It takes a lot of work to optimize your web site for the search engines to increase your rankings. Here are some very important factors that search engines use to determine where web sites are ranked. These factors are referred to as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques and they can increase your web site's rankings.
Here are the most important factors that the search engines use in determining your rankings:
1. Web Site Content
Have you ever heard "Content is King" that is because content on your site is the most important factor for successful search engine optimization. Your web site should provide valuable information on specific subjects in your web site. In addition, your content should be updated regularly. You should update your content once a month at a minimum. It's not enough to just put up a few pages full of information and then never add to it. This is a continuous process that will help your search engine rankings if done correctly.
2. Link Popularity
Inbound links are the second most important factor for achieving high search engine rankings.
Here are some of the best ways to get inbound links:
Articles - Writing and submitting articles to other websites, newsletters, and article directories is a very good way to get inbound links.
Directories - Submitting your site to directories will get your site inbound links.
Blogs - Start a blog, like this one, and update it frequently with information related to your website. 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 - Start a link exchange program, promises a return link for a inbound link to your site. Find other quality sites related to yours and ask them to link to you. This is not as effective as it used to be but it is still a pretty good way to get inbound links. Also make sure any organizations you belong to that have a website are linked to your web site. An example would be the Chamber of Commerce web site.
When increase your link popularity remember that the more inbound links you get the better, but remember that a link from a high ranking website is always better than quantity.
The next things that you should do when optimizing your web site are the HTML elements. Some of the HTML elements are the TITLE Tags, META Tags, HEADING Tags, ALT Tags and highlighting of the text using the BOLD Tags. The Link text is also an important element.
3. META Tags
META Tags help describe the page content. 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 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 DESCRIPTION Tag, and the META KEYWORD Tag.
The TITLE Tag is very important to a website's ranking and will tell search engine users what the page is about. It should contain less than 64 characters with your most important keywords in them and should definitely be relevant to the content on the page.
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 search engine users will use to find you with, 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.
The META KEYWORD Tag the least important of the META Tags. However, it shouldn't be ignored. KEYWORD tags should be less than 1000 characters and should include important keywords and phrases consistent with the body text, title, and content of the page. 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 (H1, H2, H3, H4) 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. Remember to write your headlines so that visitors can understand what the subject mater of the following paragraphs are about.
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 Tag
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 user's internet connection. Only include important keywords relevant to your site and the image and do not stuff keywords in them.
7. LINK Text
This is a very important factor in search engine optimization to gain higher rankings. The link text can be to pages within your site or to other web sites. 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.
Remember that Search Engine Optimization is a vital part of any web site. Without optimization it is very unlikely that any one will be able to find your business when they search the World Wide Web. For more help on this matter visit A Working Website.