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Make Your Website Search Engine Friendly

By Kevin Nunley
Posted Saturday, September 18, 2004

These days, search engines can pull in a huge audience for your web site. Now that half of all North Americans are online with millions in other countries logging on the Internet each week, search engines are becoming the Yellow Pages of Cyberspace.

What a lot of people don't know, however, is that not all web sites are equal in the eyes of a search engine. Some sites are more "Search-Engine Friendly" than others. These sites will be better represented by the search engines, and will therefore get more hits from users.

Luckily, this isn't just a matter of chance -- you can (and should) control how well your site is tuned for search engines. There are companies that dedicate themselves to helping your search engine placement, but if you want to do it yourself, there are three areas you should focus on: Your title, your meta tag, and your copy.

YOUR TITLE: Make sure your site gets listed by having a Title that appeals to search engines. Engine computers often place the most emphasis on your Title -- that line that appears in a box at the top or bottom of your browser screen.

Think of the word or words most people are going to use to search for a site like yours. Include that most important word in your Title twice if you can. Also try to make that important keyword the first word in your title. For example, if your most important keyword is "bacon," your title might be:

Bacon Center features the world's best bacon

If your most important keyword is "marketing," your title could use two forms of the same word: Market your business with these marketing ideas.

A Title that says "Welcome to our site," or "Joe's Barber Shop" may look OK to visitors, but it offers very little for search engine robots that are thirsting for some way to classify your site.

YOUR META TAG: Meta tags are another key ingredient that search engines look for when deciding how to list your web site. You can't see a meta tag while looking at your page. It is a simple code in the HTML behind your page.

Your Meta Tag goes near the top of your page's HTML between the HEAD and /HEAD tags. Click the right mouse key (for PC users) on any good web page, then choose "view source," and you will see the HTML code.

The Meta Tag should look something like this:

META NAME="description" content="Kevin Nunley-One of the Net's top business writers provides lots of tips on marketing, media, on-line marketing, and the Internet."META NAME="keywords" content="marketing, advertising, ads, Internet marketing, press release, copy writing, web site design, small business assistance, newsletters, web site promotion, selling on-line, ezines, home based business opportunities,"

This is the simple Meta Tag I use on my site. Some experts use fancier ones, but this works fine for getting you listed on search engines that emphasize Meta Tags. Feel free to copy it, inserting your own description and keywords.

Here's a trick. Go to a site like yours that ranks tops on search engines. See which keywords they are using in their Meta Tag. Work some of their good ideas into your own Meta Tag.

YOUR COPY: Search engines love web sites with keyword rich copy. In other words, if your site title says your site is about cats, search engines want to see "cat" a lot on your page.

Unfortunately, it does no good simply to list "cats" over and over: "cats, cats, cats, cats." That's an old trick called keyword spamming. Search engine computers count off for that.

Instead, search engines like when you work your keywords and keyword phrases into logical sentences. You get extra credit if you can work these phrases into the first part of your opening page.

This is why you sometimes see sites begin with a sentence like: "We have lots of articles on web promotion and web site design with an extra helping of marketing and advertising strategies for the small business." Try to find all the common keywords in there that many people use to search for a site. These should be the same keywords that are listed in your title and Meta Tag.

I do have one caution -- For all three of these areas, make sure that you don't go overboard. Some sites are so tightly attuned to what search engines want that the site starts to sound goofy to human readers. Remember that keeping search engines in mind while you write is fine, but it's your CUSTOMERS that you are really writing for.

Publicize your business with Kevin's popular all-out marketing packages at ( Now with lower prices! Reach Kevin at or 801-253-4536.

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