At least 85% of people looking for goods and services on the Internet find websites through search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and MSN. The idea of optimizing your pages for high search engine rankings is to attract targeted customers to your site who will be more than likely to make a purchase. The higher your page comes up in search engine results, the greater the traffic that is directed to your website. That’s what search engine optimization is about.
You can immerse yourself in all the technical information available online to figure out how to optimize your web pages to achieve higher rankings. Or you can look at a few simple items on your pages, make some small adjustments, and most likely see improved rankings quite rapidly. The first item you should examine is the title bar on your homepage.
The title bar is the coloured bar at the top of the page. Look at the words that appear there when you access your home page. To increase search engine rankings, the words on your homepage’s title bar should include the most important keywords or phrases, one of which would include your company name.
Then click on all your links and examine the title bars on the pages you access. Each title bar on every single page of your site should contain the most important keywords and phrases taken from the page itself. However, avoid very long strings of keywords, keeping them to six words or less. Avoid repeating keywords more than once in the title bars, and make sure that identical words are not next to each other.
The next item to put under your microscope is your website content. Search engines generally list sites that contain quality content rather than scintillating graphics. The text on your site must contain the most important keywords – the words that potential customers will be typing into search engines to find your site.
Aim to have around 250 words on each page, but if this is not desirable due to your design, aim for at least 100 carefully chosen words. If you want to achieve a high ranking on search engines, this text is essential. However, the search engines must be able to read the text, meaning that the text must be in HTML and not graphic format.
To find out if your text is in HTML format, take your cursor and try to highlight a word or two. If you are able to do this, the text is HTML. If the text will not highlight, it is probably in graphic form. In this case, ask your webmaster to change the text into HTML format in order to increase your search engine rankings.
Next we come to what is called meta tags. I know this sounds like something out of science fiction, but it is really just simple code. Many people believe that meta tags are the key to high search engine rankings, but in reality, they only have a limited effect. Still, it’s worth adding them in the event that a search engine will use meta tags in their ranking formula.
To find out if your page is set up with meta tags, you must access the code. To do this, click the “view” button on the browser menu bar, and select “source.” This will pull up a window revealing the underlying code that created the page. If there are meta tags, they usually appear near the top of the window.
For example, a meta tag would read: meta name=”keywords” content=.
If you do not find code that reads like this, ask your webmaster to put them in. This may not do much for your search engine rankings, but any little boost helps.
Lastly, we come to the issue of link popularity. This is a factor that is extremely important in terms of search engine rankings. Almost all search engines use link popularity to rank your website. Link popularity is based on the quality of the sites you have linked to from your links page.
If you type in “free link popularity check” in a popular search engine, the search engine will then show you what sites are linked to your site. In the case that there aren’t many sites linked up to yours, or that the sites that are linked up have low search engine rankings, consider launching a link popularity campaign. Essentially,this entails contacting quality sites and requesting that they exchange links with your site. Of course, this requires checking out the rankings of the websites you want
to link up with. Linking to popular, quality sites not only boosts your search engine ranking, but it also directs more quality traffic to your website.
Search engine rankings are extremely important for a successful Internet marketing campaign. Before you go out and hire a search engine optimization company, try taking some of the simple steps listed above, and see if you can’t boost your rankings yourself. Don’t ever ignore this all-important factor in Internet marketing. Remember, the higher your search engine ranking, the more quality customers will be directed your way.