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Search Engine Optimization Where Do I Start?

Before starting a search engine optimization project there are several key factors to consider prior to even selecting the first keyword.

  • You need to look at your website's readiness in terms of overall structure and navigation.
  • Your search engine optimization efforts have to begin with a web page which is easy to navigate and read.
  • If your home page has any graphics or flash animation you may have to reorganize your web pages to make them search engine friendly, by creating static HTML web pages in place of those hard to index pages.
  • Search engine optimization works best with statically linked web sites. Although the Search Engine spiders have improved a great deal since the early days, some spiders still cannot index dynamically linked pages such ASP, PHP, and Java script.

Search engine optimization starts with designing each page with the thought of how to find the information on the web pages when visitors are looking for a specific keyword or keyword phrases.
Your search engine optimization efforts should be focused on the purpose or message you want to convey, and give it a higher priority by finding and placing those keywords in the TITLE, META description, and the beginning of the BODY tag sections such as the Heading.

Also don't forget to emphasize the keywords by using font styles such as BOLD, STRONG and ITALIC.

Search Engine Optimization Do's

Create relevant and original content for your web site, based based on the keywords you have chosen. Be descriptive in your title, META description heading, body, and image alt tags. Put important keywords as close to the top as possible to gain better keyword prominence. Also try to aim for keyword density in the 7-10% range.

Use HTML for your search engine optimized pages and try to stay away from creating a purely dynamic site by using pages such as .asp and Cold Fusion, and Java scripts. Search Engine Spiders may have a hard time indexing those URL's, but they are getting better at it.

Create a site map. A site map is an easy way for the spider to index all the pages of your website.

Begin a reciprocal linking strategy. Find other sites with relevant content to yours. You can find other web site with similar interests or even your competitors, and ask them for a reciprocal link back to your site. The more sites linking to you, the higher your web pages link popularity will be, and you have a better chance for higher ranking.

Search Engine Optimization Don'ts

Don't use any spamming techniques , for example: invisible or hidden text, cloaking or re-direct scripts, or joining any link farms that may have been already penalized by the search engines.

Don't put a bunch of useless keywords in META and title tags. Perform a keyword research by using online tools such as the Overture - Search Term Suggestion Tool to find a niche and focus on a few keywords. Build your pages around those unique keywords. Don't overuse keywords in your title tag either, include one or two different keywords in a phrase. Check the keyword density, count, and prominence with the SEO Studio keyword analyzer.

Don't use the same list of keyword phrases in the title on every page. Make sure your title and keywords reflect the content of that particular page, not the site. The title should be descriptive and contain at least a few of the keywords that occur most often on that page.

Don't use large images or graphics that take long time to download. Don't use Flash for displaying content with important keywords, this also applies to images. Spiders can't read text displayed on images, or embedded in Flash animation. Be sure to have some static content, for example a site map, this helps the spiders and allows your visitors to easily navigate through your web site.