Simple SEO Truths
By Kim Roach of
According to the 1998 Georgia Tech GVU User Survey, 85 percent of respondents
found Web pages from search engines. Since then, other studies
have reported 50 to 80 percent of Web site traffïc comes from
search engines. Searching is second only to email as the most
popular online activity.
Unfortunately, there are many marketers who simply do not put
enough effort into preparing their web site for the search
The following guidelines will help you to start seeing results
in the search engines. Your first step is simply choosing the
Choosing the Right Keywords
Often times, people make the mistake of optimizing for very
general keywords like used cars or online marketing. Although
these terms get lots of traffïc, it is very unlikely that you
will be able to rank highly for them. Then, even if you do, this
type of traffïc produces very low conversion rates because they
are not targeted prospects.
For example, if you are selling hiking backpacks, it would be
much more beneficial for you to target the phrase 'hiking
backpacks' rather than the extremely competitive keyword
'backpacks'. It would be even better to target the phrase 'camelbak
commander'. This is a specific type of backpack and therefore
will attract more buyers than searchers.
In fact, according to Jupiter Media Metrix, 28 percent of
searchers will type a product name into a search engine. Nine
percent type in a brand name and 5 percent type in company
The more targeted your keyword phrase, the more likely they are
to buy. A person who types in 'backpacks' may be looking for
school backpacks or snowboard backpacks. This lends to useless,
However, a person that searches for a specific brand of
backpacks knows exactly what they want and they are much further
along in the buying process.
Once you have determined the best possible keyword phrases to
target, you must nöw optimize your page for those specific
Optimize Your Page for Targeted Keywords
There are many factors that will determine how your web pages
rank. However, one of the most important ones is that of a good
title. The title tag appears at the very top of the head
section. The words in the title tag will appear in the clickable
link on the search engine results page (SERP).
Your title tag should contain targeted keyword phrases that
reflect the copy on the page. The most important keywords should
appear near the beginning of the title tag, You must also keep
in mind that this should be a compelling title that would
attract searchers to want to know more.
Your title tag should focus on your primary keyword, but it
should also deliver a message. Use your title to mention
benefits, make an attention-grabbing statement, ask a compelling
question, or anything else that would set you apart from all of
the other pages competing against you. Your title should include
the main keyword you are targeting on that page as well as
entice visitors to clíck on your link.
Following the title tag are your Meta description and Meta
You have probably heard that meta tags are dead and for the most
part that is true. However, you should still include them in
your web site because they allow you to control the description
of your listing in some of the search engines.
Your meta description can make the difference in someone
clicking on your link or choosing your competitor.
The meta description tag should be used for marketing purposes,
enticing people to clíck on your link as opposed to one of the
other 9 search results.
Meta keywords tags are a different story. Google pays absolutely
no attention to this tag: a result of spammers. As for the rest
of the search engines, meta keywords may be taken into account,
but they are still of very little importance.
I would advise that you use this tag for misspellings, technical
acronyms and synonyms. Using this technique, you may be able to
bring in some additional traffïc for people looking for related,
but less popular keywords.
Creating Quality Content
Next, you will want to focus on the visible content of your
page. Many people online today are creating content that is
written specifically for the search engines. However, I would
advise you to optimize your content for your readers. Your
readers are the most important.
To rank for your targeted keyword phrases, you must include
them within your copy, but you must first ensure that your
content is appealing to your visitors. After you do this, you
can then weave your keywords into your copy.
You'll especially want to have your targeted keyword phrase in
the very first paragraph of your text.
Some other places you will want to include your keywords are in
the image alt attributes and within your heading tags. Place all
of your subtitles into header tags with your targeted keyword
Creating quality content for your visitors is crucial. However,
proper navigation and site structure can be just as important.
The search engines cannot fully index your site if it is not
properly linked together.
Every single page on your web site should be no more than 2
clicks away from the homepage.
Before you create your site, decide on which internal pages are
the most important in terms of ranking. Once you have gathered
15-20 of your most important pages, you will need to place them
at the side and bottom navigation of each one of your web pages.
This will ensure that the most possible pagerank is transferred
to those pages.
Each of these links should contain descriptive anchor text,
preferably targeted keyword phrases that you are wanting to rank
highly for. You should nevër make your web site visitors guess
what's on the other end with a link that says, 'clíck here'. Be
as descriptive as possible and your visitors will thank-you.
One of the best ways to structure your site is through the use
of hub pages. This is very similar to hubs on a spoke. At the
center is your homepage. On the homepage, you have a link to
each of the hub pages. The hub pages are basically small site
maps that are built into the navigation. Each hub includes a set
of information on a particular keyword or phrase. This is often
referred to as content layering. You can layer your site through
the use of sub-folders.
Once you have finished optimizing all of the on-page factors,
you must focus on some crucial off-page factors.
To have a truly successful search engine optimization campaign,
you have to go beyond on-page factors. Your overall link
popularity is a crucial ranking factor.
Some of the best techniques for getting quality in-bound links
are syndicating articles, exchanging RSS feeds, submitting your
web site to directories, syndicating your podcast, sending out
press releases, and simply having a link-worthy site.
When you have a site that is full of wonderful, useful
information, other sites will start naturally linking to you.
You have probably heard that content is king on the internet.
However, this is simply not true. QUALITY content is the true
In review, keep in mind that the most important places to use
your researched keyword phrases are in your title tags, the
visible body of your text, and in onsite and offsite links.
Successful SEO takes time. If you continually put all of these
strategies into action, you will begin to see the benefits in
About The Author
Kim Roach is the hip marketing gal at
UnleashTheTraffic.com, where you can learn how to drive tons
of targeted traffïc to your web site for frëe.
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