A Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization Techniques

Your website is finally complete and ready for visitors. With more than 10 billion websites on the Internet, however, how will anyone know how to find yours? Search engines are the most popular way to find a site on any topic, but the competition to get listed at the top of search results, or high ranking, is extreme. Search engines send out programs called spiders or crawlers to cover the internet, searching out sites that are most relevant to certain topics, known as keywords. You will want your site to be noticed by the spiders in order to be high ranked on the search engines. Keywords are a vital tool to get your site noticed.

Choosing good keywords is a task that requires deliberate thought. When deciding on your keywords, think about your target audience and which words people will type into search engines to find information related to your site. Remember, other people will be looking for your site, so the words that come to your mind to summarize your site may not be the ones others would use. Be specific: general keywords are very competitive and your site is not likely to get a top search engine ranking using them. Dog is too general; cocker spaniel is better.

Observe the tools used by your competition. Type in the keywords you would like to use for your website and go to the sites of others who used the same keywords successfully; these people’s websites are listed at the top of the search pages. Right click on the page and choose “View Source” from the dropdown menu. The notepad document that opens will be full of html code and will help you with ideas on good keywords. Be sure to use the keywords that are relevant to your site. There are a number of online tools that will show you how many times certain keywords were searched for in previous months; this can help you to determine popular keywords.

Now you know how to find good keywords, what to do with them? Throughout the articles on your pages, insert keywords into the body of the text. Try to use them closer to the beginnings of the page and in the headings you may use between articles. Be certain to use the major one in your site title. In the html code of your page, use header tags, or H1 tags. These codes help the crawler to categorize your site in its engine. Each page of your website should have keywords identified with them, not just the first page. Keywords on different pages should cover different aspects of your topic. This will broaden your visibility to both search engines and potential visitors.

With so much competition going on for high search engine ranking, many people try to fool search engines. Search engines are aware of the tricks people use and penalize sites for such behavior. Avoid spamming the search engines. This can involve submitting your site to search engines too frequently or submitting two of the same site under different titles. Read the specific guidelines for each search engine before submitting your site and follow them precisely. Don’t overuse your well-researched keywords in your articles. This is referred to as keyword stuffing and doing so could actually drop your ranking in search engines, because the spider now sees your site as less credible than others.

Getting listed on the major search engines can take anywhere from one week to several months, depending on the search engine, so be patient. There is no definite way to get your site high ranking on the major search engines, but the careful and calculated use of keywords will put your site in a better, more detectable position.

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