Get Listed In Search Engines
Possibly the most debated issue among website owners would be the subject of this page. Getting listed at all is a chore but to get listed above your competitors is downright impossible, or is it. In this document I can't promise to provide all the secrets to getting listed high within the search engines but I can offer you a few solid suggestions that might help you head the right path.
The first thing we need to address are keywords. For purposes of this document, a keyword is one or more words that someone might type into a search engine search box when they are looking for something on the internet. For example, all of the following are keywords: money, making money, search engine listings
The second thing we need to address is your website. If you have 10 pages on your website, don't think of those 10 pages as your website. Think of each individual page as a unique document that will be scanned by the search engines and read by the viewers. The steps listed below will need to be performed for each page, not for all 10 pages as a group. If you try to optimize your website for the search engines, you will fail. You must optimize each page for the search engines to succeed.
So How Do I Optimize a web page for the Search Engines?
Rule #1 is to make sure you setup your web page for your viewers. NEVER compromise the quality of the page just to get listed in a search engine. Do I need to say this again???? Create a quality web page that your viewers will be able to easily read. Use good English, write in sentences, and don't ever misspell a word.
Step #1 - Create a list of the 10 most important keywords for this web page and sort them from most important to least important. Almost never will you use words like "cheap" & "free" in this list. I call these "fluff" words and they might go in your second list. Now create a list of 10 to 20 other less important keywords. Write this out on paper and keep them in front of you for the following steps. Don't keep the list in your head, put it on paper. Commit to a list of words before proceeding. This step could take 5 minutes or may take 5 hours. Don't proceed until you have your lists and you are 100% happy with the lists.
Step #2 - Write your Title. The first word(s) will be the keyword that is first on your list from Step #1. There are no exceptions to this. Your Title should be only one sentence and should be no more than 5 to 7 words. It must read well and state clearly what the web page is all about. Avoid common words when possible (a, the, or, and, etc...). Note: Your title shows in most browsers in the title bar and us also used when the viewer ads the page to their Favorites list.
Step #3 - Write your Meta Description. As with your Title, The first word(s) will be the keyword that is first on your list from Step #1. Your Meta Description should be 2 to 3 sentences and should give more detail about your website than your Title. Use as many of your keywords as possible, never forgetting Rule #1.
Title & Meta Description Example
<title>Get Listed In Search Engines</title>
<meta name="description" content="Get listed in search engines and your business can grow. Getting listed is possibly the most debated issue among website owners. We can help you work through the debate with some practical solutions.">
Step #4 - Write the Body of your web page. This is normally the middle section of your web page and the area that your viewers will read. Never forget Rule #1 while writing this and use your words from Step #1 as much as possible. It's very difficult for me to say at this point how much text there should be but I can tell you this... If you have a keyword and it's not on the page, there is a 0% chance that you will get listed in a search engine for that keyword.
General Guidelines for the body of your web page.
- Don't overuse a keyword. Some say not to use it more than 8 times. I suggest you use your primary keywords 5 to 10 times, making sure that they belong.
- Don't try to trick the search engines: Some will put their keywords on the page using the same text color as the background for the page so the viewer can't see them but search engines will. Others will list words for no apparent reason. Many other tricks have been used. Don't fall into this trap.
- All Text and No Images may be bad: As I have noted before, write your page for the viewer. If all you have is a bunch of ugly text, your viewers may get bored quickly and run away. Add a few images to break up the page.
- Use Titles on Images: A great way to add keywords to your page is to add Titles to your images. These Titles should normally be short and keyword rich.
- Link to other pages whenever possible: As you look over the text you have written, find words that will work will as links to other pages on your website and link those words to other pages. If nothing else, it will make it easier for search engines to find all your pages.
- The bottom of your page is important: Don't give up on your page when it is half done and don't group all your most important keywords at the top. Mix it up. If a keyword is important enough to be on your first list then it's important enough to be included at the bottom of your page.
Step #5 - Page File Name. Believe it or not, the filename your give your webpage can help. I suggest using the most important keyword as your filename. For example, if your top keyword is "get listed in google", your filename should be get-listed-in-google.htm.
Your Page/Website is now complete and ready for the real world
One of the most asked questions is "How do I get my website listed in the search engines". For some time now we have been charging for this service but now I am going to give you the secret for free. I'm not going to charge you a penney and there is no catch.
One way to get listed is to go to the search engine you want listed in and submit it under their free listings. Search engines that provide free listings have a form you can fill out and eventually they will scan your site and get you listed.
Another way is to pay for ads and/or listings. They all do it a little different but on some search engine sites you can pay them money and they will list you in their site. Why you would want to do this I don't know but it is available. Other search engine sites have what they call Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. We have several sites we use PPC advertising on and sometimes we make a lot of money off the ads and sometimes we don't so be careful.
Now for the secret.... By far the best way to get free listings in search engines quickly is to have other sites that are already listed in the search engines link to you. Yes, that is the secret. For example, if you have a new website and you have some friends that have well established websites, have them place links at the bottom of their web pages that link to you. You need more than one. You need several and if possible, have them link to various pages on your website, not just one. To be nice, you might want to link back to them.
Notes related to others linking to you.
- Be careful of connecting up with link farms. Having hundreds of people randomly linking to you from a link farm could get you in trouble.
- The higher the quaility the link, the better it is for you. If your buddy sells shoes and you sell cars it's not as good for you as if you both sell cars.
- Text in the link is important. If you sell cars and your buddy ads a link to their web page to you and the text link says "A Friends Website", it's not as good to you as if the text says "Used Cars for Less".
- If your buddy agrees to add links to you from 10 different pages, have them link to 10 different pages on your website.