Tuesday, June 17, 2008

SEO Material Part - 3

It's low-cost!

Online advertising, such as banner campaigns, can be quite expensive. Search engine placement, on the other hand, can be a low-cost process. Although some search engines have "pay-per-click" programs, paid submissions and many companies optimize sites for paying clients, there's no reason why you can't significantly increase your site's traffic by simply understanding and applying optimization strategy. Any Webmaster can learn more about search engine optimization tips and submission procedures.

High search engine rankings can be more effective publicity tools than paid ads. A top position on a major search engine such as AltaVista can increase traffic far more than an expensive banner ad. Plus, the traffic you get will be more targeted -- it will consist of people who set out to find exactly what your site has to offer.

In this section you'll learn how to:

  • Use site design elements to improve your search engine positioning
  • Understand how search engines work
  • Know what factors influence search engine rankings
  • Improve your site's search rankings in other ways

Search engine Ranking

Factors that influence search engine rankings

Different engines, different rankings

Every search engine uses its own unique formula, called an algorithm, to index and score web sites. Search engines' algorithms weigh various factors, such as a page's design and links, to rank pages in their search results. By constantly refining and improving their algorithms, search engines hope to give their visitors the most relevant results.

Many search engines form partnerships and buy technologies to improve their algorithms. They combine many factors and place different weight on each one.

Webmasters who want their sites to achieve a Top 20 position spend a lot of time studying different algorithms. Even when several search engines rely on similar factors in composing their rankings, they may still rank the same site differently. For example, imagine two search engines both use Meta tags and keyword frequency as there only ranking factors. If the first one weights Meta tags as 70% of a site's value and keyword frequency as 30%, and the second one does the opposite, their results will be completely different.

Understanding ranking factors

Before you can understand how each search engine scores web sites, you need to understand the various factors they consider. These factors can be divided into two categories: page-related (On-Page Factors) and outside (Off-Page Factor).

Page-related factors (On-Page Factors) are concerned with keywords and their placement in the HTML. These factors include:

  • Format, placement and content of the title tag
  • Keyword frequency, weight, prominence and proximity
  • Use of the meta description tag
  • Use of ALT tags
  • Use of comment tags
  • Use of keywords in URL names
  • Alphabetical placement

Outside factors (Off-Page Factor) are not related to the content of your HTML. They include:

  • Link popularity
  • Click popularity
  • Themes
  • Overall site design

Achieve results

You can improve most of the above factors to achieve higher rankings. Pay attention to what your competition is doing. Analyze their high-scoring pages and use their techniques.

As you find out more about search engines, start creating doorway pages. Use tables with exact search engine information and techniques recommended by search engines themselves


Site design and how it affects search engine rankings

To stay or not to stay?

Your site's design plays a major in role in the user's decision to either stick around or continue surfing. Graphics, layout, load time, fonts and ease of navigation can all influence the user. To craft a site that retains visitors, make it fast, clean and pleasant.

Aside from attracting and retaining visitors, your site's design is critical for search engine positioning. Directories, such as Yahoo! Will review your site before accepting it. Directory editors look for sites with good design to add to their indices.

Design is also important to DirectHit, currently owned and incorporated into Ask Jeeves and Teoma. DirectHit measures how many people click on your site and how long they stay. If your site is clean, easy to navigate, fast and pleasant, visitors will stay longer and your site will score higher. Search engines such as Lycos, Hotbot and MSN use DirectHit technology.

The Golden Rule of site design - let your visitors do it!

Your visitors should dictate your site's design! Cater to their needs with every part of your site.

You can find out more about your users with a web traffic monitoring service. It will be useful in marketing, advertising, search engine placement and design.

Here are some factors to consider when modifying your site to better meet users' needs. You can gather all the following information using web traffic monitoring.

  1. Connection speed: - Don't use a fancy Flash intro and heavy graphics if most of your visitors have 28.8 modems. Opt for simpler pages that your visitors will be able to read sooner.
  2. Browser compatibility: - Although browser technology is improving some problems still exist. Netscape, for example, does not completely support cascading style sheets (CSS). If most of your visitors use this browser, don't use CSS for your site unless you're prepared to create different versions of your site for each browser and the code to detect them. Always check how your pages look in different browsers. Check out AnyBrowser.com for necessary tools.

Avoid common mistakes

  1. Spell well
    Although search engines don't penalize for spelling or syntax errors, someone who finds a spelling mistake on your site may view it as unprofessional. Many people believe such mistakes indicate a lack of cultural authority and credibility. Run a spell check on every page before publishing.
  2. Don't use "construction" areas
    Any editor from a directory such as Yahoo! Or ODP will tell you that a site using "This page is under construction" messages won't be listed. Visitors don't enjoy "construction" areas either. Don't submit to directories until you have your whole site up.

An Overview

Site design

  • Is important to directories, DirectHit and your visitors
  • Should cater to your audience
  • Should avoid common mistakes

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