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Internet search engines are the primary vehicle with which consumers search and find information. That scary thing is that although a search might return thousands of hits, people seldom search further than the first two pages. If your website ranks on one of these pages it can significantly increase quality traffic, leads and sales.
Whether you outsource your website development or do it yourself, use the following tips to improve your search engine listing.
- Supply specific keywords or phrases for each page that you plan to submit to the search engine. The more specific you are, the better. "Shoes" is vague. "Men's shoes" is better, and "Men's leather loafers" is even better.
- Make sure you have a meaningful title tag (this appears at the top of your web page). It should be less than 80 characters long, and as close to a readable sentence as possible. Each page of your site should have its own tag describing its contents. When the tags don't tie up with the actual content, your site is deemed to be of little value and will end up at the bottom of the pile.
- Each page you submit should have at least 200 words of copy on it. It should include your most important keyword phrases, but should remain logical and readable. Include things like how-to articles, tips or tutorials as these are quickly picked up by search engines.
- Your website meta tags are the description in your programming code that search engines look for to find information about your site that they might have had difficulty determining otherwise. If you know of a common misspelling of a keyword that could be used to find your site, include it in your meta tag. For example, a travel site might include "caribean" which is a common misspelling for "caribbean".
- Link keyword phrases to the images used in your site by including them in the programming code. This does not work for all engines, but is worth a try. Use the same keywords that you have in your title and meta tags.
- A Text hyperlinks can also improve your listing as search engines assume you are linking to something that is closely related to the content of your page. Include your most important keyword phrases in the link itself as well as in the surrounding text.
- Although they are not used frequently, HTML heading tags can boost your listings. It is often easy to take an existing page of copy and break it up into sections with headings - again featuring your keyword phrases.
- Last but not least: update your content often. Internet users have no patience with old content; neither do search engines. When an engine detects static content it moves your site down in the rankings.