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Hints and Tips


Search engine optimization is very cost effective…
Search engine optimization for top ranking is one of the most effective ways to keep your marketing costs to a minimum. Most search engines do not charge to index your site. But, some of the major search engines and directories are now charging a small fee to include your site in their index.

It's an art, not a science…You need to high search engine ranking, but your web pages also need to sell. That is why high search engine ranking is more of an art than a science. It takes time and practical experience to get the correct blend of copy that sells and copy that gets high search engine ranking of the website.

Search engine optimization is a must for anyone serious about making their website a success. With the proper research and planning, your site will achieve top search engine ranking for casino related search terms that is needed to drive key prospects to Harrods Casino online.

Effective Search Engine Optimisation will move your site to the top of the search engines against your relevant search words.

Consider this. As of January 2003, Google has 29.5% of the search engine market share. Google also provides its results to yahoo who have 28.5% market share, and Google provides its results to AOL who have 18.4% market share (source : Nielsen). That adds up to 77.4% of the search engine market. Now, you can choose which search engines to optimise specifically for, however if you are not choosing to optimise for Google, you are forsaking 77.4% of potential customers worldwide.

What Is Search Engine Optimisation?
Web site optimisation is the application of construction techniques that will enable your web site to obtain and maintain a higher presence on search engines. These include making the best use of display page titles, headings, key words, meta data, text, image titles plus links to and from your web site.

It is very important to note that all search engines apply their own individual criteria and therefore what works best on one, may not produce the same results on another.

Responding to searches submitted is an absolute must if you wish to increase your presence. However this is not always possible, depending on how you track visitors to your site. Don't panic though. If you can't see the details that people are keying into their search to find you, by following the hints and tips displayed throughout this tutorial, you can be confident that you have taken steps in the right direction to help increase your chances of producing a search engine friendly web site.

How Do Search Engines Include Web Sites?

Search engines and directories rely on you to supply the information they require. Search engines often rely on spidering or indexing your site and the information is then stored automatically within a database.

Directories are often edited by an individual who will visit your site to see what it contains. You may be requested to fill out a form at the submission stage explaining the contents of your site and where you would like it to be placed. You may even need to submit from a section within the directory, where you would prefer to be listed.

Does It Long Take To Get Listed On Search Engines?

This varies from search engine to search engine. As more and more web sites are submitted the workload is naturally increased. At the end of the day no-one can guarantee a free inclusion in search results. Most search engines reserve the right not to list sites submitted. If your site is included, the time it takes can vary from immediate to months.

Submitting your site
Do not bother submitting your site to Google more than once. Once Google knows about you, submitting a second time will be ignored.

Submitting individual pages
Do not be tempted to submit specific web pages to Google. If a human can't find a page from your site, chances are neither will Google and submitting individual pages which have no links to them results in a page ranking of 0 and are unlikely ever to show up in search results pages.

Carefully choose your keywords
Target the wrong keywords and all your efforts will be in vain. Choose the right keywords and you’ll see your traffic dramatically increase. Therefore, think long and hard about what keywords people are most likely to use when search for your site. Make lists of single keywords and then combine them into phrases.

Page titles
Give your web page an informative title. This helps with Google if your title contains any part of the search term that a search engine user uses.

Optimisation of your Title Tag
The title tag of your page is an extremely important factor to consider during the optimisation of a web page for search engines. This is because many engines and directories place a high level of importance on keywords that are found in your title tag. The title tag is also what the search engines usually use for the title of your listing in the search results.

What it looks like:
Here's the title tag of this page:
<TITLE>Hints and Tips - optimisation of your title tag for search engines</TITLE>

Where it belongs:
The correct placement for the title tag is between the <HEAD> and </HEAD> tags within the HTML the makes up your page.


Tips for optimising your Meta Tags:

  • We recommend including 1-2 of your most important keyword phrases in the title tag, be careful not to just list keywords. If you just list keywords you risk being viewed as a spamming the engines which can ultimately lead to you being blacklisted by the search engines. Your title tag should include your keyword phrases while remaining as close to a readable sentence as possible to avoid any problems.

  • Make your title enticing! Don't forget that even if you get that #1 listing in the search engines your listing still needs to say something that makes the surfer want to clickthrough and visit your site.

  • Since the length of your title tag could be a little long for some engines we suggest placing the keywords at the beginning of the tag when possible so that you do not risk having them cut off.

