How To Come Up Higher on the Search Engines ~ Twelve Important Search Engine Tips

From Net Atlantic

One of the best ways to generate lots of traffic to your web site is to register with and come up high on the major Internet search engines. Here are some of the things we do for sites we develop, and we recommend that you consider these ideas if you are active in the promotion of your own web site.

Tip #1 Have Text On Your Homepage

Search engines catalog the text read from the various home pages the engines visit. If a page lacks descriptive text, then there is little chance that page will come up in the results of a search engine query. It's not enough for that text to be in graphics. It must be HTML text. Some search engines will catalog ALT text and text in comment and meta tags. To be safe, a straight HTML description is recommended.

Tip #2 Pick Meaningful Keywords

Focus on the two or three keywords that you think are most crucial to your site, then ensure those words are both in your title and mentioned early on your web page. Generally, most people will already have those words present on their pages but may not also have them in page titles.

Tip #3 More Keywords

Keep in mind that the keywords you consider crucial may not be exactly what users enter. The lack of success with some search engines does not mean that the site isn't being found. Many people find the site by entering more words. For example, if you had a web site centered on "Orange County", others might go to a search engine and enter words such as "Orange County California" or "Orange County Web." The addition of just one extra word can suddenly make a site appear more relevant, and it can be impossible to anticipate what that word will be. The best bet is to focus on your chosen keywords but to also have a complete description. These keywords should be in the text of your site and in the Meta tags. You can also use these same keywords when you submit your own site to search engines.

Tip #4 Have Links To Inside Pages

If there are no links to inside pages from the home page, it seems that some search engines will not fully catalog a site. Unfortunately, the most descriptive, relevant pages that are often inside pages rather than the home page. You can also try sending search engines directly to your lower levels, if they don't ordinarily go there.

Tip #5 Use The Meta Tag

Meta tags will help you control your site's description in engines that support them. They will NOT guarantee that your site appears first. A meta tag gives a spider specific information, such as keywords or site summaries, about a site. In Web lingo, meta tags are defined as "information about information."

Meta tags are part of the HTML code. They stay behind the scenes -- the end user never sees them. Certain spiders then read the information in the tags as a way to help them index the site. Sample of code:

<head>
<title>Site Title</title>
<meta name="description" content="a description of your site">
<meta name="keywords" content="all the keywords that relate to your site">
</head>

Tip #6 Submit To The Top Search Engines

After you have done all the right things with text, keywords, Meta tags, etc. submit yourself to the top 3 search engines. Over 95% of all links come from these locations 1. Google 2. Yahoo 3. MSN. Also, don't forget to submit sitemaps to Google and Yahoo.

Tip #7 Swap Links

Swap links with other sites! First place a number of related links on your site, then contact those sites asking for a reciprocal link. You'd be surprised how many people are willing to do this. If they're really cooperative ask if you can include a graphic or banner with the link!

Tip #8 The Link Exchange

If you're really adventurous, join the "Link Exchange", a free banner exchange program linking sites all over the world. They have some quirky rules, and it can take a lot of energy, but the results are worth it!

Tip #9 Have Patience

Some search engines take weeks or months before they update their catalogs. They may be "crawling" each night, but those new findings aren't available to the public until the catalogs are updated. For example, WebCrawler's catalog has been as much as 2 - 3 months behind. On the other hand, Excite's catalog consistently reflected changes soon after they were made, an indication that the catalog is constantly updated. However, recent reports reflect that they too are slowing down considerably due to the massive volume of submissions.

Tip #10 Don't Word Spam Or Try To "Beat" The System Through Abuse

For one thing, spamming doesn't seem to work with every search engine. Ethically, the content of most web pages ought to be enough for search engines to determine relevancy without webmasters having to resort to repeating keywords (word spamming) for no reason other than to try and "beat" other web pages. The stakes will simply keep rising, and users will also begin to hate sites that undertake these measures. Efforts would be better spent on networking, link exchanges and alternative forms of publicity. Tips courtesy of Net Announce

BONUS TIP

  • Offer something on your web site that people want to find / search for. How about something like a short quiz or test, free giveaway, free report, virtual tour, interactive game, industry news, free download, etc.