Search Engine Optimization for Total Beginners

Search engines are the gateway for any web business, Google being the most prominent out there. It's important to get the highest page listing possible as few people searching for what they're looking for, will go several pages deep into their search listings. There are companies out there making tempting promises to get you on the first page often times at exorbitant prices.

The best way is to try to get free organic website traffic, meaning when someone searches for a term or phrase in the search engine, those pages that come up are andquot;organicandquot; type listings. Being on page one is highly desirable as few people search beyond the first one or two pages listed. This is different than the paid ads you see on the right hand side of the page, other wise known as andquot;pay per clickandquot; ads. Trying to get listed at a high page rank is known as search engine optimization or SEO and boils down to:

1. Content is King. You need real content on your web site; this is content that has real meaning to real people, not just keyword stuffing. Search engines send out programs called web crawlers or web spiders that index web sites. The number one thing those web crawlers are looking for is content. They determine if a web site has content by tracking keyword phrases. This is why search engine optimization usually starts by picking keywords and writing content around them; a lot of web site marketing gurus advocate keyword stuffing well past the point of sanity and effectiveness. Anything more than about 2-4% of the words in an article and the web sites will filter it out it's too obviously andquot;gaming the systemandquot;.

2. Link backs provide validation. The more links leading back to your site, particularly links that are in contextually appropriate content, the higher your page ranking will be. Ways to get these link backs range from link exchanges with other companies in related marketing niches, to having articles about the topic or niche you're selling to with links back to your site, to social networking sites and Squidoo Lenses.

3. Updated and fresh content. This is important both for your human visitors as well as the web spiders. When both see there's new content added at least 3 times a week, they will be more likely to come back more often. It takes an average of seven visits before someone will purchase a product or post on a forum, so it's important to give both reason to return to your site.

4. Navigational links that are clear and make sense from your main home page. There's nothing more frustrating than not being able to find what you are looking for easily, most visitors will leave quickly if it's seems too confusing to find what they are looking for.

5. Text means everything in web content. Search engine crawlers ignore Javascript, they disregard graphics, and until recently, they couldn't read text in Flash animations. If the search engine spiders can't read it, it doesn't help your page rankings.

The real secret to long term success with web site optimization is to make sure your site is usable and interesting, both to the search engine spiders and to your human visitors. Keep adding fresh content that makes them both want to come back for more, and your site will continue to grow in popularity with both.

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This Article Has Been Published on Sat, 30 Aug 2008 and Read 1720 Times

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