Search Engine Optimization: Getting Started
By Joe Garite II
Okay, so you’ve got yourself a nice website and your advertising campaigns are starting to bring in some customers. But what if there was a way to advertise without paying for it? Would you take the time to learn about it? If you answered yes than keep reading. If you answered no than you can continue to pay for your advertising campaigns barely making profits and never increase your revenue.
I am going to explain some of the first steps to get your website not only optimized
for the search engines, but to push your website up in the rankings war. Grab
yourself a cup of coffee and maybe a muffin and take out your pen and paper, lets
First you need to categorize your website. Figure out what category it is best suited
under. For example if I am selling computer programs that aid web designers, I
would categorize my website under Computer Software. That was easy enough
right? Okay, now comes the difficult part. You need to pick one, just one, keyword
or key phrase that you want to base your homepage on. Focusing on one keyword/
key phrase makes it more valuable in the page in which it is located. The value of
the keyword/key phrase is known as weight. You want your pages weight to hold 2%
of the keyword/key phrase. This sounds easy, but it’s not. Let me tell you how to do
The TITLE tag
First is the most important part, the “< TITLE >” tag. This is the number one item to
use your keyword in. If I were to give my website selling computer programs that aid
web designers, I may use “< TITLE >Computer Software for Web Design< /TITLE >”.
Although it contains a “stop” word (for), the top key phrase I am trying to work with
is before that word.
The META tag
Than there are the META tags. Simply put, these tags go inside the “< HEAD > < /
HEAD >” tags in your html. They allow the search engines to pull up your website
using the keywords and describe your website using the description. Without these
tags, you simply can’t have your website pulled up in the search engines.
The ALT tag
Next is the ALT tag which is used in images on your website. If you wanted to put
“Computer Software for Web Designers” at the top of the page using a font that I
know nobody else has, I would have to use an image. Inside this image I would use
an ALT tag called alt=computer software for web designers”. Although the ALT tag
is not as powerful as using the natural text itself some cases can’t be avoided.
We’re almost done. This isn’t hard at all right? Okay, so now that we have our HTML
side optimized its time to work on the side that users see. When doing this, you
need to be careful not to over use the keyword/key phrase but you need to use it
enough to give it the weight it needs to be considered important. This is the tricky
part. one good way to do this is to use it in your links whenever possible. Search
engines like to see those types of links at the top of the page, so if you can use text
links instead of images this would help your weight increase. Don’t forget to also
include them at the bottom of the page. Although it is less effective, it does help.
The other way is to include the keyword/key phrase into the body. For example in
the sentence “Use it to help you make a better website” I would say “Use this
computer software for web designers to assist you in making a better website”.
Make sure you don’t go crazy with the keyword/key phrase, if you use it too much
the search engines may “sandbox” you assuming you are spamming.
This concludes the beginning steps to Search Engine Optimization. There are many
ways to raise your rank in the search engines. In future articles I will explain how to
advertise for free using your area of expertise. Until next time…
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Joe Garite has been in the industry of Web Design since 1997. Althought it's a short
time, much has been learned and now much is being taught.