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Search Engine Optimization

The purpose of this document is explain how search engines index web pages so you can optimize your site to be as close to the top position as possible.  Many people attempt the same strategies so it requires effort on your part.  If you do not wish to put in the effort yourself, please call Contensive and we can do this for you.

Search engine optimization is one of the best ways to help your site rise to the top of search engine results. While each of the major search engines use their own algorithms to determine search placements they all use the same basic information to plug into their algorithms, page titles, meta tags, meta descriptions and outside links

Edit the pages on your site that you wish to optimize

Search engines index and catgorize each page they find, not each site. if you want to be found, you should first select or create the pages on your site that you want people to find. These will be the pages you focus on.

Editing these pages is important. Search engines keep track of how often you edit a page. The more often you edit, the more likely your page contains timely information and the higher your search engine rank will be.

Things to Consider

  1. you need content on your page (besides the graphics)
  2. make the content text visible (spiders are catching on to hidden and consider it spam)
  3. have content on every page (at least 200 words), logical and readable with keyword phrases (don?t list out phrases as it will look like spam)

How to Edit a Page

  1. Log in to the site
  2. Navigate to the page you want to edit
  3. Click the 'edit' checkbox on the tools panel at the bottom of the page and hit apply
  4. Click the edit icon in the upper left corner of the text on the page

Select your Keyword Phrases

Keyword phrases are a list of words and short phrases that you want search engines to index you under. You can add a list of meta keywords into each page, or add the most common keywords into the site, and check them in check boxes on each page.

Things to Consideration

  1. Be realistic, don?t pick a keyword phrase that are too generic and will have you competing with everyone in the country. (in other words if you are in real estate don?t use 'realtor')
  2. at least 2 or more words long
  3. use them in the HTML title tag field (see B. below)
  4. use them in your page headline also, if possible
  5. put them high on the page 
  6. if you have images, use them in the 'ALT' tag field 
  7. if your product is geographically pertinent, mention the locality in the phrases

Set the Page Title

To visitors, the page title appears in the top of the browser. To Search Engines, the page title is an important phrase used to categorize your page.

Things to Consider

  1. Add 1-2 keyword phrases near the beginning of the page title (50-80 characters including spaces) make it as close to a readable and appealing sentence as possible: users will see this.(you can also add an icon/logo)
  2. make sure each page that you wish to index has a unique tag
  3. make sure it accurately describes the page. Include the title tag some where in the page content

How to set the Page Title

  1. Click on the Meta Content tab
  2. Into the Page Title field, type a short phrase that best summarizes the page, and includes the words or phrases you have targeted for this page.

Set Meta Keywords

The Meta keyword list can be found in the admin area under search engine optimization.  Simply add as many key words as you want and on each page content record you will find the list in the Search Engine section at the bottom of your content page. Simply check the box next to each key word you wish to associate with the page.

Things to Consider

  1. Try to keep to 25 keywords and/or phrases.
  2. Try to keep to 1000 characters total, including spaces with 3-4 keyword phrases.
  3. don?t repeat  the same word more than 5 times
  4. make sure each page?s keywords tag relates to the page content

How to Create Keywords

  1. Click the Meta Content tab
  2. Check any site meta keywords you have previously entered
  3. Add new keywords in the keyword list, each separated with a new line

Set the Meta Description

The Meta Description is a short paragraph that you want people to read when they find your entry in a search engine. Not all search engines use this text.

Things to Consider

  1. 100-250 characters, including spaces (try to go for 150)
  2. Good to include in the first sentence or two of page content
  3. no sales & marketing terms such as 'largest', 'greatest!'

How to edit Meta Description

  1. Click the Meta Content tab
  2. Enter your description in the Meta Description box

Have other sites link to you

When many other sites link to your site, search engines consider your site to be more valuable. For Google this is considered one of the most important factors.

Things to Consider

  1. Reciprocating Links (from other sites) make sure you have links on relevant/related sites that go back to your site
  2. add HTML hyperlinks on the home page that lead to inside pages, even at the bottom
  3. add links internally between your pages
  4. add a site map page with links to everything in your web site (submit this to Search Engines)    
  5. Avoid links from 'link farms' (Google considers spam), sites that merely house links

Set the Link Alias(es)

Link Aliases are words that are used in the web page's URL to further reinforce the topic of the page. For instance, If your page is about George Washington, the URL with a link alias might be "http://mysite.com/George-Washington". This scheme helps uses identify the page's they are interested in, as well as helping search engines categorize your page

  1. Click the Link Alias tab
  2. If Link Aliasing is disabled, go to the preferences page ( Navigator >> Settings >> click on Preferences ) and enable Link Aliasing in the "site" tab
  3. Enter a word or phrase in the Link Alias text box that describes your page. It must be unique on the site.

Other Important Considerations

  1. some Search Engines cannot follow frames, image maps, and frame links, try to avoid their use
  2. some Search Engines cannot index pages generated via CGI

How to Submit Your Links

  1. Submit the top 2-3 pages (but no more) that best summarize your site
  2. Submit manually, as opposed to automated programs and services
  3. Check search engines using your keyword phrases to verify your pages are listed (give it 6-10 weeks), and monitor every week or two
  4. Resubmit if pages are missing
  5. Resubmit every time you make big changes on your site content
  6. However, submitting too often causes the Search Engines to be suspicious and consider they may consider your submission spam

Where to submit to Search Engines

  1. Yahoo! Directory:
    http://submit.search.yahoo.com
    You will need to establish a username and password.
  2. The Open Directory
    http://www.dmoz.org/add.html.
    You will need to pick a category and then, dig down through subcategories until you have narrowed down your choice to the smallest group for less competition and for higher acceptance by the directory.
  3. AOL (through The Open Directory)
    http://www.aolsearch.com/aolcom/add.jsp
    This listing will also appear on other sites that use the Open Directory, such as Netscape, Lycos and Hotbot, as well as within AOL Search.
  4. Google
    http://www.google.com/addurl.html
    You will need your URL preceded by http:// and your 'comment box' should have a keyword phrase description of your page. This is not for ranking; it is only for Google?s satisfaction. Can takes 1-2 months to show up.

Examples of Page titles, Meta keywords, and Meta descriptions

Example 1

came up number 1 in Google on a search for 'Real Estate Agents in Reston Virginia', with 77 outside links

Page Title  = Reston Virginia Real Estate Agents Directory

Meta keywords= Real Estate, Relocation, New Homes, Renting, Moving

Meta description= List of Real Estate Agents in the Northern Virginia area

Example 2

came up number one in Google for the Search term = 'Northern Virginia Home Search', and 'MLS Listings Northern Virginia' with 13 outside links

Page title = MLS Listings northern Virginia, Home Values, Fairfax County Real Estate

Meta keywords = MLS Listings, northern Virginia, Home Values, Fairfax County Real Estate, real estate listings, Fairfax, Loudoun, prince William, Fairfax realty, sell a home, real estate market value, listings, Remax agent, northern Virginia real estate, Fairfax Virginia real estate, house value, sell a home, Fairfax real estate, houses, Fairfax realtor, Loudoun real estate, Manassas real estate, Fairfax homes, northern Virginia realtor, how much is my house worth, Ashburn, burke, Centreville, Oakton, chantilly, Clifton, Vienna, Herndon, south riding, house

Meta descriptions = MLS Listings, free home search, Fairfax county real estate, northern VA real estate, northern Virginia, how much is my home worth, sell a home, Fairfax realtor, real estate Fairfax, Remax VA, Search for homes for sale, House values. Remax Premier

This page was last reviewed 11/19/2012 9:03:40 AM