Your Guide to Top Search Engine Rankings
Does it seem like no matter what you do your website just won't climb up in the search engine rankings? If so, your web site may not be optimized well enough for the search engines to increase your rankings. There are some very important factors that determine where web sites are ranked. These factors are referred to as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques and they can make all the difference in your sites rankings. Here are some of the most important factors that the search engines use in determining your rankings:
1. Web Site Content Content on your site is one of the most important factors for successful search engine optimization. Your web site should provide valuable information on specific subjects relevant to your web site. Furthermore, your content should be updated regularly. It's not enough to just put up a few content pages full of information on your site and then never add to it. This is a continuous process that will help your search engine rankings if done correctly. It's also important that you don't try to trick the search engines by flooding them with multiple versions of the same page, repeating the same content over and over. Doing that will not help your rankings and will eventually lead to your site getting banned from the search engines.
2. Link Popularity Inbound links are very important for achieving high search engine rankings. Most of the search engines today regard link popularity as one of the most significant determinants of your website's rankings. Here are some of the best ways to get inbound links: * Articles - Writing and submitting articles to website's and article directories is a very good way to get inbound links. * Content - Not only will adding quality content help in your rankings by itself, it will also help you with your link popularity. Other webmaster's will want to link to your site because it is valuable to them and their own visitors. * Directories - Submitting your site to online directories will help you gain inbound links. * Blogs - Start a blog that you update frequently with information related to your website's niche. Then, link to your site from the blog. You can also submit your blog to various blog directories to get even more inbound links. * Link Exchanges - Simply find other quality sites related to yours and ask them to link to you in exchange for a link back to them. This is not as effective as it used to be but it is still a pretty good way to get inbound links. When trying to increase your link popularity remember that the more inbound links you get the better, but quality is always better than quantity. Stay away from low quality sites, FFA's, and sites unrelated to yours. The next things that should be considered when doing SEO for your web site are the on-site and the off-site elements. Some of the on-site elements are the title tag, Meta tags, heading tags, ALT tags and highlighting of the text using the bold tag. The Link text is an important off-site element. On-Site Elements:
3. Title Tag and Meta Tags Meta tags help describe the page where they are placed. Though today the Meta tags are not nearly as important as they once were and are definitely not the only things the search engines look for when indexing your site, they are still somewhat important in deciding the relevancy of the page for a keyword search. Search engines focus on three primary tags to help them determine the relevance of a website for a particular search phrase. The Title Tag, Meta Keywords and the Meta Description. Ideally the title tags should contain less than 64 characters with your most important keywords in them and should definitely be relevant to the content on the page. Do not stuff keywords in to the title tag! The Meta description tag is a summary of the page and its contents. This Meta tag should be 200 characters or less and should contain keywords and phrases you hope to be found for, but it should also read like an introductory lead-in for the page and be appealing to the reader. The description you provide for your page has to convince the visitor that they have found exactly what they were looking for. Probably the least important Meta tag to search engines is the keyword tag. However, it shouldn't be ignored. Keyword tags should be less than 1000 characters. This tag should include important keywords and phrases consistent with the body text, title, and content of the page. Be specific and accurate with the keywords and key phrases in this tag. Again, do not stuff keywords here. they should only be those that are actually on the page and do not repeat any word more than 3 times.
4. Heading Tags The heading tags are given more weight than the ordinary text. The higher the H tag the more weight it carries. You should make use of the heading tags to highlight the important keywords and headings of your page as well as the paragraph headers.
5. Bold Text Bold text is given a little more weight than ordinary text but not as much as heading tags. Make sure to enclose some of your keywords in bold tags when they appear on the page.
6. Alt Text The alt tag provides alternative text when images cannot be displayed. This might happen if the users have set the browsers only to download the text and not the graphics, or if the images are too heavy to download for the userís internet connection. Only include important keywords relevant to your site and the image and do not stuff keywords in them. Off-site elements:
7. Link Text This is a very important factor in search engine optimization to gain higher rankings. The link text can be on pages within your site or what other web sites use to link to you. Either way, it is important. If possible the target page's main search term should be included in the link text instead of just the URL. Do not use identical link text for every link, but do include the target page's main keywords in the link text. Links carry more weight when the text around them is relevant to the target page's keywords and phrases. Following the above SEO information will help tremendously in your search engine rankings. Remember that the search engines are advancing all the time. Don't try to trick them because they will eventually catch on and that could mean the end of your web site. Stick to the basic techniques above and you will increase your search engine rankings without fear of being banned or dropped.
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