Search Engine and Online Marketing Optimization


¿by: Danny DeMichele

RESEARCH WHITE PAPERS - TIPS

Search Engine and Online Marketing Optimization

Most reputable Online Markers, whether they are from multi-million dollar e-commerce mega-sites or small companies with just a few employees, know the importance of high Search Engine Rankings by the top search engines.

Large firms can afford to dedicate several full time staff members to a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) program, or write five-figure checks every month to out-source the project to a specialized SEO company. While many small companies don't have that luxury, there are companies such as VNS Search Marketing that provide superb SEO programs at affordable prices, programs that deliver results.

Any company can realize a decent amount of success in their SEO efforts if they follow the guidelines we will cover in this article. Improving your Search Ranking can have a very significant impact on your bottom line. The higher your Search Engine Rankings, particularly if you appear on the first page of Google, Yahoo and MSN hits, the more traffic you will see on your web site, increasing your potential to turn that traffic into revenue.

We would like to warn you about highly questionable SEO practices some firms use, while these may have short term benefits, they are ultimately destined for failure, and at a high price that may include de-listing of a web site by search engines! Tactics such as cloaking, keyword stuffing, doorway pages, or invisible text or links are practices that should never be used by your site. VNS recommends that you avoid any firm that suggests you use any of those approaches at any time.

SEO is not a science, there are no sure-fire ways to get top Rankings. All of the top search engines guard their Page Ranking algorithms very carefully. They do this to prevent people from artificially modifying their sites to get inappropriately high Search Engine Rankings. Any firm that tells you they know how to guarantee you top Rankings is trying to take advantage of you.

Reputable SEO firms will always recommend that you follow widely known practices used in optimizing your web site design, and include appropriate content and keywords in your pages. This will help the Search Engine crawlers, which the Search Engines use to locate and evaluate your site content. Reputable SEO firms will also advise you to implement a comprehensive linking strategy, which can significantly improve your Search Engine Rankings.

In this paper we will discuss four important SEO strategies that can be implemented without great expense, that should improve your web site Search Engine Ranking over time. (Linking and reciprocal linking strategies will be discussed at length in another white paper.)

Choosing and Including Keywords for Your Site

Choosing and including the correct keywords in your site can make very large improvements in your Search Engine Rankings, and in your site traffic. Experienced Online Marketers often have an intuitive understanding of which keywords (the words or phrases that people enter into Search Engines) are most relevant to the products their company sells. If you want professional help identifying appropriate keywords for your site, Online services such as Wordtracker.com can help you with keyword selection, but don't underestimate the value of in-house brainstorming.

Large companies can have tens of thousands of keywords, but even a few dozen can be invaluable in improving your web site Ranking. Once you've decided on what keywords you are going to use, you should make sure that those keywords (words or phrases) are integrated into your web site correctly, both in HTML Title and Meta tags, and within the textual content displayed on your site.

Every page on your web site has its own Title tag in the HTML source code. It is important that you include as many keywords as possible in the 7-10 word Title tag, but only use keywords that are relevant to the page content. It is important to note that using the same Title tag on every page will lower your page Ranking. Including Title tags that are unrelated to the page content can lower your Page Ranking as well. Try to make your Title tags unique, and relevant to the content of the page they are one.

We recommend that you include text similar to the Title tag in the page content. This can help potential customers quickly see what the page is about, and it can improve your page Ranking as well. We don't recommend that your pages become too wordy, but if you can, include appropriate keywords in your page content if it won't distract people from your advertising efforts.

The Importance of Relevant Page Content

Content relevancy is what the Search Engine crawlers evaluate when they locate and evaluate (crawl) your site. If you are in the business of selling ¿gadgets,¿ the more content you can include about "gadgets" in your pages, the better your page Ranking will be. Of course you don't want your pages to read like an encyclopedia, and you don't want to distract potential customers from your advertising style, so you will have to experiment to find the right blend of advertising and content that fits with the overall style of your site.

