Webmasters and search engine optimizers often search for ways to get their site better indexed and improve their rankings. You can scour Search Engine Optimization (SEO) forums, read books and talk to other webmasters. But often,one of the most valuable ranking resources is forgotten: the search enginesthemselves. All three major crawlers, Google, MSN (Windows Live) and Yahoo!offer comprehensive, webmaster-friendly help sections on optimizing your site.Before setting off to optimize your site, make sure you got the basics down byfollowing the rules of the game.
“Natural” Search Engine Optimization
The process of trying to get your site ranked better in search engine results hasbecome known as “natural” or “organic” search engine optimization (SEO).Since search engines are extremely popular with users and bring in pre-qualified traffic, many sites want to know how they can improve their rankings in non-paid search results. Anyone can launch a pay-per-click campaign on Google, but only a few sites rise to the top of search results. Why is it important to be ranked high organically? Only 20% of browsers ever click on pay-per-click links. The other 80% click on the organic results.Before you can understand how each search engine scores web sites, you need to understand the various factors they consider. These factors can be divided into two categories, on-page and offsite.
On-page factors are concerned with keywords and their placement in the HTML:
Keyword frequency, weight, prominence and proximity
Format, placement and content of the title tag
Use of the meta tags
Use of header tags
Use of ALT tags
Off-site factors are not related to the content of your HTML, but rather to the overall quality of your site, search engines perceive it. The major off-site factor is Link popularity and everything related to it, such as the following:
Number of incoming links
Quality of the linking sites
Directory links, etc
You can improve most of the above factors to achieve higher rankings. We recommend that you work on both on-page and off-site factors at the same time.This is especially important for sites targeting general and highly competitive terms. The search engine marketing landscape is simply too competitive right now to ignore either page-related factors or link popularity.
Choosing your Keywords
Most techniques to improve your search engine rankings have one thing in common — keywords. Choosing appropriate keywords is extremely important.Think about it: Keywords are what lead search engine users to your site.