It is possible to achieve Page 1 listings on search engines
without ever submitting your website. If you follow the five
best practices for dominating the search engines that are
described in the two parts of this article, then you will
have a good chance of a high listing, although you will have
to adapt the information to suit your own particular website.
The first part, this one, explains the importance of website
design and the use of keywords. The second part will discuss
contextual relevance to the topic, commonly called LSI, the
importance of links to your website and the fact that you
cannot allow your website to remain static. You must keep
Before you can apply search engine optimization to your site,
you must understand how search engines view it. Let’s discuss
Google, as being representative of a true search engine
rather than a website directory. It is the most used search
engine, and also the one that appears to set the standards
for search and listing criteria.
Google does not list websites, OK? Get that understood right
now. Google lists web pages. Theoretically, ten of your web
pages could monopolize the first page for any particular
search term. This is important because it means that you
should make every single page of your website as attractive
to search engines as possible. However let’s consider your
home page as being representative of your website and the
page that Google finds first.
WEBSITE DESIGN IS CRUCIAL
So what are these magical five best practices? The first is
the design of your website. When the search engines check out
your site, they use algorithms, or mathematical formulae,
that apply statistical rules to what they find. These are
commonly called ‘crawlers’ or ‘spiders’. I will use the term
‘spiders’. When you design your site, you must make it easy
for spiders to crawl around it.
Spiders are slaves, and follow instructions to the letter.
If you tell it to go to point A, it will go to point A. It
won’t wonder if that’s the best thing to do – it will go
right there. If it lands at point A and you tell it to go to
point B, it will do that as well. Now, think what that
means. If point A is another page on your website, and point
B is a page on somebody else’s website, where does the spider
end up? That’s right, you’ve got it!
When a spider lands on your web page, it does so at the top
left of the first column in the first table. It then crawls
along from left to right until it reaches the end of the
column, then goes to the next column and so on. It then goes
to any nested tables, again from left to right and so on.
Using that information, you can draw a spider’s web using
your HTML: spiders are monolingual – they only read HTML,
not Java or Flash or any other script.
Using the information above you should be able to work out a
path on your website that will lead spiders to where you want
them to go. The easier a spider can scuttle round your site
the more pleased it will be with it. However, as hinted
above, don’t lead it off your site: it might just stay there!
There are ways to lock certain doors to spiders but that is
for Part 2.
KEYWORDS ARE SPIDER FOOD – DON’T GET THEM FAT!
Do you remember when you were told to use a keyword density
of 1% – 3% on each page? Well forget it! That’s nonsense.
First of all let’s look at what a keyword is. Have you ever
used Google, or any other search engine, to find some
information? Of course you have ! Did you do what I do, and
think of the best wording you can use in the box to describe
what you want and wonder if these were the best words to use?
You probably did, and like me either got what you wanted or
had to type in something else. Do you know what? Each of the
search terms you used was a ‘keyword’. That’s right, a
keyword can be a phrase as well as a single word. A keyword,
in fact, is any term that a Google user enters into the
search box hoping to get the information they need.
Therefore, when you are adding keywords to your web pages,
you are adding words or phrases that you hope others are
using to find the information you have on that web page.
Remember that Google lists every web page separately.
What this means is that to maximize the traffic to your web
pages you have to figure out what keywords Google users will
use to find your website. There are tools to help you do
that, such as the free Google Keyword Tool and Digital Point
Keyword Tool, and the paid for Wordtracker. Check them out
and decide what suits you best. Keyword research is a big
subject, far too big for this article, but that is a rough
idea of what is involved.
Use your keyword in your title and heading, once in the first
100 characters in the main body text, and once in the last
paragraph. No more, though you can add it once every 500
words. And that’s it. More information on the use of words
that relate to your keywords will be given in Part 2.