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Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engines and directories use keywords to help determine which sites to list in their search results. In optimizing your website for the search engines, you should start by making a list of several keywords that describe your site content. Ask yourself, "What would a person looking for my site enter into a search engine?" Do this for each individual page of your website because each separate page should have specific keywords that are targeted to what that particular page is about.

When making your list, you may want to try a service such as WordTracker to help you decide which keywords to use for each page.
You can take their free trial and do various searches for the keywords that you have chosen to see which get more searches on the search engines.
While your first instinct might tell you to pick the most popular keywords that receive the most searches, keep in mind that there is more competition to rank high in the search engines with these keywords. Look for keywords that are specific to what your page is about, rather than more general keywords.

It is very important to select keywords that are specifically related to each page of your website.
These keywords are going to be used to optimize both your meta tags and your page content.

Remember that you will only be able to optimize for what your website can actually handle.
If your site has little or no information, it's going to be difficult to compete with other websites out there.
Also, if your website is in a highly competitive category, such as travel, you'll be competing with some of the biggest companies out there such as Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, and Hotels.com. It can be difficult to rank well for these keywords that have big competition.
One way to avoid this is to optimize your website for niche.
For example, if you had a travel site, try to gear your content and keywords towards lesser competitive travel categories.

Meta tags are lines of code at the top of an html page that instruct search engines and give them information about your website.

Some basic meta tags include:

Your Site Title Here - This tells Search Engines what the name of your site is.
Often times, search engines use these titles for the title of your listing within their search results.
It is very important to include keywords that describe your site within your title because some of your search engine rankings will come from this.
Be sure that the title makes sense though and is not just a string of keywords.

- This gives search engines an idea of what your site is about.
Often times, search engines use the description as the description of your listing within their search results.
Again, be sure to use your keywords in the description tag as well.

- This gives search engines an idea of what your site is about.
Though it is not as important as it once was, you should still include it in your website with several keywords, each separated by a comma.

It is highly recommended that you have the basic meta tags in place on each of your submitted url's.
While these tags are not the sole source of information about your website, they are very useful in helping some of the engines determine your placement.
Without them, you may not be added to a search engine or you may not rank well in those where you have already been included.

Header tags are another form of html code that you can use on your website.

They look like this:

Insert your header here.

You should have a header tag on each page of your website with the keywords that you have chosen for that page incorporated in it.

For instance, this page is about optimizing your website for the search engines, so at the top of this page, we have the keyword phrase 'optimizing your website for the search engines' in a header tag.
Not only does this tell users exactly what your page is about, it also emphasizes the keywords and tells the search engines that they are most important to what the website is about.

Alt tags are basically text descriptions for your images.
They let search engines know what purpose an image has.
It is best to use your descriptive keywords in your alt tags, while at the same time, making sure that it accurately describes your image.

Alt tags look like this:
Insert your alt tag here.

Incorporating your chosen keywords into your page content is even more important that putting them into your meta tags when you are optimizing your website for the search engines.
After you have decided on a few keywords for each page of your website, you then need to review the text on each page and figure out how to incorporate those keywords into that page text.
You should sprinkle the chosen keywords throughout the text, not just mention them one time.
For instance, if you had a website about gadgets and one page was about wireless gadgets, you would then make sure that your content reflected this topic and included the phrase 'wireless gadgets' in several places.
As a side note, it is very important to make sure that you have text on every page of your website as that is what the search engines 'read' to really get an idea of what your website is about.
Do not simply list lines of keywords on your pages. If you simply list keywords on your website rather than integrating them into your text, your website could be banned from the search engines as this is considered spamming.

When you link to your various pages within your site, you should incorporate your keywords in the link text. By link text, we mean the following:

This is your link text.

For example:
Get tips for optimizing your website for the search engines, here.
Get tips for optimizing your website for the search engines here.

Notice the difference? In the first example, we linked the word here to our page, but in the second example, we linked important keywords to our page.
This is another way to help the search engines realize what your page is about.

This is perhaps the most important step in optimizing your website for the search engines.
Many of the search engines like to see that your site is 'popular' and therefore a good resource for them to rank higher and recommend to their searchers. If they see that your page has a lot of good websites linking to it, then they assume that it is a good website and will rank you higher.

One of the best ways to help increase the number of links to your website is to exchange links with websites that have content similar to your own.
Simply search for related sites in Google and then email each of them to see if they are interested in exchanging links with you.
The more link exchanges that you get with quality websites, the better you will do in the search engines.

To help search engines find every page on your website, especially if you have a large website with a lot of content, you may want to use a site map.
A site map is a page within your website that contains links to every other page within your website.
It is a navigational page that can be useful to your website visitors as well as help the search engine spiders to crawl throughout your website.
When creating your site map, link to each page of your website using your keywords in the link text.
Include a text description of each page with the link.
To make your site map easily accessible, link to it from every page of your website.

PHP-Fusion have a free site map generator for both 8 and 9.

Remember that high search engine rankings do not happen overnight.
After optimizing your website for the search engines and completing your search engine submission, you should begin to see your website appear in the search engines. However, it can take 1-2 months for your optimization efforts to pay off due to the time it takes for search engine spiders to properly index your site. Ranking high takes time and is unfortunately a measure beyond any search engine optimization or submission company's control.

Yes! You need to continuously add new content and update your existing content.
Please keep in mind that we are not suggesting that you change the optimization that you originally did for each page.
Instead, you continuously add additional pages with additional content that you have optimized.
This not only gives visitors more content, thus encouraging them to come back to your website, but it encourages the search engines to rank you higher as they see your website as a useful resource for visitors.
You may have heard the saying that content is king on the Internet. Well, this has never been more true in SEO.

There are many search engine optimization companies out there that will guarantee that you will receive high rankings.
Be wary of these though as it is virtually impossible to guarantee a search engine ranking.
The search engines alone control the way they rank websites and these ranking rules are always changing.
Because of this, we can not guarantee a high ranking. However, we will provide up to date information so that you have the best opportunity to achieve a high search engine ranking.