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THE ABCs OF Search Engine Optimization - Part II: SiteProNews

 

 

The ABCs of Search Engine Optimization - Part II

In part one of this article, we covered writing keyword-rich web copy, writing meta tags, and link popularity. In part two, we'll focus on how to submit to the search engines, as well as the importance of analyzing log files to determine the success of your search engine optimization efforts.

SUBMITTING TO THE SEARCH ENGINES

Once your web page is fully optimized, it is time to submit it to the search engines. Although there are hundreds of search engines on the Internet, only a handful are truly important. Recent statistics show the top three search engines as:

#1 MSN
#2 Yahoo!
#3 Google

 

Although there are automated services that promise to get you listed on thousands of search engines, it is recommended that you manually submit your site to the top search engines. Some of the search engines view automated submissions as spam and will not list your site. Others put a higher priority on manual submissions. And others--such as Inktomi--require an annual fee to list your site. It can take weeks (sometimes even months!) to get listed, so again, be patient. The search engines are important to the success of your web site, so treat them with the respect they deserve. Most of all, do not over-submit!

For more information about search engine submissions, request a copy of the article "Web Site Promotion 101" at sitepromotion101@sendfree.com.

TRAFFIC REPORTING AND ANALYSIS

Once you have allowed an appropriate amount of time to lapse (I usually wait six weeks), it is time to generate some reports to confirm the success of your search engine optimization campaign. Search engine positioning reports provide a wealth of information, such as your site's position in the major search engines, how you rank on your targeted keyword terms and phrases, which sites rank above and below you, where you've declined in rankings, and so on.

To automate the process of generating your search engine positioning reports, download a free trial of 1stPlace Software's highly-acclaimed WebPosition Gold.

In addition to your search engine positioning reports, be sure to regularly check your traffic logs. Is your traffic increasing? Are people finding your site with the search terms you targeted? Which of the search engines are referring visitors to your site?

There are many variables that affect rankings, including:

1. Keyword density
2. Link popularity
3. Click popularity
4. Keywords in the title
5. Keywords in the description tag
6. Keywords in the keywords tag
7. Keywords in the names of linked pages and in the linked words
8. Keywords in the alt tags
9. Keywords in names of images
10. Paying for ranks
11. Listing in online directories

Source: Search Engine Optimization and Placement: An Internet Marketing Course for Webmasters by Renee Kennedy and Terry Kent.

CASE STUDY OF GRIEF LOSS & RECOVERY

In October 2001, my web site, Grief Loss & Recovery, was averaging 98 visitors a day and 573 page views. Reviewing my traffic logs, I noted that the most popular search term for my site was "grief poems," so I decided to optimize my site for that phrase.

Since October, my traffic has steadily climbed the charts.

In March 2002, my daily unique visitors averaged 325 and my page views 1962, an increase of 69 percent and 70 percent, respectively.

With regard to my rankings in the search engines, they have also improved considerably. For example, for the search phrase "grief poems" in Google, my site ranks number one out of 102,000 results; and for the search term "grief," my site ranks 15 out of 1,690,000.

As for traffic referred by the search engines, Google far exceeds all other search engines in driving traffic to my site with 2,953 referrals in March, followed by Yahoo at 1,428. (In comparison, my October 2001 numbers showed Yahoo referring 535 visitors and Google 423.)

All-in-all, I am pleased with the results of my first attempt at optimizing Grief Loss & Recovery and am beginning to note similar results with some of the other web sites I have recently optimized.

When playing the search engine optimization game, patience is important, because results do not happen overnight.

CONCLUSION

To be competitive online, your web site needs to be search engine friendly. Search engine optimization is a function of Internet marketing and is the most cost-effective means of marketing to your target audience. With an estimated 84 percent of web users turning to the search engines to find information online, it is important that your site rank within the top 30 results if you want to be found. A successful search engine optimization campaign will not only boost your rankings in the search engines, it will bring qualified customers and prospects to your web site who are already on the web searching for your products and services.

For more information about search engine optimization and positioning, visit:

Search Engine Watch

Search Engine World

Academy of Web Specialists

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