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by Shelley Lowery

Your key to success in online marketing and promotion is your web site. From your title, keywords, meta tags, and text, to your over all site design, each plays a very important role when optimizing your site. If your site doesn't rank in the top 10 or 20 when doing a keyword search at the top search engines, your target audience won't be able to find you. About 80 percent of all web site traffic originates from the eight major search engines. Most people will go to a search engine, type in a keyword or keyword phrase and look through the top 10 - 20 results. Most of the time they'll find what they're looking for in the first 10 results. The percentage of click throughs are even smaller. Listing near the top and grabbing the attention of your target audience is the top priority. There are many components of your web page that you should pay close attention to when preparing it for listing in a search engine. The first step towards improving your listing is selecting the best keywords and keyword phrases that best reflect your web page. Keywords are the foundation of your web presence in the search engines.

Keywords

To help you choose effective keywords and keyword phrases, there are two important steps. First of all, get a Thesaurus and investigate synonyms for your original keywords. Write these words down on a sheet of paper. Next, perform your keyword and keyword phrases search at the major engines. Pay close attention to the web sites that rank 1 through 10. View the source code of these pages. Pay close attention to their placement of keywords in the , <META> and <ALT> tags. Next, do a search for your competitor's web sites and view their HTML source code. Noticing patterns is your key to ranking above them. <h3><IMG ALT> Tags</h3> An image alt tag follows your graphic address or url in your html code. These words will be displayed in place of your graphics through an older browser or when your visitors have their graphics turned off. To fully optimize your graphics, insert several of your keywords in the alt tags of the graphics located at the top of your pages. <h3>Example:</h3> <IMG SRC="mainlogo.gif" mce_SRC="mainlogo.gif" WIDTH="300" HEIGHT="60" ALT="dog grooming,pet care,dog groomers" BORDER="0"> <h3><TITLE> Tags</h3> The <TITLE> tag is the first thing that a user sees when your site is returned by a search query. You only have a split second to grab your targets attention. Place keywords that are most pertinent to your business in the title tag. Effective title tags include only relevant keyword or keyword phrases. Avoid non-indexing filler words, such as a, an, the, welcome and home page.

Example:

<title>Dog Groomers Salon: Professional Dog Grooming Tips, Pet Care and more</title>
.

Meta Tags

Meta tags are HTML code that enable the search engines to determine what keywords are relevant to this specific site. The META "description" tag will contain a description of your site. Make sure your description contains some of your relevant keywords. The META "keywords" tag will contain a listing of your keywords and keyword phrases that are relevant to your site and enable a search engine to find you.

Example:

<meta name="DESCRIPTION" content="Dog Grooming Tips From Top Professional Pet Groomers" />
<meta name="KEYWORDS" content="dog grooming, pet care, animal groomers, Dog Grooming, Pet Care" />

Text

Not only are the html tags an important part of optimization, but it is almost just as important to add plenty of text to your pages. Your text should contain each of your keywords used in different variations. I.E. If your keywords are free, promotion, marketing, advertising, Your text might say something like this; Promotion, Marketing and Advertising are the key to your success. We offer many promotional resources, including; Free marketing articles, classified advertising and free promotion.

Optimization will be your solution to winning the search engine wars.

Copyright © Shelley Lowery

About the Author:
Shelley Lowery is the author of the acclaimed web design course, Web Design Mastery.