Search engine optimization guide to help you get higher rankings and more traffic.

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How to get high rankings at Search Engines?

Although some webmasters don't rely on search engines very much any more, search engines are still an awesome way to build traffic to your site without having to spend your hard earned dollars. If you come up on top, you get thousands of hits. If you come up in the 1,000 position, you get zilch.

Another advantage is that visitors from search engines are highly targeted. A person searching for a particular phrase which your site is related to on a search engine is naturally interested in this topic and much more likely to buy.

It makes sense then, to make your site as search-engine-friendly as possible, so your rankings will improve, giving you more visitors which leads to more sales.

The difficulty in achieving top positions is the fact that many of the search engines change their ranking algorithm almost monthly to serve their clients better and to keep us from catching up with them as well.

However, the basics remain the same. Keep in mind that the ultimate goal of search engines is to provide relevant search results for their, not yours, visitors. So the number one key to getting good positions is having fresh and relevant content on your subject. It's becoming more and more important all the time.

Here are some search engine optimization guide and tips you should follow.

Get your own domain name

A question that I frequently hear is "Do I really need to have my own domain name?" The one word answer is "Yes". Besides building credibility, your own domain name is also a must-have to get high search engine rankings.

Most search engines give a lot of emphasis to a particular URL which contains keywords. Other things remaining the same, the home page of a domain with keywords will often rank higher for those keywords than any other page. When you use a free host, the index.html page is the home page of your site, but not of that domain. Hence in these search engines, your site will find it very difficult to make it to the top 20 or top 30, let alone the top 10 for some of the really competitive keywords.

To make it worse, some search engines are now refusing to spider sites hosted on free servers. You may have an error message saying that too many pages have been submitted from your site when you submit. Rest assured even if the search engines say that your site has been accepted, they will NOT spider sites belonging to many of the free web hosts. Can you afford that?

And when your site is hosted on free hosts, you will find it next to impossible to get it listed in a major directory like Yahoo. Although Yahoo will never admit it, in practice, it will be a miracle if you can get your site listed in Yahoo.

Choose the correct keywords

Write down all the words and phrases that you might have searched for if you were looking for a site which offers products and services similar to yours.

A great way to get more keywords related to your site is to use WordTracker keyword generation service. Type in a keyword or phrase, WordTracker will then give a list of related keywords. Now the best part is that WordTracker will also tell you the number of times these keywords have been searched for in major search engines! You can avoid choosing keywords based on assumption. Make sure your target keywords are actually searched for by real visitors.

Another thing you have to do is to check how many competitors you have. Go to Yahoo or Google, type in the keywords, the result page will display how many relevant pages are in their database. They are all your competitors.

Your goal is to choose the keywords that are searched for most frequently and with least competitors.

Of course, the keywords you are going to optimize your site for have to be applicable to your site in the first place.

Keyword rich pages

Once you have chosen the keywords for which you should optimize your site for the search engines, it is time to create Keyword Rich Pages - pages which provide good content and in which a particular keyword is repeated a number of times so that the page gets a high ranking for that keyword.

The Title Tag

The first and most important place to put keywords is the Title tag. Always begin the Title tag with keywords you are targeting. The position counts! Also remember that most search engines will display the content of Title tag as site title. So make the Title tag attractive to humans as well.

Here is the Title tag I used for this page: "Search Engine Optimization Guide". It uses the keyword right at the beginning and also tells people what this page is all about.

Meta Description Tag

The Meta Description tag is used by many search engines to provide a short description of the page in the search results. Like the Title tag, it is important that the Meta Description tag be keyword rich as well as attractive to humans.

The rules for Description tag are more or less the same as those for the Title tag. However, the content of this tag will generally be longer than that of the Title. Here's what I used for this page: "Search engine optimization guide to help you get higher search engine rankings and more web traffic."

Note how this description repeats the keyword and also the benefit that it stresses.

Meta Keywords Tag

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