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SEO for CEOs ? Search Engine Optimization Unmasked for CEOs
If you're like most other CEOs, the term "search engine optimization" will mean very little. Either that or it means expense! But it doesn't have to be that way? If you feel like you're standing in a dark room handing money to strangers to get you in the search engines, then this article is for you.
This is an article written by a business owner for other business owners and CEOs. It explains Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) in layperson's terms. It won't make you an expert, but it will give you some insight into what you're spending your money on, what you should be spending your money on, and just as importantly, what you shouldn't.
But before launching straight into an explanation of SEO, let's talk a bit about search engines. Approximately 75%-80% of website traffic comes through search engines. What's more, research shows that most people don't look beyond the first 2 pages of search results. This means if your website doesn't rank in the first 2 pages of the major search engines, it's only receiving 20% of its rightful traffic? and revenue. (And remember, being ranked number 1 when you search for your company name or web address doesn't count. You need to rank highly for the words your customers use at search engines.)
The biggest concern for search engine companies like Google, Yahoo, etc., is finding content that will bring them more traffic (and thus more advertising revenue). They do this by using complex algorithms to determine whether a site is useful and should be included in their search results.
This is where SEO comes in.
SEO is the art of ranking in the search engines. Nothing more, nothing less.
SEO means creating your site such that the search engines consider it useful. The two main weapons in your arsenal are:
? Keywords ? Links to your site
Figure out what words your customers are looking for at search engines, and use those words at your site. By frequently using keywords that are important to your customers, you tell the search engines what you do. These keywords are used in your copy and in the code behind the page. Generally speaking, the more you use the keywords, the more relevant you are to searches in that field.
Keywords in Your Copy
The use of keywords in your copy is easy to understand. But it's not easy to do. You can't just pepper your site with a meaningless array of words. The trick is using the most important keywords a lot without compromising the readability of your copy. It's a balance between writing for the search engines and writing for your reader.
TIP: If you find this too time consuming, a website copywriter can take care of it for you. And if you know your keywords already, it should cost you no more than normal web copy.
Keywords in Your HTML Code
The use of keywords in your HTML code is harder to understand, but it's easier to do. There are four main places these keywords are used:
TIP: When you hear people talking about meta tags, this is what they're talking about. To see how meta tags are used in practice, go to Google and pretend you're a customer. Search for something your customers would search for. e.g. If you're in car audio, search for "car audio". Click on the first couple of results to bring up their website. Right-click on the home page, and select "View Source". You'll see a whole lot of code. You can ignore most of it. What you're looking for are the following?
meta name="KEYWORDS" CONTENT="keyword 1,keyword 2,keyword 3"
meta name="DESCRIPTION" CONTENT="Meaningful description of page using the main keywords"
img src="filename.gif" alt="Meaningful description of picture using the main keywords"
The title of the page using the main keywords
Take a look at the way the creators of the site have used keywords in these areas, and follow their lead. You already know they're ranked highly, so chances are they've done a good job. Alternatively, take a look at my site, http://www.divinewrite.com to see how I've done mine.
LINKS TO YOUR SITE
Now that you know how to tell the search engines what you do, let's talk about how to convince them you're important.
Links to your site (or "inbound links") are the most important factor in ranking. The more links you have to your site from other sites, the better your ranking (related sites generate better rankings).
TIP: Think of the Internet as a big election. All the websites in the world are candidates, and all the links to those websites are votes. The more votes (links) a candidate (website) has, the more important it is, and the higher its ranking.
There are many possible ways to generate links. Some are dubious (like auto-generation software). Others are legitimate, but offer limited results (like asking customers and suppliers to list you on their sites, and adding your site to various business directories). You can experiment with these methods, but I've always found the best way to generate inbound links is to write helpful articles and let publishers of newsletters and e-zines use them for free ? on the proviso that they link back to your site.
People who publish e-Zines and newsletters are always hungry for quality content. And there are websites out there dedicated to giving them just that. If you submit a well written, relevant, helpful article to one of those sites, you can have thousands of newsletter publishers ready to snap it up. Then you just sit back and watch the links multiply!
TIP: This method is beneficial in other ways too. Readers of your article will see that you know what you're talking about, and because you're published, they'll see you as an authority.
It's impossible to say how much time you'll need to spend generating links. You just have to keep at it until you have achieved a high ranking. Even then, you'll still need to dedicate some ongoing time to the task, otherwise your ranking will drop.
So to cut a long story short, it comes down to this. If you have a lot of the right keyword phrases, used in real sentences, distributed realistically throughout your site, and a lot of links from other relevant sites, you stand a good chance of being ranked highly.
That's what you're paying your providers for. And that's what SEO is all about.
About The Author
* Glenn Murray is an SEO copywriter and Article Submission Specialist. He is a director of PublishHub and also of copywriting studio Divine Write. He can be contacted on Sydney +612 4334 6222 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit http://www.divinewrite.com or http://www.publishhub.com for further details, more FREE articles, or to purchase his e-book, 'SEO Secrets'.
5 Things to Keep an Eye on in the SEO World in 2005...
After the latest PR update at Google and MSN's beta search going live, there is one thing for certain in 2005: the world of search is in for some major changes. There has been growing speculation around the SEO world that reciprocal linking is a thing of the past. Rumors are abound that PR means less and less, if anything. Bill Gates came out of his cave to say that "Today's search is nothing" and that it won't be that way for long. There are quiet rumblings in the SEO back alleys of a new, state-of- the-art search engine currently indexing the internet. Websites are dropping off the face of the planet. And we're all left to sit here and put together the pieces. So what is in store for 2005?
