
regionalize with your keyphrases.
Imagine you don't know what words to target in your keyphrases,
well there's a simple solution. Visit
and do their free trial. Enter in a word that you think people
searching for your site will enter on the search engines and
wordtracker will give you a list of 15 related words and
keyphrases. These are what you'll use to make your keyphrases.
Now you should know what keyphrases you want to rank well on in
the search engines, but where do you put these on your website
pages to improve you chances of appearing near the top of the
The title tag is probably the most important area of your page
as far as the search engines are concerned. All search engines
give relevancy to words found in the title tag.
Title tags are easy to include in webpages - You simply put your
title between two HTML title tags. Here's the HTML needed
<title> AKA Marketing - Internet
Marketing Articles, Internet Marketing strategies, tips, tricks
and secrets </title>
The start title tag <title> and the end title tag </title>
should be placed between the <head>
and </head> HTML tags of your page,
these tags are at the top of all HTML pages.
OK now you know where to put it, but how do you know what to put
in it. Have a look at the sample title I have included above, it
targets my main keyphrases
It also targets secondary keyphrases like
and reads very well which helps to attract searchers to the AKA
Don't even think about having a title page like PAGE 1, Joe's
home page, My home page or any other title that's not very
descriptive because it won't help you one bit.
Take another look at my title above, obviously it has got my
main words in it such as Internet Marketing Articles,
strategies, tips, tricks and secrets. Since search engines often
return the title in the search results, your HTML title should
be both very descriptive and attractive, the example given above
Remember including your keywords in your title is imperative not
just for getting good rankings but also to allow to searcher to
mentally associate your listing with a good find, which he or
she will do when they see the search query is present in your
title, hence they'll be more likely to click through to your
You may notice I included AKA Marketing in my title tag, I did
engines and directories display web sites alphabetically.
Therefore, to take advantage of this, I included my website
name AKA Marketing at the start of my title. A is the first
letter of the alphabet, its a capital. Capitals are
alphabetically higher than lower case letters, so on search
engines that list sites alphabetically I will appear before
sites with similar content that either have a small a or any
other letter. I will also appear ahead of anyone with a
capital A and a lowercase letter as their 2nd letter in
their title tag because K is my 2nd letter.
My website name
matches my domain name and I personally think it is smart,
catchy and very memorable so I included it in the hope
people might revisit.
It makes the
site seem more professional.
Regards point #1, beware not to put
in characters that don't make any sense because your title not only has to be
nice to search engines but also has to be nice and attractive to people, the
titles do actually get read you know!.
As for the length of your title try to keep it at about 12-20 words and less
than 150 characters, having more than this will lessen the relevancy of words in
the tag and therefore they will become less important to the search engines. If
however you need a longer title perhaps because you're targeting a wide range of
keyphrases it is advisable to put your most important keyphrases early in the
tag, the reason for this is that some search engines will truncate your tag and
only take a certain amount of it.
Meta tags like title tags are tags which are embedded in the HTML of a page.
However they are not as important as title tags because only a handful of search
engines use them as a factor when determining the relevancy of a page. They
still must be included in all your webpages however to get maximum results from
the search engines.
There are two types of meta tags which search engines look at, the meta keywords
tag and the meta description tag. Simply put the keywords tag contains your
keywords and keyphrases and the description tag contains a keyphrase rich
description of your site.
Here's the HTML needed for the meta keywords tag.
<meta name="keywords" content="Internet Marketing
Articles, Online Marketing tips, strategies, Internet marketing tricks, secrets,
Now here's the HTML need for the meta description tag.
<meta name="description" content="AKA Marketing for
Internet Marketing Articles, also Online Marketing strategies, tips, tricks and
Again these tags have to be included between the two head tags
Let's start with the keywords tag, this is where you list words and phrases
related to your website theme. You will see above that I have included my main
keyphrase right at the start of the tag - "Internet Marketing Articles", this is
because some search engines will see words that start early in the keywords tag
as more important than ones just before the end of the tag.
