QUICK SITE OPTIMIZATION:
This tutorial will touch on what it takes to optimize your website for the search engines. Further tutorials will go more in depth. If your site is not ranking high and you want to make a quick change on it then this tutorial will be very helpful.
STEP 1: TARGET THE KEYWORDS:
Identify the keywords you have in mind that define what the end user (visitor) will be looking for. You should always remember that single word keywords are generally more difficult than two or three keywords except when those keywords are more competitive.
WEB DESIGN FOR THE KEYWORDS:
The next step is to think of the keywords in the design of your code. Design of the Code? Yes, this is the algorithm. Algorithms can be thought of as a design of code. Keyword density looks at the placement of the keywords in the code, the title and the meta tags. Some SEO firms will have a science to the algorithm and state exactly where your keywords should go. You should keep in mind that every site is different, like a fingerprint, these exact placement methods change as the web design of a site changes. As a rule it is best to keep your most important keywords towards the top of the page. This applies to both visible text and invisible code.
Our next step is to place the keywords in the code. This can be done in several ways and all ways should be included in your design. Our "Designing the Algorithm" tutorial will give you some other ideas. We recommend you start with your keywords in the first sentence and then add them wherever possible without making the text sound funny or be unreadable.
Place the keywords in your file structure. In other words the title of the HTML file should include the keyword you want to focus on. (ie: fantasy_illustration.html, fantasy_art.html or illustration.html. Make sure to change all your links to that file). If your site has several images, take advantage of them by placing them all in a folder with a keyword as the name of the folder.
Another Method is to use image <alt> tags to your images. Use your keyword in the image alt tags and repeat your title in the alt tags. Make meaningful sentences as well. Windows users will see alt tags when the mouse is left on an image, Mac users rarely see alt tags. Balance the keywords out. Do not just repeat the same keyword over and over, this will be read as spam and makes for a bad web experience. Type them in backwards. DO NOT OVERUSE THEM. Limit them to statements, phrases or even single keywords. Overuse or too many alt tags will be considered spam.
The most important part of search engine optimization is in the text. A website with none of the methods above will still rank high if it has made good use of Keyword Rich Text (KRT). Some search engine optimization firms take advantage of this by making their sites all text. That is a good idea but they just do no not look good and are hard to follow. When creating KRT do not overuse the keywords. There needs to be a balance between the rest of the text and the keywords in the text, this is known as keyword density. Think of it as a design. You wouldn't add 5000 squares to the top of the page and then add one or two here and there. You need to balance the keywords like a visual design to get your algorithm. That is the algorithm, it is a design. Google sees this, machines (spiders) see in code and numbers not visually like you ad me. You need to incorporate this into your thinking. If you think your design through it will work, and eventually you will fix it, the same way that you fix an art design. The simplest way to state this is through a little trial and error. Repeat the keywords forwards and backwards and even upside down. Now you have the Google algorithm, well maybe not Google's but you have your own and it will work. We will save the philosophy for another tutorial called "Designing the Algorithm" where we will go more in depth about KRT and optimized placement of individual keywords in an algorithm.
Perhaps one of the most overused tags. You can now skip the keywords tag buut you should treat the Meta Description as an ad. Just like in Google Adwords, this tag will be displayed with your site and can and should make the searcher want to click it. So it should be used as a strategy to get users to click from the search engine and it should NOT be stuffed with keywords.
Back to the <meta> tags. Use a good keyword rich description with the same keywords in your <title> tags. Add only the keywords that really matter. Save the others for the interior pages to make your site rank as a "Category Site". We recommend no more than 15 to 20 keywords in a meta tag if we can help it, or if you can help it .
All other <meta> tags are trivial but you can add them because everyone else will. We will discuss other meta tags in a later tutorial.
The title should contain the most important keyword and one or two others. It should be changed on all the pages. Always Brand your site. Corporate Identity is important do not look like every other website out there. The main keyword should never be first. Your company name should be! Think about it, when someone searches and they see the same keyword on every return and no company name, who will they remember? They will remember the #6 rank that had the company name. Who is trustworthy? The #1 site that has no company name just keywords or the #3 site that has its name branded and you remember seeing it on a previous search return. Contrary to what you may think, any site can rank #1 for a keyword without using it first in the title tag. There are some exceptions, if the keyword is extremely competitive, than you should place the company name at the end of the title, but never leave it out or you lose marketing value, corporate identity and look like every other website.
So, you've completed all the changes and you still do not rank very high? With all of the above changes you should notice a JUMP in your ranking. The Final touch is now at hand; it is also the longest and most painstaking task. You now must get links from other websites to yours. This can be very difficult and extremely time consuming. You also want to get keywords in the Link Text or surrounding it. You will want to be linked to from high ranking sites and sites that are about the same subject. Now you must hunt down the competitions' links and try to get them to your site. Type link:www.yourcompetition.com into Google and plug away. We will feature a tutorial on link popularity in depth soon.
About the Author: Alan Rabinowitz is the CEO of a prominent NYC SEO Company, SEO Image. Visit SEO Image http://www.seoimage.com/ for more information on Search Engine Optimization, Internet Marketing and Link Building