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Search Engine Information > Optimizing Your Website > How to Optimize Your Site

The 8 Things You Must Do To Optimize Your Site For Search Engines - missed by over 98.4% of online businesses

Search engines are better at spidering than you. Of course, you need a professional looking site, easy to navigate, appropriate content and size. Many webmasters and sites are great at displaying graphics (flash) and visually appealing sections on their sites. However, the search engines really don't care much about that. If you can give the spiders what they want, they not only will eat it up fast, but you will provide content-rich, relevant data to their index (database). As time, content, size and relevancy increase, you will rise up in the search engine results pages. Properly applied search engine optimization techniques and online marketing principles will help you. (SEO/SEM)

The 3 most important search engines to optimize for are Google, Yahoo, and MSN. (Ed Note: Google owns over 50% of the market today, and is growing fast every day. This includes their exposure via partners like Ask, Earthlink, DogPile, etc). For you to get elevated and relevant rankings you must get into the search engine indexes, and we recommend you start with Google. You should get spidered by Google in less than 3 weeks if applied correctly, but a long term approach to SEO work is needed. You can expect to see your listing within 2-4 months for some rankings, and as much time as 2 years for certain keywords/phrases!

I invite you to take a look at the starter list below. These are steps you can start today - and it is fairly easy and impactful.

NUMBER 1: Learn the SEO concepts.

SEO tries to ensure that your web pages appear at the top of the search engines for target keyword requests. It increases brand awareness, qualified traffic and revenue. Fact: Only 1/2 of the people visiting look at the sponsored (paid) ads (PPC) and only 20% of those actually click. However, 4 out of 5 total clicks - apply their mouse on natural search results. Therefore SEO done right can really elevate your business visibility and revenue. Additionally, the top 5 sites returned from any search are where the action is. Your goal? You should be in the top 10 (Search Engines Results Pages (SERPS)) for your selected keywords.

NUMBER 2: Research the competition.

I am sure you do this no matter what business you are in - whether online or not (brick and mortar). If not, this is one of the big steps missed by online businesses. There are techniques on how to do this effectively, quickly and with high quality results. Our August article on ("How to blow the competition out of the search game") outlines how to do this.

NUMBER 3: Linking Strategies and Relevancy.

One of the most important things you can do is to build out your relevant linking neighborhoods. There are a number of great tools you can use to automate this, but we have found that via email and the phone (we are amazed by how many do not use the phone) -- you will establish a closer relationship with your virtual partners, and even though you may only spend an hour a day building link partners, it is well spent. Typically, only 1-2 will exchange links with you out of 8 companies called. However, let us say you get one quality link per day through the year. That is over 300 quality links that will help your relevancy, build your business and get your PR-level moved (Page Rank).

NUMBER 4: Proper HTML and Site Building.

There are many articles written on this topic. If you are not HTML-savvy, it can be a challenge. However, it is not hard to learn, and many tools are available. Just search for free website design tools. Other tools (try can analyze your content, HTML syntax and appropriate application of tags like H1, META tags, BODY content and more. You must also make notes of server-side issues, including IP numbers that may have belonged to (and still do) block listed ranges.

NUMBER 5: Meet The Search Engines.

Make sure you read the webmasters guidelines on all the search engines, especially Google, Yahoo and MSN. They actually are very helpful, and they want you to do well, contrary to what you believe or have heard. Also, keep in mind, there are robotic search engines, algorithmic based search engines and AI-type search engines - different styles of writing. Additionally, you must include listings in the directories, like DMOZ (free, but takes weeks to get listed), Yahoo (free, months - or paid, immediate). Lastly, you must study and learn the PPC (pay-per-click) strategies, learn how to write ads, copy writing for (cash) landing pages, and have a solid back-end sales process. If you have never used the AdSense programs, you may be missing out on *significant* income, but many do it incorrectly. We have seen adsense programs go from $3.00/day to over $19,000/month!

NUMBER 6: Use a proven methodology.

None of the SEO "white hat" (opposite to "black hat" - unethical) strategies are rocket-scientists-qualified only. The key areas to keep working on are: a) keyword research, b) competitive analysis, c) analyze your own site(s), d) submit your site(s), e) monitor rankings, f) Reporting, g) link development and h) dynamic site mapping. This approach works, and used by many of the professional SEO companies in the industry.

NUMBER 7: Learn how to use the SEO tools.

Metaphor: For many home-owners, the worst thing that can happen when approaching any project, large or small - is not having your tool belt with you. Even worse, if there are tools missing from your belt after spending 5 minutes retrieving the ladder, lining it up just right, scaling it just to get to the top of the roof -- you not only feel aggravated, but stupid.

Being affiliated with some of the guru-type tools & specialists in the industry is nice, but most people are not. Therefore, free tools are a good place to start. These will help you get to work immediately, and you don not have to come down off the roof to get them.

NUMBER 8: Relevancy, Relevancy, Relevancy? Why be "search relevant"?

The objective here is to make the search engines "see". You must always ensure that you insert unique relevant content such that the page becomes more worthy of a high ranking in the search engines. You must also make sure you adhere to Style Guide Requirements. The ultimate objective is not to make an inferior page appear superior, but to actually make it superior. Yes, you must be relevant - for any site - be it a commerce/shopping type site, to an information page about Da Vincis life (and, you have something to sell for your bottom line is good). Do not try any tricks, especially not on the search engines. You will regret it. There are too many sad stories of revenues and business lost from "black hat" strategies. They appear to work for a little while, and suddenly you are gone from the listings. Be relevant and ethical. It may take a little longer, but you will win out in the end.

Jon Rognerud is a recognized authority on the subject of SEO, and has spent over 10 years developing websites and marketing solutions at companies like Overture and Yahoo. His Web 2.0 site,, provides a wealth of informative articles, resources and complimentary email courses on everything you will ever need to know about SEO and Search Marketing. He lives with his family in Los Angeles, CA.


More Search Engine Information: Highly Recommended! 

Check > John Reese's Traffic Secrets 2.0 course is a must have for anyone serious about driving traffic to their website.  Learn more about this fantastic resource by clicking here.


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