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Positioning In Search Engines

Positioning in search engines is a very important factor for any serious online presence.

To begin with, let's make sure we are on the same page with regards to the definition of the term "Positioning In Search Engines". When we talk about positioning in search engines we are referring to how well your web site is ranked in the major search engines for the keywords and phrases related to your web site.

In order to acheive good positioning in search engines there are several steps that must be taken including the careful selection of keywords and phrases related to the subject matter of your web site. The integration of those keywords and phrases into the content of your web site, and the application of a number of technical procedures that ties everything together. This overall process is referred to as Search Engine Optimization the objective of which is to assist the search engines with aligning your web site with the Internet users that are performing web searches using those same keywords and phrases.

Let's take a closer look at some of the most important steps that must be taken in order to acheive good positioning in search engines for your site...

Keyword Selection - Choosing the best keywords and phrases is the foundation upon which you will build in order to get your web site some excellent positioning in search engines. Unfortunately though, one of the most common mistakes made when trying to establish good positioning in search engines is targeting the wrong keywords and phrases in the first place. Many web site owners simply make some assumptions about what keywords and phrases they think people will punch into the search engines when looking for their products or services. The are a few problems caused by making assumptions instead of performing a thorough analysis of what keywords and phrases are best based on some facts. A proper analysis will provide you with the following pieces of information which are vital to getting favourable positioning in search engines for any web site:

- Exactly what words and phrases related to your website's subject matter are actually being entered into the search engines by Internet users?

- How frequently are the words and phrases related to your website's subject matter being entered into the search engines compared to one another?

- How many other web pages appear to be targeting the same terms?

Once you are armed with the facts you can proceed with selecting the best keywords and phrases so your web site will get good positioning in search engines. The best keywords and phrases are the ones that strike a balance between being used most frequently and being targeted by the fewest other web pages. This is because is it is much easier to get high rankings in the search engines when there are fewer other web pages competing for the same keywords and phrases.

If you decide to tackle the project of getting good positioning in search engines yourself there are a couple of excellent online resources you can access that will assist you in your research for the best keywords for your web pages.

The "Search Term Suggestion Tool" at Overture.com is free tool that is somewhat limited in terms of its functionality but is helpful and... Free!

A more powerful and comprehensive suite of keyword research and analysis tools are provided by WordTracker.com. The service they provide is not free but is certainly affordable and in the end will prove to be an excellent investment for anyone trying to improve their web site's positioning in search engines.

Web Site Content - Once you have completed your analysis and have decided on the best keywords and phrases for your site the next step is to include them in the main content pages of your site. This will dramatically improve your web site's positioning in search engines for those keywords. Search engines appear to give favour to web pages that contain a minimum of 200 words of text. Your carefully selected keywords should be sprinkled generously throughout the body copy (text) of your site's pages. They should not be repeated over and over again relentlessly but rather, used as frequently as practical without adversely affecting the quality of the content or the readability of the page.

Technical Steps - There are a few things that can be done as part of the programming of the site that will improve your web site's positioning in search engines. We touch on the most important of them below:

- Page Names - Whenever possible, the name that you give each page on your site should be relevant to the content of that page and include the keywords you are targeting for that page. Use hyphens or underscores to separate the words.

- Page Titles - Each page on your site should be labeled independently and the title should be relevant to the content of that page and include keywords you are targeting for that page.

- Meta Tags - Although declining in importance with many of the major search engines they still contribute to a site's positioning in search engines and should be utilized according to current guidelines. Of particular importance is the "Description" Meta Tag.

- Image ALT Tags - You have the option to include descriptive text that will be visible to anyone that holds their mouse over images on your web pages. The text should be relevant to the image and its purpose on the page. You have written a good ALT image tag if the text is helpful to anyone viewing the page but was unable to see the image itself. Whenever practical, work your keywords into the alt text, this will add, however slightly, to your positioning in search engines.

The list of steps above is by no means complete but they are considered by most experts to be some of the most important technical steps that should be taken as part effort to improve the positioning in search engines of any web page.

List Your Site - The process for getting your site listed in the major search engines varies depending of the search engine in question. Many of the big search engines do not allow you to add your site to them yourself. Instead, they add your site automatically over time after their automated web-surfing "bots" visit your site and "read" it to determine what it is about and how to rank it vs. other pages for certain keywords. These bots most often get to your site from other sites that contain a link to your site (more on linking below). Some search engines do allow you "add your site" to them by completing an online form. Some allow you to do this at no charge others require you to pay. Still others will allow you to list your site for free but provide an option to have your site listed with them more quickly for a fee.

It is very important to also add your site to the relevant cateogories in the major "directories" on the web such as DMOZ, Yahoo and others. Not only do Internet users visit them to look for web sites in a categorized fashion but many of the search engines use the listings in the major directories to generate their listings and search results.

Reciprocol Links - Arguably one of the most important and cost-effective methods of driving targeted traffic to your site and the positioning in search engines of your site. This refers to the process of getting the webmaster of another site to place a link to your site from their own in exchange for the same from you. The effect of a reciprocol link strategy is improved exponentially when the site you are exchanging links with is related in some way to the subject matter of your own site. There are two major benefits to this. The first is that visitors to the other site that click on your link to visit your site will be more qualified and highly targeted. The second key benefit is more directly related to your site's positioning in search engines. Some of the most important search engines count a link to your site from another to be a sort "vote" for your site's relevance and importance. More weight is given to links that are located on other web sites that the search engine considers relevant to the subject matter of your site and the perceived "importance" of that site which again is related to the number and quality of related links pointing to that site. An ongoing link building campaign should be part of any web site marketing strategy and Search Engine Optimization effort.

This web site is owned, operated and managed by IQNetCom Corp, a full service provider of successful e-business solutions. IQNetCom provides the entire range of services needed to launch and maintain a successful online presence.

IQNetCom can help improve your web site's positioning in search engines.

Other services provided by IQNetCom Corp are:

Website Design
Web Hosting
Shopping Carts and Storefronts
Online Payment Processing
Website Accessibility
E-Business Strategy Development
Marketing Consultation

If you would like to discuss how we might help your organization put the power of the web to work please contact us.
 
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