Do Search Engines Scare You?
What do the words "Search Engine" make you think of? I get immediate mind-pictures which vary but all have similar themes. Sometimes I see one of those tiny submarines which are used to explore the deepest parts of the ocean bed. I have this picture in my mind of the tiny submarine underwater in complete darkness apart from the beam of its searchlight which is probing the gloom. Other times I see a horse-drawn carriage driving through dense fog with only its weak lamp relieving the darkness. This scene is from a movie where the police are racing through London in search of Jack The Ripper. The final picture is of a line of policemen in old-fashioned uniforms advancing across a moor in darkness through rising mist with only their flashlight-beams to light their way.
How To Improve Your Search Engine Ranking
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!
How to REALLY Profit from SEO
I want to give you a few more things to think about as you excel and grow in the craft of search engine marketing. If you are anything like me, you were hooked the first time you really made a difference to someone else's success. I soon realized that being able to help business owners to get results from these optimization methods and strategies could also be amazingly profitable. I found out that customers are your greatest resources and many of them are quite generous when you make an impact on their business. So the topic here is for those who want to profit from their skills (if you are not already doing very well and having an awesome time already).
Search Engines: Different Types, Different Strategies
There are four basic types of Search Engines:
How Ive Maintained 7 Top Ten Google Rankings For Nine Months
Back in November 2004 I discovered a way to get a top 10 ranking in Google. I tested the technique for 3 months before I shared my findings with the world.
What All Top Google Websites Have in Common
While it is okay to admire and envy all those sites enjoy top ranking with leading search engines like Google, it is much more important to study these sites closely. You will definitely end up learning a lot that will prove to be very useful in helping you take your own site to the top of Google rankings. Topping the search engines will mean huge volumes of traffic on a daily basis without you having to do anything. Healthy traffic, as you know almost automatically translates itself to healthy revenue for the site. And when you consider that over 75 per cent of the traffic that finds its' way to websites comes from search engines, you quickly realize how important and crucial top rankings in search engines are to any online business.
What is the Google Dance?
As with any good web developer, the ability to time the changes Google will update your website and refresh the content for better SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is in your favor. Welcome to the world of "Google Dance". The Google Dance is simply that the predetermination of when the actual update will commence.
So, you've just paid £300 - £10,000 for a new web site to be designed 'registered your URL' and now it's sitting on the World Wide Web. All your new stationery and Business Cards give the Web Site address quite clearly. The designer assures you that it has been 'submitted' to all the 'Search Engines' and, when you type in the address, there it is.
Internet Directory Submission Tips
Internet Directories and their Importance
Fixed Point of Reference
According to author Frank Peretti, "A fixed point of reference for human beings is always something that is found outside themselves. It has to be something to which we can always come back. If we try to haul our point of reference around with us, we have lost it because it has been moved and we can never refer back to it." He tells a story of being in a dark room with only a chair. As long as the chair stays put, it can be used as a point of reference. If it gets picked up and carried around, it no longer serves that function, because it isn't where it used to be.
1 Simple SEO Strategy To Get More Visitors To Your Site From Google
Did you know that you can dramatically increase the number of visitors that come to your site on a daily basis from Google? And it's not constantly improving your position in Google search engine result pages(SERPs) for your competitive keywords which can take some time after working on your search engine marketing campaigns.
Click Click Boom: a Linking Strategy that will Blow Away Your Competition
Web marketers, do you hear what I hear?
Search Engine Spiders Lost Without Guidance - Post This Sign!
The robots.txt file is an exclusion standard required by all web crawlers/robots to tell them what files and directories that you want them to stay OUT of on your site. Not all crawlers/bots follow the exclusion standard and will continue crawling your site anyway. I like to call them "Bad Bots" or trespassers. We block them by IP exclusion which is another story entirely.
Optimize Your Site Pt2
6: The hidden benefits to having the right links. Every site online has an index or default file as its home page file. But outside of that rule you can name the other pages whatever you like. So why not cram the names with keywords and/or keyphrases relevant to that page and your site? We've just scored again ;-)
7 Steps to Prepare You for The Local Search Bonanza
At One Time Local Searches were reserved for services like City Guides and Online Yellow Pages. But the BIG 3 (Yahoo, Google and MSN) have all jumped into the Local Search Market. According to some Estimates Local searches represent 20-25% of all Internet Searches either implicitly or explicitly)
Google Page Rank - Important Or Just Another Number?
In my last newsletter I wrote about how your websites Alexa rating is not actually that important to the success of your online business. In this issue, I want to look at another popular statistic - Google Page Rank - and ask a similar question - is it that important?
Answers Count - Matching Keyword and Phrase Density
What's more important to your business success - the question or the answer? Certainly, you want your questions to reflect what you are trying to find out. Obviously, your questions should be easily understood. Most definitely, you're hoping for some positive responses. But, what you really need to do is count repetitive keywords and phrases found in your respondents answers.
What You Can Expect From Search Engine
Search engines will be a way for you to generate from as little as 20% to as much as 60% of your business online (depending on what other marketing techniques you use).
Increase Page Rank with Search Engine Optimization
Utilizing effective search engine optimization techniques will improve the page rank of your website.
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