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Search Engine Optimization Tactics that Endure

Aug 18, 2007
To the many millions of people who are surfing the internet each and every day, major search engines like Yahoo and Google are mysterious tools that magically find exactly what they want from the countless trillions of pages currently online. Many small businesses recognize the power of appearing in the search engines, but don't understand how pages are ranked. It's amazing how precious little knowledge is really necessary to dominate popular searches.

Today you become part of the crowd that knows how to make websites available through the search engines with simple changes to the HTML. Let's face reality: If your site doesn't appear on the first page of search results, you likely won't get any traffic from the free listings, also known as "organic" or "natural" results. There is always the option of paid search engine listings, but that's a risky venture without testing and experience with the pay-per-click system.

First and foremost, you need to know what people are searching for. This enables you to know what your market wants before you throw all of your efforts into promotion. If you search for "keyword selector tool" you will likely find the tool at Overture. Enter any word or couple of words that your potential visitors might use, and the keyword selector tool will return results of exactly what phrases similar to those words were searched on and how many times.

This tool only returns the results from the Yahoo search engine, but it's well known that Google owns the majority of searches. A fair estimate would be to at least double the amount of Yahoo searches to estimate the number of related searches on Google. Pick one of those phrases as your main keyword phrase and you're ready to begin.

Nothing beats making the keyword phrase your domain name. That is a major accomplishment and domain names that include popular keywords are very valuable. You can usually get one with keywords by including hyphens between the keywords, although these are usually viewed as less valuable if you intend to resell. If you plan to simply rank well in the search engines, however, it'll work wonderfully.

If you design your site's pages yourself, you should be familiar with meta tags. The most important meta tag is the "title" tag and that's the first place you want to put your main keyword phrase. This alone will dramatically improve your rankings in all of the search engines. Title tags are the text that is displayed as the clickable link in the natural search results. More related keywords in your title makes your site appear more relevant to the search and therefore your page outranks pages that don't include those keywords in the title.

The second most important meta tag is the "description." This is the text that is displayed underneath the title in the organic search results and if it also includes the keyword phrase, it's a match and your page is considered more relevant. The closer to the beginning of the description you include the keywords, the better. Don't believe you can get away with simply filling the description with keywords senselessly, however, since this will be seen as spamming and your ranking will be poorer. You want the description to compel people to click the link to your site, yet include enough keywords to have several matches.

Making these simple changes to your website could easily be the difference between appearing on the first page of the search results or the tenth. The difference is very dramatic considering that most small businesses that advertise online are completely unaware of these simple tips to optimize their website. In today's competitive marketplace, dominating the search engine results can be the golden ticket to growing from a small business, to a very big business. Well, perhaps just a small business with a very big bottom line.
About the Author
Tyler Ellison is a successful entrepreneur who teaches free traffic secrets, but if you'd like personal help from him, be sure to apply at internet marketing coaching
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