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How to succeed with the Search Engines
The Cold Hard Facts….. One of the most important factors in being successful in your business is to learn how to rank high in the search engines. It has been said that the search engines can account for as much as 95% of all the traffic to...
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How to Get Great Search Engine Placement

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The primary key to getting fantastic search engine placement
for your website is using a technique called “entrance pages”.
Entrance pages have just one purpose: to rank highly on one
search engine for one keyword phrase. Entrance pages aren’t
pretty… what looks good to a search engine usually looks
terrible to a human. Also, entrance pages must be specifically
tuned to one phrase and one search engine.

Let’s examine the reasons for using entrance pages compared
to just submitting your “home page” to the search engines. An
entrance page is optimized by various techniques to achieve a
high ranking on a particular search engine. Your home page
may not have been optimized at all… or it may be optimized to
generally achieve a moderate ranking on all search engines.
You see, the techniques that achieve a high ranking on a search
engine for a web page will kill your ranking on another search
engine… so it’s practically impossible to achieve a high
ranking on all the major search engines with only one page
submitted (i.e. your home page).

That is why entrance pages are used. Using this technique, you
can tune a web page to get a high ranking on one search engine
for one keyword phrase. To achieve high rankings on all the
major search engines for your keyword phrase, it is necessary
to design multiple entrance pages. For example, if I want to
rank highly under the keyword phrase “internet marketing” I
will have to create separate pages for Alta Vista, HotBot,
Lycos, Excite, InfoSeek, MSN, etc.

Entrance pages are not designed to look good. You don’t need
a lot of graphics or glamour. What you do need are
tags, tags, headline tags, tags,
tags, links, and body text sprinkled with your
keyword phrase. Each search engine has a different ranking
algorithm that determines your placement. Below, I’ll give
some general pointers:

The most important tag in the list above is the title tag. The
title tag sets the text that appears in the title bar of your
browser. Most search engines use this text as one of the major
ranking factors when they spider your web page. You should
definitely include your keyword phrase at the beginning of
your title tag. Be aware that listing your company name or
welcoming people to your website should not be done in the
title tag. If you do that, you are wasting extremely valuable
real estate on your website. A good idea is to put other
relevant keywords after your primary keyword phrase. Some
search engines look for synonyms on web pages, and if they
are found, you are bound to rank higher.

Not all search engines recognize meta tags, but they definitely
don’t hurt you, either. Many search engines use meta tags to
allow webmasters to submit a description of their website that
will be displayed with their link. They are also used in the
ranking algorithms. Meta tags should be placed in the “head”
of your web page, above the body tag. There are really two
types of meta tags to be concerned about here. They are your
phrase here plus other related text”> tag and your NAME=”KEYWORDS” CONTENT=”keyword phrase here
plus other related keywords here”>. One of the important
things to remember is not to repeat your keywords more than
once or twice in your meta tags.

The next important tag is headline tags. Headline tags are used
to make text appear large and bold. The syntax is
keyword phrase here . Headline tags come in
different flavors, being the largest to being the
smallest. Search engines place importance on text contained in
headline tags. The larger the headline, the more important the
text. It’s a good idea to have several headline tags on your
page, but don’t repeat your keyword phrase too often. Use
synonyms instead of repetition.

Your tags are also quite important. Image tags are
used to display graphics like GIFs and JPEGs. You should
include one or two graphics on your web page, linked to your
home page. Here is an example of an image tag: SRC=”example.gif” ALT=”your keyword phrase here”>.
Notice the “ALT” property of the image tag. That text will be
displayed if the mouse cursor hovers over the graphic. Search
engines use this text in their ranking algorithms.

Form tags can also play a role in search engine rankings. Here
is an example of an optimized form tag. NAME=”keyword phrase”>NAME= “synonym 1” VALUE=”keyword phrase”>

It is important that you have links on your entrance pages.
Wise webmasters link both to their own home page and all
their other entrance pages. Following is a good example of a
link on an entrance page: HREF=”EXAMPLE.HTML”>keyword phrase goes here.

Last, but definitely not least, is your body text. Start your body
text with your keyword phrase. Begin the next sentence with a
synonym. Different engines require different amounts of body
text, so experiment and see what ranks best for you. Don’t just
repeat your keyword phrase or synonyms over and over. It’s
best to sprinkle them throughout your text lightly.

One of the tricks professionals use is to analyze their page with
a keyword density analyzer. There are several available. One
that comes to mind is news.com/kda/”>“Keyword Density Analyzer”. A
keyword density analyzer is the best way to make sure you are
not repeating your keywords too many times on your entrance
pages. For most search engines, a keyword density (number of
keyword repetitions on your page compared to number of other
words) is about 3% - 4%.

The final, most important thing to have on your entrance pages
is a link to your website. DO NOT have a “meta-refresh” tag
that automatically forwards people to your website and DO
NOT use a JavaScript command to do it either… both will
massacre your search engine ranking.

Once you have created your entrance pages, uploaded them to
your server and submitted the URLs to the search engines
(don’t do too many at once – you’ll be penalized), wait a
month or two and you’ll have fantastic rankings. Be careful,
unscrupulous webmasters search for high ranking entrance
pages and like to steal the code to get their own high
placements. One way to protect against this is by using
cloaking software. It’s fairy easy to set up and use, and has the
added bonus of never letting web surfers see your ugly
entrance pages… they are automatically forwarded to your
home page without ever knowing they went through an
entrance page.

Check your rankings often, and experiment to get the best
results. One good way to check your rankings is to use
software like WebPosition Gold. You can also check them
manually by visiting each search engine and searching for your
keyword phrases.

Final advice: be patient and don’t give up. It isn’t always easy
to get top rankings, especially when the competition for your
keyword phrases is tough. Be creative, work hard, and you
will get the hits your website deserves!

About the Author

Dan Kramer, of Volatile Graphix, Inc. dba KloakIt.
Kloakit's web site is a resource for a shareware stealth script
with many resources for web site promotion and CGI
discussion. You can reach Dan at dan@kloakit.com or visit the
KloakIt website at http://www.kloakit.com .

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