Your Search Engine Placement - Part 2
by: Tony L. Callahan
In previous articles,
we have established the requirement not only for listing in the search engines,
but also the imperative to be highly listed in them. We discussed, in detail,
a strategy for building your Keywords META Tag. If you followed the recommendations
and did your research, you now have a list of keywords and a well-written
Keywords META Tag. So the next thing to do is go list your site in the search
Not exactly. The
Keyword META Tag is a good start, but it is not a magic bullet. Without
the proper Description META Tag, TITLE Tag and quality content, all of
your hard work on your Keywords Tag will be for naught. Let's examine
each of these important elements in more detail.
The Title Tag is used by Alta Vista, Excite, HotBot, InfoSeek, Lycos and
Web Crawler all use the TITLE Tag as the title text for your web site
listing. The TITLE Tag should contain at least 5 good, descriptive words
and not exceed 200 characters. Avoid cliché filler words and phrases such
as - Welcome to our Web Site or Our Home on the Web. Did these titles
grab your attention? Did they inform you as to what you may find when
you visit the site? Probably not. A better choice is to list your businesses
name along with your top few keywords. Be careful with your keywords here.
Your Title Tag is exactly that, a title, do not try to overload it with
information. Instead, use it to capture your potential visitors' attention.
Description META Tag
The Description META Tag is used by Alta Vista, HotBot, InfoSeek and Web
Crawler as the description text for your listing. Ideally, the Description
META Tag should contain at least 5 words but not exceed 1000 characters.
Be as descriptive as possible within these constraints. To boost your
relevancy score, use your Keywords list, always ensuring that your description
It is plain to see
that your title/description combination is the first impression many potential
visitors get of your web site. It is vitally important that your title/description
grab their attention in a positive way. Well written Title and Description
META Tags should make the potential visitor want to visit your site before
visiting the sites of your competitors. Use your best marketing skills
here as it is the best free advertising you will ever get.
As mentioned in previous articles, the content of your web pages will
play an important part in your search engine placement. I have enjoyed
success with two different methods when it comes to content. The first
method is to write your page copy utilizing your most important keywords
early and often. Most of the search engine relevancy algorithms give a
higher ranking to pages that use their keywords as the first few words
and then continue to use these words through out the content of the page.
While it is important to use your keywords early and often, your copy
must be understandable. This is, after all, a sales presentation. What
good is it to get a high rating in the search engines and increase your
traffic, only to have an unintelligible message for the visitor when they
arrive? Do not sacrifice clarity for rankings. If your keywords are really
appropriate for your page, you should not have a difficult time working
them into your copy.
The second method
I call - Less Is More. Be aware, this method is considered by some to
be somewhat dishonest. The search engines are getting smart to this method.
Lycos has started assessing their spamming penalties for pages containing
less than 100 words. To implement the Less Is More method, develop a single
sentence using your most important keywords. Place this single sentence
on your index.html page along with a link to another page that contains
the real meat of your sales presentation. Then submit your index.html
page to the search engines. Some search engines have placed pages using
this technique very high in their listings.
I would like to mention two additional techniques to boost relevancy related
to your content. Alta Vista, InfoSeek, Lycos and Web Crawler index the
ALT text of the IMG Tags and HotBot indexes COMMENTS. It has always been
considered good HTML style to include an ALT Tag in every IMG Tag and
to comment your source, but now there is the side benefit of increasing
your relevancy rating. As in the content, use your most important keywords
in your ALT and COMMENT Tags.
After implementing the techniques as outlined, you are ready to submit
your web site to the search engines. So how should you go about getting
listed? There are many services out there claiming to guarantee you a
Top Ten listing. Obviously, there can only be ten listings in the top
ten. There are, by some estimates, more than 6 billion web pages in existence.
How many of those pages do you think could be listed under your top keywords?
Hundreds? Thousands? More? Clearly, it will be difficult for your site
to beat out all of those competitors and achieve a top ten listing. It
will require persistence, motivation and dedication, exactly the elements
most submission services will not have when it comes to your business.
Your business is your passion, not theirs.
This is not a put
down of submission services, they have their place. They can get your
site listed in many engines and directories across the Web in a very short
period of time. They are worth their cost in time savings alone. The issue
here is that listing in the search engines is a very important task, far
too important to trust to an outside interest. At least for the major
search engines, place your listing yourself using the search engines manual
A last word about
getting listed in the search engines. It is vital that you not give up.
Look at this as a learning experience. Do not be disappointed if your
first attempts do not yield the results you are hoping for. Use the experience
to help you fine tune your web site. The only losers in the search engine
wars are the ones who have quit fighting.
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L. Callahan, is a successful Internet Promotions Consultant with
more than twenty years of industry experience and is president of
his own Internet marketing company, Link-Promote.
He also publishes Web-Links Monthly, a newsletter full of
tips, tricks, tools and techniques for successful web site promotions.
To subscribe, send e-mail to: Web-Linksemail@example.com.
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