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Sneaky (But Legal) Places To Insert Keywords For Higher Rankings

By Diane Hughes
Posted Thursday, September 16, 2004

The battle for high search engine rankings rages on! The engines themselves continually make changes which makes our jobs, as Web site owners, much more difficult. But, one thing has always remained the same... Keywords.

Search engines still read text. That text still has to be relevant to the site. Keywords are text and must be placed strategically throughout your site. Those keywords within the text are still the determining factor on how high you go up the search engine ladder.

While many engines now place no relevancy whatsoever on the keyword META tag itself, there are still plenty of places - legal ones - to insert keywords in order to boost your rankings.

Keep this list handy when writing copy for your site pages. It will help you get the biggest bang for your search engine buck.

1. In your URL.

Putting a keyword or keyphrase within your URL (domain name) counts for major points!

2. In your page link names.

Rather than using a link in your navigation bar like "services", add a keyword to that page link. If you are a marketing consultant, you could put "marketingservices" instead.

3. In links throughout the copy.

This uses the same principle as above. Instead of writing a paragraph about your testimonials and linking to a page named "testimonials", create a link to a page named "marketing successes" (or some other powerful keyphrase).

4. In the "title" and "description" tags.

The title and description tags are still widely read and used by engines. Be sure both are enticing and contain keywords because some engines use them interchangeably.

5. In the copy itself.

The "optimal" copy length for search engine compatibility is between 250 - 350 words. Why? Because that gives you enough room to use the keyphrases repeatedly and still make sense! You should have about a 3% ratio of copy to keywords.

6. In ALT tags.

ALT tags are those little bits of copy that pop up when you hold your mouse over a graphic or picture. Search engines read those - because they consist of text. Use keywords in the descriptions you assign to the images on each page. WARNING: Be VERY sure that the description in the ALT tag goes with the image. Otherwise you could be banned for "keyword stuffing."

Last little trick ... get one or two heavyweight keywords or phrases in all 6 places above. It's hard to do, but the results are tremendous!

By taking advantage of these sneaky - but legal - places to insert keywords, you stand a better chance of getting one of those coveted "Top 10" slots on the major engines. You also stand a darn good shot at increasing traffic to your site!

Diane C. Hughes *

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