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Basic Search Engine Optimization - Beyond The Mystery And Right To The Facts

by Tim Whiston


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Summary : Search engine optimization has long been the Holy Grail of Web marketing. Every website owner wants to see their sites rank well in the top engines, but exactly how to achieve this remains a mystery for most marketers.

Search engine optimization has long been the Holy Grail of Web marketing. Every website owner wants to see their sites rank well in the top engines, but exactly how to achieve this remains a mystery for most marketers.

The first thing I want to point out is this fact: The exact algorithms used by the major search engines are actually proprietary, so anyone who doesn’t work for one of these companies who tells you they know exactly what it takes to put you at the top is probably lying to you.

The truth is the search engine companies don’t want people like me understanding their systems and creating positive results for my clients. The people behind search engine technology believe their algorithms provide the perfect solution for a Web surfer’s query.

But of course you and I know better. How many times have you tried to do a simple keyword search and ended up with page after page of irrelevant results?

Whether they like it or not, the search engines do need help from proficient designers and skilled marketers. It’s up to us to add the human element that robots and software simply can’t accomplish in an effort to bring searchers the best possible results.

SEO (search engine optimization) is a term with a very broad scope. There is a great deal of work and diligence involved in producing favorable search results for your website(s), but this article will take away much of the mystery that shrouds this subject and give you the basic fundamentals you’ll need to create some real results.

First of all, you should know there are two aspects of search engine optimization; onsite and offsite. Onsite optimization refers to what you can do within your code to make your files more search engine friendly, and offsite refers to link building from other websites back to your web pages.

Solid onsite optimization involves the following steps:

Title and Meta Tags:

Your title tag should reflect your primary keyword phrase. This is HUGELY important.

Often when I visit a site I see the domain name in the title bar. The title tag is the first thing a search engine robot is going to take notice of, and if you blow this aspect of onsite optimization your remaining efforts will have considerably less impact.

For instance, on one of my sites I sell an e-book to online marketers about the pitfalls of business opportunity programs found on the web. The title of my e-book is Net Marketing Exposed, which is pretty cool, but do you think this would be an intelligent entry for the Title tag of my main page?
Of course not. Who on earth is going to search for ‘Net Marketing Exposed’?

So my title tag reads: Internet Marketing E-book | Internet Business Opportunity. My target market for the site I’m referencing consists of home-based opportunity seekers and Internet marketers so I have chosen keyword phrases that match these search terms for my Title tags.

And note you can use the pipe character ( | ) to separate multiple terms in your title tag. I recommend going with at least two phrases in your title tag, but do not use the exact same words more than three times in your title.

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