We recommend that you include several Links on your Products or Services pages, so potential customers can have easy access to information that will help them understand your Services or Products, such as Press Releases, Customer Feedback, or related Industry Research. We also recommend that you create a Directory for your site that includes keyword-rich descriptions of the your pages, Services or Products.

Maintaining a good Site Ranking will also depend on you keeping your site updated. Search Engine crawlers notice when a site's content has not changed for a few weeks or more, and they lower your Ranking when they see this happen. Updating your site with the latest Products or Services, or any related information, can protect your Ranking.

Submit Your Site to Business Directories

Business Directories can be very helpful in bringing traffic to your site. Services that offer bulk submission to hundreds of directories and Search Engines can be found everywhere online, but they are almost all a waste of time and money. You can achieve very good results, and a much better return on your investment, if you submit your site to hand-picked Business Directories and Search Engines.

Most of the big Search Engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN, let you submit your site to them at no charge. Some of them offer you ¿paid inclusion¿ programs that guarantee their crawlers will locate and evaluate your site quickly. These programs DO NOT have any impact on your Page Rankings, they are only in place to make sure the Search Engine spiders perform a quick evaluation of your web site. This can be very valuable if you are trying different optimization strategies on your site and you want the instant feedback. Without paying for this service, it may take one or more months for the crawlers to evaluate your site. At this time, Yahoo offers this service for a fee, while Google plans on offering a similar service in the next few months.

Don't neglect to submit your site to DMOZ.org. They are an Internet directory organization run by volunteers, and are widely used and respected.

Many Business Directories can help you improve your Site Ranking. When your site has been submitted and approved, they will provide one-way links to your web site. Links of this sort are very important in Search Engine Ranking algorithms.

At VNS, we submit our clients' web sites to a thoroughly researched and carefully selected group of 115 Business Directories that have proven to be very valuable in the Ranking process - due to the back-links they provide to the accepted sites.

Search Engine-Friendly Web Design

Search Engines have trouble crawling web sites that include certain features. Generally, the easier it is to navigate a site, the less chance there is that the site is hurting its Ranking by being difficult to crawl. Sites that use frames, that include a lot of Flash presentations, that use javascript navigation, or make heavy use of in-page CSS (style sheets) run a high risk of lowering their page Rankings. Dynamically generated sites, particularly those which produce URLs with long query strings, also have problems in being indexed properly.

All of these issues have one or more solutions: servers can be used to ¿rewrite¿ query stings, static pages can be used to parallel the content on dynamically generated pages, and alternate forms of page navigation can be provided on pages that need help. Also, moving javascript and CSS from the page HTML to external files is a good idea.

The best rule of thumb is to keep your site as simple to navigate as possible, while maintaining a great web surfing experience for your potential customers.

We at VNS would like to wish you Good luck in your Search Engine Optimization efforts. SEO is a rapidly changing world requiring site owners to do research and make adjustments in order to stay current. Please let us know if we can be of any help your Business in developing or improving your Online Presence.

SEO and Marketing Services Offered by VNA

Comprehensive Search Engine and Marketing Optimization - We offer small companies a comprehensive Online Marketing and Search Engine Optimization program. With our comprehensive Marketing and SEO strategies, you will see an increase in traffic to your web site, and we will help you convert that traffic into customers. What we ask you to consider is this: How useful is a web site if no one can find it? And how useful is a web site if people come to your site but don't buy anything? VNS has established an excellent track record in the past 8 years in helping Businesses Improve their Online Marketing and Site Ranking. We can help your business increase its revenue by bringing more traffic to your web site, and helping you refine your Marketing Strategy. Our Comprehensive Service starts at $600/month.

One-Time Optimization Package - We understand that long term service contracts are not appropriate to the needs of every company. VNA offers a one-time Marketing and SEO Optimization package to give your Online Presence an instant tune-up, to help you get current with the latest developments in the SEO world, and make your Marketing efforts as efficient and profitable as possible. We offer this service at $1000.

About The Author

Danny DeMichele is an experienced Internet Marketing Strategist in San Diego, California. His interests include surfing and playing with his kids.

danny@vnsco.com


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