  • Each page of your site should have a unique title tag with it's own keywords that related to the page that it appears on.

Optimisation of your META tags
The head element contains general information (meta-information) about a document. HTML also includes a meta element that goes inside the head element. The purpose of the meta element is to provide meta-information about the document.

Most often the meta element is used to provide information that is relevant to browsers or search engines like describing the content of your document. Some search engines will use the name and content attributes of the meta tag to index your pages.

This meta element defines a description of your page:
<meta name="description" content="Free Web tutorials on HTML, CSS, XML, and XHTML">

This meta element defines keywords for your page:
<meta name="keywords" content="HTML, DHTML, CSS, XML, XHTML, JavaScript, VBScript">
 

The intention of the name and content attributes is to describe the content of a page. However, since too many webmasters have used meta tags for spamming, like repeating keywords to give pages a higher ranking, many major search engines have stopped using them entirely.

Where they belong:  The correct placement for both meta tags is between the <HEAD> and </HEAD> tags within the HTML the makes up your page. Their order does not really matter, but most people usually place the description first then the keywords meta. Tag limits:

  • We recommend that your Keywords Meta not exceed 1024 characters including spaces.

  • We recommend that  your Description Meta tag not exceed 250 characters including spaces. 

Meta description tips:

  • Make sure you accurately describe the content of your page while trying to entice visitors to click on your listing.

  • Include 3-4 of your most important keyword phrases. Especially those used in your title tag and page copy.

  • Try to have your most important keywords appear at the beginning of your description. This often brings better results, and will help avoid having any search engine cut off your keywords if they limit the length of your description.

Meta keywords tips:

  • You should only use those keyword phrases that you also used in the copy of your page, title tag, meta description, and other tags. Any keywords phrases that you use that do not appear in your other tags or page copy are likely to not have enough prominence to help your listings for that phrase.

  • Don't forget plurals.

  • Don't forget common misspelling of a popular keyword that could be used to find your site.

  • Watch out for repeats! You want to include your most important phrases, but when doing so it can be difficult not to repeat one word many times. There in no limit, but we recommend that no one word be repeated in the keyword meta more than 5 times.

  • If your site has content of interest to a specific geographic location be sure to include the actual location in your keyword meta.

Appropriate content
Make sure your web pages contain appropriate material. I.e. If the search term "classical music" brings up your page, your page had better have some reference to classical music or the customer will leave immediately. It is estimated that 90% (source : general estimate) of potential customers turn away from sites after they have seen the first page.

Optimisation of your page content
Your page content is another very important factor in achieving better search engine listings. Your page content is the information that a visitor would read from the page. Search engines look through Did you know that just like a visitor to your site would read the copy on your page to figure out what you have to offer, the search engines do too? And what do you think the search engines are looking for when they 'read' your page copy? Keyword phrases, of course! 

Page content tips:

  • We recommend that each page you submit has at contains least 200 words.

  • This text should include your most important keyword phrases, but should remain logical & readable.

  • Include the phrases that you have used in your other tags (i.e. metas, alt, headings, title, etc.) during the optimisation process.

  • Add additional content rich pages to your site. For example, how-to articles, hint and tips, or tutorials. These types of content pages not only help you in the search engines, but many other sites will link to them too.

Links
Get as many clickable links from external sites pointing to your site as you can. This will help your link popularity which scores highly with Google's ranking system. But take good advice from a real expert before getting into link swapping schemes.

Cloaking
Do not try to be creative and use cloaking techniques to help your rankings unless you really really know what you are doing (and are prepared for the possible consequences of being de-listed). Search engines will start to use more than one user identifier when accessing your site soon (if they haven't already) to see if you are trying to dupe them. If you don't understand what this all means, then you are likely not using cloaking techniques so ignore this point.

Optimisation of your images using "alt"
The alt attribute is used to define an "alternate text" for an image. The value of the alt attribute is an author-defined text:

<img src="optimised.gif" alt="Search Engine Optimisation">

The "alt" attribute tells the reader what he or she is missing on a page if the browser can't load images. The browser will then display the alternate text instead of the image. It is a good practice to include the "alt" attribute for each image on a page, to improve the display and usefulness of your document for people who have text-only browsers.


