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Lets Play Leap Frog!

By Brett Egan
Posted Monday, November 29, 2004

A truely inspirational piece that is easy to read and guaranteed to get you thinking. Includes some well known tips on search engine ranking and a few you probably have not thought of. The internet is a powerful sales tool for those that rank, but how do you separate the fact from the fiction?

We have heard it all before. Every other day you are probably reading the following hook lines and you probably even know them off by heart. They include, I noticed that you're not mentioned on some engines and We will submit your website to over 200,000 directories and engines and the best one You'll be surprised by the low cost. If it wasnt so serious it would be laughable. Not done properly this could end up costing you a fortune due to poor placement, incorrect placement and lost sales.

Do you really want to be submitted to all those engines? Can there really be any value in this style of promotion? Stop and think for just a minute. Submission does not mean acceptance. And no charge submission to engines such as google can take 6-12 months to take effect. Repeated submissions can even be detrimental to your cause. So stop and take stock. Remember that if you fail to plan, you have just planned to fail.

Dont rush this step as attention to detail now can reap huge rewards in the very near future.

Out of all the pages in your site, the home page is given more weight by the directories and engines than any other. It certainly isn’t the start and finish though. A well designed homepage can add that extra boost to your rankings. Include 300 or so words about what the site has to offer along with your text based links somewhere on this and every other page.

Also keep in mind that engines and directories cant read flash animation so whilst it might look great your potential visitors may never see it if the engine cant rank you via other means. You would be surprised how often this trap catches young and not so young players. Make sure you address this now.

You have probably heard of spidering. It means intelligent software effectively reads your page and decides what the content really is. This is a great opportunity to leap frog lazy web masters. Try and hard code 250-300 words of text on each page. Ensure it is keyword loaded. If you are using a database set up another field that holds this text and make an sql call to retrieve and print the text to the page. Most engines can now read ASP data returned from a Database.

Many SEO specialists claim meta tags are dead. What a load of Bunkum. Meta tags can still add some grunt to your site. But remember they are not a quick fix for a poorly constructed site.

Admittedly the keyword tag is probably not as important as it once was but some engines still use them. Just grab some keywords relating to the page. Don’t become too bogged down here.

One tip though for those targeting Inktomi engines is to put commonly misspelled words and synonyms of your keywords here. Example:

Don't skip the title tag. If for no other reason it gives searchers a chance to quickly scan their results when looking for some inkling as to what each returned result is about. Be brief on what you enter here as only 5-10 words are normally accepted by most engines. Include your site name and try to include your top targeted keyword. Example:

The next don’t skip is the description tag. Some substantial engines out there still make use of the description tag. It is user friendly in the same manner as the title tag.

Robot meta tags are quickly growing in importance and come in four flavours. In layman’s terms they tell the engines if they should be indexing the page or if any links on the page should be followed.

The tags come in the following formats.

We dont claim that this will make you an SEO expert but hopefully it will get you to thinking, point you in the right direction and save you some dollars. Be proactive and remember, some people make it happen, others sit there and say what happened. Which are you going to choose to be?

Aim at your target market with your submission. There is little point in ranking well in Outbackisstan on some obscure infrequently used engine with users dedicated to the sales, purchase and promotion of goat’s milk if you offer your widgets or service in another country.

Finally when it comes to choosing who to list with be selective. Have your pages complete before submitting. Remember as an example, for just over four hundred AUD you can reach 65% of Australias web searchers by enrolling with Looksmart Australia and they cross feed to more than 20 other high traffic Australian members. No matter where you live, USA, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Europe or Asia make sure you do your research now.

In closing think about the amount of time you would spend on trying to out smart the engines, why not be constructive with your time and actually supply the information to your users that would give you those rankings in the first place. Supply good quality information to your users and the rankings will filter in. Combine this with proper thought provoking SEO and you will be on to a winner.

Copyright Vortex Media 2002-2003

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