The search engines that use the meta keywords tag all differ when it comes to
this assigning relavency to words within the tag, but they all seem to rate
pages with short to medium length keywords tag better, so I would suggest that
you keep your keywords meta tag between 150 to 250 characters.
I have a lot less than 250 characters in the example keywords tag I give above
this is because I do not want to dilute the importance of "Internet Marketing
Articles" by including lots of words which I have not placed elsewhere on my
Don't repeat a word more than 3-5 times in your tag because most search engines
nowadays will see this a spamming and could penalize you in the form of poor
ranking or complete exclusion from their database.
The reason that the keywords meta tag is not widely used by search engines is
because the text in this tag cannot be seen by visitors to a website. Therefore
the search engines feel this tag will be abused, by webmasters placing lots of
unrelated words within it in order to get more visitors.
However using the keywords tag in
conjunction with other areas of your page can help your ranking. Imagine for
example if your main keyphrase was "Internet Marketing Articles" and someone
typed in that phrase in a search engine that supports meta tags. The search
engine would search its database, see that you have the keyphrase "Internet
Marketing Articles" in your title tag and a few times in the body of your page,
then it will take into account that you have "Internet marketing articles" in
your keywords tag too.
So alone keywords/keyphrases in a keywords meta tag will not give you extra
relevancy. It will however help to reassure search engines that a page is
relevant to the words being searched for.
Regarding the meta description tag, this is what some search engines use when
your site is returned in the results for a certain search term. Without it
search engines could take the first few lines of code from your page, which
mightn't appear so good to the searcher. Hence you should always put a short
10-20 word description of your page in this tag. Make sure your most important
keywords are at the start of your description because some search engines will
truncate it to suit their own needs.
Don't stuff it with keywords, it's more important for the description to sound
right and professional than to have it filled with keywords. Imagine doing a
search for something and the site ranked number 1 had a description filled with
keywords. Would you click on it? I wouldn't. The bottom line is that description
tags will be read by searchers so make sure it doesn't sound unprofessional or
just plain stupid.
Where else can I include my keyphrases?
The first few lines on a page are now extremely important and nearly all search
engines look at these lines for keywords and phrases. A good idea is to place a
slightly altered and extended version of your title tag here, which includes
your targeted words once or twice.
The reason why I haven't included longer keyword rich lines at the start of my
pages is that they affected the design of my site and made it look less
professional, this is because I use tables. I could have put the longer keyword
rich lines in at the start of my tables, but these would appear way down the
HTML and wouldn't have the desired effect.
The main body of text is of course very important in establishing the relevancy
of a page. You should have a keyword/keyphrase density of about 3-7%. Keyword
density means the number of keywords as a percentage of total words on a page
(excluding HTML tags). Don't repeat keyphrases one after another because the
search engines will think you are spamming and your page will not be ranked
You should have section headings which contain your target words inside
<B></B> bold tags and
<h1></h1> heading tags as most search engines will look for text in these
tags and will give words inside them extra relevancy.
You should also place you target words in the ALT image tag.
ALT="AKA Marketing logo - number 1 for Internet marketing articles">
This will help increase you keyword density somewhat, to what extent however I'm
You should also name your pages and if you can directories with your keywords in
them, for example the name of this page is
''search-engine-optimization-guide-4.html''. I have separated the words with
hyphens as search engines can identify them easier this way.
Another particularly useful approach is to put your keywords in
the actual hyperlink text used for navigating from page to page
in your site. Both of these methods will help to increase your
You should get your own domain name too. Names can now be up to
63 characters in length, so you should get keyword rich domains
as many of the big search engines have been noticed to give
extra relevancy to websites with keywords in their domain name.
Well that's the end of our search engine optimization guide, if
you can implement the methods you have just learned you should
have no problem getting a few top 20 rankings.
Just remember to target 2 or 3 keyphrases and have these in the
most important areas of your pages. These areas are listed below
in order of importance.
Article by David
Callan. David is an Internet marketing professional and
AKA Marketing.com webmaster forums. Visit his webmaster
forums for the latest discussions on search engines, website
authoring and Internet marketing related issues and topics.
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