Optimisation of Text Hyperlinks

Search engines use complex algorithms to see if what you are linking to is something closely related to the content of your page. Some of the engines look for keywords in hyperlinks and in the surrounding text of the hyperlinks. We recommend including your most important keyword phrases in the link itself and possibly the surrounding text.

Directories
Get listed in as many directories as you can. Each time you are listed in a directory, Google will consider this as a plus to your search ranking.

Creating Doorway Pages
With the exception of Yahoo! you can submit more than one URL to a search engine. A doorway page is simply a page that has been created for the sole purpose of ranking higher in search engines for a particular keyword or set of keywords. These pages act as “doorways” to the real content of your site, without having to redesign or remove the content of your site.

You can create doorway pages to take advantage of a search engine’s criteria for a specific keyword or keyword phase. Doorway pages help you solve the most troubling Web marketing dilemma: The techniques that will get you a high ranking in one search engine can get you penalized or even removed from the index of another search engine. It is impossible to design a single page that will rank well for all of your chosen keywords in all engines.

Since there are so many sites indexed by Web search engines, the content of your page must be very focused to rank well in today’s overflowing search engines.

Typically, when targeting five keywords, across eight search engines, you end up with 40 pages pointing to your home page or other section on your site. Don’t worry, this is not unusual. If you are cautious and
heed the warnings below, you won’t have any problems.

Some techniques work better than others, depending on the engine. Sometimes, a shorter, more concise page will rank higher on AltaVista than a longer one. You could create alternate shorter pages and name them accordingly. For example,

Experiment with different pages and page names to describe these experiments, but be careful and don't go overboard!

What Are Industry Specific Search Engines?

Industry specific search engines and directories are often very popular. The growth of the internet has created a specific need to access quickly and clearly defined information of a particular nature. For example, if you are an estate agent in a particular area, you might carry out searches for directories specialising in this field. Adding your site to the most popular of these is crucial. Directories are often highly ranked by search engines because they contain a high level of relevant information specific to the specific subject.



What not to do!


Things to Avoid attempting Optimisation techniques for Search Engines

You should not try to trick a search engine in any way because you risk being blacklisted by them.

  • Excluding the meta keyword tag, do not list you keyword one after another anywhere on the page
  • An old trick is to try and keyword stuff the page by using the same colour text as the page's background. Search engines can detect this and view it as spam.
  • Do not submit the same page to any search engine more than once in any twenty-four hours.
  • Do not submit identical pages. You should instead give them different filename and change the title and, if possible, the keywords for the page.
  • Do not use any keywords in your keywords meta tag that do not directly relate to the content of your page.
  • Don't use any keywords in your keywords meta tag that do not directly relate to the content of your page.
     

Do not use frames
One of the biggest potential pitfalls for Webmasters is search engines that do not index the text within frames. A frame is an HTML page that "frames" other HTML pages. If your site uses frames you homepage is actually a frameset with no real content. Several major engines (including Excite, WebCrawler and HotBot) do not support frames, others do not index framed sites very well. If you site uses frames we recommend redesigning your site without them if you want to get good listings in the search engines.If you must use frames, include text in the <NOFRAMES> tag. Another solution is to create pages (without frames) to act as doorways or alternate entrances to your site for the purpose of giving these engines something they can see and index.

Do not use dynamic URL's
Most search engine cannot list dynamic URL's which are commonly listed on database driven sites using scripting languages such as VBScript within Active Server Pages (ASP). An example of a dynamic URL is shown below.

Do not have an entirely FLASH homepage
Search engines cannot index pages made entirely with FLASH. When you submit a page to a search engine a spider will follow the links on the page and listing the rest of the site. The best way to remedy this is to create a site map that uses normal html links to every page on your site. Also add a standard HTML link on each page of you site that links to the site map.

Do not use image maps as the only method of navigation
Search engines cannot index the code that makes up image maps. You can use image maps in your site but you should also include standard html links. As with a Flash site, create a site map that uses normal html links to every page on your site. Also add a standard HTML link on each page of you site that links to the site map.
 

Do not use javascript as the only method of navigation
Search engines can't follow links that are within Javascript, so your site will not get spidered unless you also have some form standard HTML hyperlinks that they can follow. You should add some form standard HTML hyperlinks to all of your pages on each of your pages so that your site will be spidered properly. An easy way to do this is to create a site map page uses standard HTML links to link to every page on your site. Then add a standard HTML link on each page of your site that links to the site map.

 


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