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10 Quick Rules for Better Search Engine Ranking

By Charles Hopkins Published 05/26/2007 | Marketing

If you are setting up a website, follow these simple rules to improve search engine rankings of your site. You can also follow these techniques if your website is not ranked high in search engines for certain keywords. Concentrate on the home page of your site and once you learn the techniques, you will be able to apply them to the other pages of your site that will have multiple high ranking pages.

1. Find keywords (or key phrases) relevant to your website. Go to the overture keyword selector tool (type key phrase overture inventory in Google) and check the popularity of the keywords you want to use. Avoid highly popular keywords. Highly popular keywords are very competitive and the least popular keywords are search engine traffic starved.

Select a dozen keywords and key phrases from the middle of the list. This is a very important exercise and you should spend at least a couple of hours, if not more, researching different keywords. While you are researching your keywords, check your competitors by doing a search in a couple of popular search engines like Google, Yahoo, etc., using those keywords. Keep a record of your competitors' urls and other information because you don't want to waste your time doing the same search again in the near future.

2. Use the keywords you selected into the meta tags of your home page. Meta tags are located in the head section of a web page. Go to one of your competitor's website and select View and then Source from your web browser's menu to view the html source of the web page. You will see the meta elements.

The two important meta tags are keywords and description meta tags. Don't leave them blank. You can list your keywords, separated by comma, in the keywords meta tag. Construct a catchy description using your keywords for the description meta tag.

3. Use the keywords in your title tag. The text you use in the title tag appears in the title bar of the web browser. The title tag should be less than 64 characters long. Again, the key is to use a meaningful title using the keywords. Don't just make a laundry list of your keywords for the title tag.

The title tag and your meta description may end up in many search engine listings. So, spend sometime to make these two elements interesting, meaningful, and relevant to your site.

4. Use the keywords in top heading (h1) tags of your page. Use one keyword (or a key phrase) for each h1 tag. Use these h1 tags for the headings of your contents.

5. In the home page content, use bold, using the strong html element, to highlight some of your keywords.

6. Italicize some of the keywords in your page.

7. Use the keywords in alt tags of images. You should always use the alt tag for all images.

8. Encourage others to use the keywords for text anchors when they link back to your site. Better yet, publish your own short link text with keyword anchors, bold and italicized key phrases and give it away for link exchanges.

9. If possible, use the keywords in your domain name. Try different arrangements of the keywords to come up with an available domain name that you can register.

10. If you are using php or asp or any other web programming language for your dynamic website, make your url search engine friendly using url rewrite techniques. Search the phrase url rewrite in Google to know more about url rewrite.

Keep in mind these simple rules every time you want to launch a website. Spending a few days upfront in the preparation of your site will pay off in the long run with better search engine rankings.