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SEARCH ENGINE STRATEGIES

© Carl Hruza 2000

Marketing products and/or services on the Web is the direction taken by most of today's businesses. However , are we really prepared for what the Internet has to offer and are we equipped with the tools and knowledge to exploit the web's potential and make our webbased businesses successful? In most cases the answer is NO. Some simple statistics explain why:

1) - only 16% of all the web pages submitted for registration to the Internet search engines are successfully registered or 'indexed'

2) - 95% of business web sites that are indexed by the search engines list outside of the top 30 of searches returned on popular 'keywords' for their business category.

What does all this mean? Simple, your site is invisible to potential customers searching the Web for your products. So what options do you have? The most sensible and economical is to employ specialist services to improve your search rankings, where in most cases a radical improvement can be attained, at a reasonable cost.

The following are FAQ's we often encounter from businesses wishing to improve their search rankings:

Q - How do I get my site listed on the search engines?

A - The easiest way is to submit your site directly to the search engine, usually through the 'add URL' section on the search engine homepage. The search engine 'robot' will then visit your site and index your pages. Search engines are programmed to examine the pages of a site and record specific information in a manner that permits easy retrieval of relevant pages when called to do so during a user search. Our recommendation is to focus on the leading engines around 16 or so, and to avoid services that offer 'bulk submission' to 100's of engines that no-one uses.

Q - I have submitted my site but it still does not turn up in searches, why?

A - Be certain that your site is fully prepared before you submit for search indexing. Many sites are simply rejected by the search engines because the designers have not followed important guidelines when constructing the site, or have been over zealous in 'cramming' pages with keywords in an attempt to influence the search engines. There are many tactics that result in penalty or even 'banning' of the entire site for spamming or blatant attempts at manipulation of the search engine. You must also be patient, it can take anywhere between 2 days and 5 months for your site to appear. Be prepared, be patient.

Q- What specific information should I include on my site to attract favorable search rankings?

A - The type of information the search engines look for, and how they handle the information, varies with each search engine. To have a site that ranks well with more than one search engine requires a good deal of effort, the details of which extend beyond the scope of this report. Suffice to say that if you are serious about achieving good results on most popular search engines, then you will need to acquire a detailed knowledge of how they work. Basic requirements of constructing a well prepared page include the following:

TITLE Tag - use around six words, do not use your company name unless it is a    'branded' name, use keywords at the start of the Tag and do not repeat them.

META Keywords Tag - focus on popular keywords and use the most popular at the start of the Tag. Avoid word repetition unless offering synonyms.

Excercise caution when offering plurals and upper/lower case variations. Avoid using superfluous words that do not appear on the page. 12 to 14 words is average and most effective.

META Description Tag - Use 16 words max in most cases and avoid word repetition. Use keywords but don't use key phrases or strings of words that appear in exactly the same combination in other tags.

'ALT-IMAGE' attributes - name your images using single instances of keywords.

'Heading' Tags - use them to encase headline text or 'bullet points'.

Body Text - use at least 250 words and make use of keywords positioned in the body text. Try to start the first sentence of the first paragraph with a keyword and repeat the word one more time in the paragraph. Use the keyword/phrase at least three other times on the page.

Search strategies - For more information on this subject, visit us at Connect Online Services


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