by Suzi Batta
What does all this stuff mean anyway?
Search Engine Optimization involves preparing your Web site for search engine submission. You want your site to be search engine friendly to achieve the highest ranking. This includes using a combination of techniques to improve your placement in the search engines. Once your site has been optimized then you can start submitting it to the search engines.
Optimizing your site for the search engines includes titling the pages of your Web site. Each title should describe the content on that page. Titles need to be captivating enough to grab your viewer's attention and should also incorporate keywords. Titles should be no longer than 60 characters including spaces and punctuation. If you don't know how to do this yourself you might consider hiring a marketing/pr person to do this for you.
Meta what? Meta tags are descriptive text and keywords that go into the coding of your Web site. This information is used by the search engines to better index and catalogue your Web site.
Meta 'descriptions' should be salesworthy. A one line description about you or your company and the information they may find when visiting that page. Unique description for each page are generally more effective and make for strategic keyword placement. Meta descriptions should be no longer than 150 characters, approximately 20 words.
Meta 'keywords' are a series of keywords or phrases that are relative to you or your company. When coming up with your keywords try to think of terms a visitor might use to find your products or services. More specific keywords are more effective than very generic keywords. Although the maximum number of character is 1,024, I don't recommend using more than one hundred keywords. Using too many keywords can dilute the effectiveness of the ones that are most important and with many search engines less is more. Repeating a keyword more than three times is also not recommended by the search engine gurus. The search engines have already picked up on this technique and have rejected sites that use, what they term 'keyword spamming' in their meta keywords.
Each search engine uses a variety of algorithms and formulas to determine the placement of sites. They take your meta tags and titles into consideration, how many pages are on your site, number of times keywords are repeated on your pages and how many other sites are linking to you. They also don't want you to know their exact formula. Optimizing your site by using a combination of unique titles and meta tags is the first step in achieving better search engine placement.
Submitting your site to the search engines? That's a whole other article so stay tuned!