In Part 1 of this article detailing the five best practices for domination the search engines, we discussed website design and the use of keywords. In this part we will look at three more, one of which is related to search engine optimization and the use of HTML tags, and the other two are ways of improving your link popularity.
Meta Tags and Heading Tags
Some claim that search engines, especially Google, no longer regard meta tags as being important. In fact nobody really knows what Google thinks is important, and there is evidence that some meta tags are still used by spiders in the assessment of the relevance of your website to specific search terms or keywords used by search engine users. The meta tags that you should use on every page of your site are the description and the keyword meta tags.
Your description meta tag should provide a good description of your website, and contain your main keywords. This will likely not be seen by anybody, only the search engines, but it might be used to assess the relevance of your site in indexing with respect to specific search terms being used.
The other meta tag that search engines still use is the keyword meta tag. This should contain a list of keywords used on the page. If you don’t use it, don’t add it to the meta tag. Also, don’t use the same word too many times, since it will be regarded as keyword stuffing. After meta tags, you should look at your titles and how they are presented to search engines spiders.
Ideally, the title should be the keyword for each page. Do not use the same title for every page. It is the title of your web page that should be here, not your website. This provides search engines with an indication of the topic of your page. The title itself should be within H1 tags. This tells the search engine that these words are the most important on the page. They should also be the first text that the spiders come across on your page, since Google also gives special emphasis to the first text it finds.
Any secondary titles you might have on each page should be contained within H2 tags. These titles should also contain keywords that you are using on your page and that are contained in your keyword meta tag.
The more links you have leading back to your web pages from other websites, the more influential the search engines will calculate your web pages to be for the topics concerned. Many people use a reciprocal linking strategy, whereby two websites agree to show each other’s links. This can be self defeating, since search engines such as Google can regard a link away from your site as weakening yours, and so cancels out the benefit of the back link.
The crucial aspect of who benefits from this arrangement comes for the relative page ranking. The page rank of a web page can be found on the green bar on the Google toolbar, This is an indication of the link popularity of the page you are viewing. If you are linked with a web page with a higher page rank than yours, then you might get the benefit of the deal. However, in general terms, the more links you have back to your site the better.
If you carry out a Google search for keywords that relate to yours, you should be able to find some websites with high page ranking that are not direct competitors. Write asking for a link to your site from theirs, explaining the benefits to their customers/visitors of you doing so. One of four things will happen. They will not reply, they will refuse , they will agree or they will agree on condition that you provide a similar link back to them.
The usual reply is the first or the last, but it costs you nothing to try, and you can get a lot of good links back to your website by doing this. If the page rank is high even a reciprocal link will be of benefit to your site’s page rank and search engine listing.
Some website directories offer software on a free or a subscription basis that automatically handles reciprocal link requests. The paid versions generally set up a link directory on your website then provide you with offers of reciprocal links that you can either agree to or refuse. If you agree they can automatically add the link to your directory. With free versions you have to add the link yourself. These are very useful if you are selective.
Links are much more valuable if they are one way, without you reciprocating. This is where the benefits of article marketing become huge. When you write articles and submit them to article directories, you get a one way link back from each directory your article is published on. Not only that, but if readers deem your article worthy of being copied to their website as content, then your web page also gets a link back from there. The link you get is to the page for which you provided the URL in your ‘bio’ or ‘author’s resource page’.
Although article marketing is a good way of achieving back links, they are not targeted to specific websites that could benefit you. What are really of benefit are either sites that relate to yours, from which your links could provide you with traffic focused on your niche, or high page rank sites that will provide you with high value links and that is where you have to resort to personal requests.
If you apply all of the advice provided in these recommended best practices for dominating the search engines you should give your listing a big boost, and if done properly you have a very good chance of achieving a Page One position.