9 Ways to Make Search Engine Pages
Optimizing your pages for the search engines is absolutely essential if you want them to appear in the top 10 – 30 positions of results.
High-ranking pages are even more critical if you’ll be starting your affiliate business with a very small or non-existent promotional budget and won’t be using pay-per-clicks and other forms of advertising.
How do you get your pages to rank high in the search engine results? Here is a list of tips that will help.
1. Keyword-Rich Pages – In the past you had to be extremely careful not to overuse keyword phrases on your web pages for fear that the search engines would consider you an engine spammer and penalize you. Six per page was the maximum number of repetitions suggested.
It would now seem that the opposite is true.
Allan Gardyne’s assistant, Rupert Farrow, built his second site, http://cheap- computers-guide.com, using Site Build It! (SBI!)
SBI! is renowned for its emphasis on attaining great search engine rankings, so I thought I would test Rupert’s site for placement. Based on the site’s name, I did a search on ‘cheap computers’. Sure enough, his site came up on the first page of results at Google.
Next I checked the ‘keyword density’ on his homepage, or the number of times he repeated the use of the phrases ‘cheap computers’ and ‘cheap computer’. Combined, the phrases show up a total of 27 times on his homepage. (No, I didn’t count the phrases manually… I used the ‘global find’ feature in my word processor.)
Based on his high ranking, maximizing keyword use is a very wise and profitable thing to do.
2. Keyword-Rich Page Names – Name your pages using keywords relevant to the product sold on that page, or the most relevant content.
For example, if I create a page about Proform Treadmills, I would call the page exactly that – ‘proform-treadmills.html’.
3. Site Map – Your site should have a site map with links that point to all the important pages and sections of your site. If your site consists of one hundred or more pages, you may wish to break the site map into separate pages.
4. Relevant Content – Jill Whalen, a well-known search engine (SE) expert advises that you should work with at least 250 words on a page for search engine optimization purposes. Having more or less words will also work, but Jill makes the point that you need at least 250 words to be able to repeat your keyword phrases a number of times throughout the page without seeming ‘dopey’.
Hint: Search engine spiders prefer HTML text, loaded with keywords, placed ‘high’ on the page, and the left side is ‘read’ before the right side. I therefore place my primary navigation on the right side of my pages so the spiders can get to their ‘food’ more quickly.
6. Meta Tags – If we continue our ‘snooping’… um, I mean ‘research’… at Rupert’s site, by doing a ‘View Source’ on his homepage, we discover that he’s made excellent use of his keywords in his Meta Tags.
The 2 Meta Tags that you need to be most concerned about are the Title and Description tags.
Title Tag – The title tag is perhaps one of the most crucial factors in how a search engine will rank your site. The text you use in the title tag must include your most relevant keyword phrases. It must also make sense, as the title tag text is the wording that appears in the reverse bar of your browser. That’s the blue bar right across the top of your browser window. It is also what the text that most of the search engines will display as the title for your listing.
Description Tag – Some search engines will use the text contained in your meta description tag as your listing description. The meta description tag also influences your site’s ranking in the engines, so you should repeat your primary keyword phrase once or twice in the description.
A Note about Keyword Tags – I remember a time webmasters ‘stuffed’ keyword meta tags with every keyword relevant to their site – and then added some more.
Most search engine experts now advise that the keyword meta tag is no longer worth your time or trouble, and apparently only Inktomi, and perhaps Teoma, now index sites using the keyword meta tag. However, I don’t think that adding a couple of keywords to a meta tag is any trouble at all, so I continue to add them to my pages.
Here is an example of how I would structure the Meta Tags for a page selling Proform Treadmills.
<title>Proform Treadmills: Shop For Proform Brand Treadmills
<meta name=”description” CONTENT=”Proform Treadmills. Shop For
Proform treadmills online”>
<meta name=”keywords” CONTENT=”proform treadmills, proform, treadmills, treadmill, proform treadmill”>
7. ALT Tags – The ALT tag, which stands for ‘alternative text’, is primarily for use when the image is not being displayed. They were intended to make your site more accessible to visually impaired folks who use text readers. To solve this problem, you can enter the image description in the ALT tag, as in this example:
<img src=”gifs/logo.gif” width=”309″ height=”97″ alt=”Sage-Hearts.com Logo”> However, to boost your keyword frequency and achieve better site rankings, you could enter a keyword phrase relevant to that page, as in this example:
<img src=”gifs/logo.gif” width=”309″ height=”97″ alt=”Internet Dating Services”> Either way, don’t let your ALT tags go to waste.
8. Dynamic Pages – Dynamic pages, which deliver content based on user input or other variables, can be more useful and responsive to visitor needs than regular static HTML pages. However, when indexing your site, if a search engine encounters a dynamically generated page – as distinguished by a question mark (?) in the URL – the SE stops indexing the site at that point.
So, here are a few tips to get your dynamic pages indexed.
The simplest and cheapest method to get your dynamic pages indexed is to link to them from a static page, preferably your site map. Although the SE can’t index the whole page, it will index the majority of its content.
The other solutions involve software and scripting fixes that let search engines index their dynamic content. To learn more about these reconfigurations and rewrites, please consult your usual sources of information on the specific programming language. Dynamic pages, which deliver content based on user input or other variables, can be more useful and responsive to visitor needs than regular static HTML pages.
9. Avoid Tricks and Deception – Google makes site quality recommendations similar to those below to help you avoid having your site removed from their index. Once a site has been removed, it won’t show up in Google.com or on Google’s partner sites. The same suggestions hold true for all the major engines.
Don’t deceive your users by presenting different content to search engines than is displayed on your pages. A common trick in the past was to include highly popular but irrelevant keywords in meta tags to get ‘the click’. While that brought traffic to the site, the visitor was disappointed by results that had nothing to do with their search, and the engines appeared not to be able to produce relevant results. The search engines now pay attention to such tactics and will remove those using deceptive practices from their index.
Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. This includes using hidden text or links, sneaky redirects; pages loaded with irrelevant keywords and the use of ‘doorway’ pages. Google also recommends against creating subdomains and domains with essentially duplicate content.
Following the above guidelines will help the search engines find, index, and rank your site, which is the best way to ensure that you’ll be included in the their results.
Concentrate your energy on giving your visitors a good experience, rather than trying to manipulate the search engines. You’ll be better rewarded with traffic and sales, and you’ll also sleep better at night than your deceptive webmaster counterparts.