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How To Improve Your Search Engine Ranking
By: Developer Shed
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    How To Improve Your Search Engine Ranking
    by Suzanne Morrison

    With search engines like Google currently indexing over 8 billion pages, it is becoming more and more difficult to get a top search engine ranking. Type in a popular search phrase such as "Internet Marketing" into Yahoo or Google and you will be returned over 8 million results!

    Unless your website is in the first two or three pages, itis unlikely that you will receive many visitors from searchengines.

    So what should a webmaster do to give their website thebest chance of ranking high in the search engines?

    All search engines work slightly differently and haveever changing algorithms for ranking web pages, butthese tips can be applied when planning, developing ormarketing a website to help you reach that top pageof search engine results.

    (1) Choose your keywords carefully

    It's extremely important to set aside time to research your keywords. It's best to do this in the planning stages, before developing your website, but many of us start a website without knowing a thing about how the search engines work, so you may find yourself doing this weeks or months later.

    Try to choose phrases that are searched on frequently and if possible have a low number of competing websites.

    To get an idea of the number of times a keyword issearched for per month, type a keyword into the boxat

    Overture Search Inventory

    This will tell you how many times your keyword was searched on in the previous month (based on Overture'spartner search engines) and give you a list of similar keywords.

    Another useful tool to help you choose your keywords isWord Tracker. This tool will help you choose your keywordsand give you a "KEI" for each set of keywords based onthe popularity of the keyword (number of searches) and the amount of competition.

    You can try this out for free on:Wordtracker

    If you manage to pick your keywords in the planning stages you may even be lucky enough to find a domainname that contains your keywords.

    (2) Optimise your pages

    Once you have decided on your keywords you will need to optimise your pages for those keywords. Here are a few tips.

    • Ensure that the Title of your page contains yourkeywords.
    • Mention your keywords inside the meta tags. Mostsearch engines no longer use meta tags, but some make use of them so it is still worthwhileusing these.
    • Try to make sure that the first occurance of readable text on your page contains your keywords
    • Ensure that your keywords are mentioned in theinitial paragraph of your page
    • Use your keywords throughout the text of yourpage - but be careful not to overdo this. Your pageshould still be readable by humans!
    • Use your keywords between the headline tags onyour page ("H1" tags or H2/H3 if H1 is too big)
    • Occasionally bold or italicise your keywords
    • Make sure that links pointing back to each pageon your site contain the keywords for each page
    • Give all your images an "ALT" tag and put yourkeywords in here too - again, don't overdo this
    • Try to put some of your keywords inyour outbound links

    (3) Start Linking

    One of the most important criteria in getting a goodsearch engine ranking is the number of backlinks you have to your website from related websites.

    Type in your chosen keywords to Yahoo or Google andtake note of the top 3 sites returned to you.

    Now go to Market Leap's Link Tracking Tool andput the URLs of the top three sites into the linking tool, along the URL of your own site.

    Have a look at the difference between your site andthe top 3 sites and this will give you an idea ofhow many links you need in order to get a top search engine ranking for these keywords.

    The best ways to get links back to your site are:

    • By writing articles related to the subject of yourwebsite and getting them published on the internet
    • Reciprocal Linking with other related websites
    • Posting on newsgroups and forums that allow youto have a signature attached to your posting (withyour uRL in it)
    • Submitting your site to directories.

    Try to make sure that the anchor text (clickabletext) that links back to your site contains yourkeywords.

    (4) Add Content Regularly

    Another thing you may have noticed is that topranking websites have lots of content.

    Regularly updating your website and adding freshcontent will also help your site to rank more highly in the search engines.

    If you don't have time to create your own uniquecontent there are plenty free articles availableJust type "Free website content" into Google andyou'll have your pick of the 18 million results thatit returns to you!

    To improve your ranking, follow steps 1 and 2 above and repeat steps 3 and 4 regularly.

    You can check your progress on Yahoo and Google by using the free search engine ranking tools at the following sites:

    Yahoo Search Rankings
    Google Search Rankings

    Suzanne Morrison is the owner of Visit her site or send an email to to discover how you can start up and promote your own successful online home business.

    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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