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The Top Five Strategies for SEO
By Stephen Mahaney
Originally Published: April, 2003
As item #2 mentions, linking to all of your pages is important. If you have too many pages to link directly from your home page then create a spider map as an intermediate linking page.
Create a free spider map.
I decided to write this article after receiving the following comment and question from a reader...
"I usually don't ask questions, often intimidated by my lack of knowledge but I guess I'll ask the age old question. To get more traffic to my website, what are the top five simple steps to take. If you can give them to me in point form that will be sufficient as I'm sure I can go from there."
Actually, we thought it was a great question - so much so it merits a short article. Granted, all of these tips are well known and relatively simplistic but they are also the must-do aspects of search engine optimization.
In other words, before you do anything else, these are the items that you should check off your list.
Be certain the words that you wish to be found under show up in your
Many people fail to place their keywords in their title tags - in fact, this is the #1 optimization mistake. You don't have to put all your keywords in every page's title, just put in the ones that are relevant to that specific page.
On your main (home) page, focus on the core keywords that reflect the overall theme of your site.
Link to all of your subpages from the home page.
There may be times when this seems impractical but there are usually unobtrusive ways to do it. By having links to all of your sub-pages you provide the means by which a search engine can find the various pages on your site whenever they visit your "home" page.
Ideally the spider should be able to access every page on your site by clicking on a series of links. And, the fewer clicks the better because search engines score page relevance from top to bottom - the deeper a page is found within a site the less relevant the search engine considers it to be. In addition, some engines will not spider more than a few levels deep.
Be sure that keywords are being used in the text links that are pointing to pages within your site.
If your site is about cameras, make sure when you post a link to your site from some other web site that the word cameras appears in the text of the hyperlink that is pointing to your site.
A correct example would look something like...
Click here for the best prices in
In contrast, it would be a mistake to use a link like...
<a href="http://www.mycameras.com">Click here"</a> for the best prices in cameras
If you were to make such a mistake the search engine - especially Google - would believe your site was about "click here" (ouch!).
The more pages the better.
Just like fishing, the more hooks you have in the water the better your chances of catching something. Same deal with search engine optimization. The more pages you have on your website, the better chance you'll have of hitting those ever changing "correct" formulas for keyword density, keyword combos, and so on.
Of course, your pages should contain quality information so the visitor doesn't just click back to the search engine when he or she arrives. Fast click-backs are noticed by many engines and can work against you. In such cases the engine figures the visitor didn't find what they were looking for so your page must not have been relevant to their search.
One way to fit the bill is to create a new page of content every week. Chances are likely that there will be some aspect related to one of your products or services about which you can write a special report or a feature article. Perhaps you'll do a weekly Q&A where you explain the benefits and features of what you do in greater detail.
And by all means look for ways to make the material work double-duty by, perhaps, assembling it into a newsletter that could then be made available to your customers. These are legitimate and valuable ways to expand your site and thereby broaden the net you cast to snare prospects that turn into future customers.
Use a good, reliable web hosting service.
There is no substitute for a hosting service that is dependable and one that assigns a unique IP address to every domain.
Remember, if your host goes down when a spider comes visiting you'll likely get knocked out of the index. Quality hosting services are a must in the same way that an appropriate physical location in a brick-n-mortar operation is essential.
Many people make the mistake of attempting clever "tricks" while ignoring the basics. That is foolish. It's possible that a site can score at the top using only the basics. However, "tricks" alone will never help you achieve top scores without first integrating those basics.
This article is copyrighted and has been reprinted with permission from FirstPlace Software.
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