Search Engine Optimization --- An Overview

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Search Engine Optimization --- An Overview Powered By Docstoc
					by: Prabuddha S Raychaudhuri

Search engine optimization is one of most popular online marketing tool for any website. With
most websites looking forward to increasing the online sales of their products/services, search
engine optimization can be a very cost-effective tool to target and procure your customers online.
In this paper, we will discuss about search engine optimization, its benefits and how you can
optimize your website for top search engine rankings.

What is search engine optimization?

Search engine optimization (also known by various other names like search engine ranking,
search engine promotion, website promotion, SEO etc.) is a method through which a website is
given top rankings in various search engines. According to a recent industry study, 1 in every 20
people go to the second page of search results pages, but only 1 in every 100 people go beyond
that. So, by top search engine rankings, we mean that your website should be within the first two
pages of the search results, preferably in the first page (i.e. within top 10 rankings).

2. What are the prime benefits of search engine optimization?

Top search engine rankings result in more pre-qualified business leads coming to your website
which in turn can convert to greater sales for your organization.

Search engine promotion is one of the cheapest methods of advertizing for your organization.
Compared to advertizements in the newspapers/magazines or in the television, search engine
promotion costs many times less and can bring more traffic to your websites, thereby providing
greater ROI.

Search engine optimization enhances online brand identity of your organization.

3. What are the key factors for your website to have top search engine rankings?

Search engines change their algorithms frequently, thereby forcing the search engine
optimization companies to re-strategize their search engine optimization techniques. However,
the following attributes are basic and play a major role in procuring top search engine rankings.

a. Keyword Research Keywords play the most vital role in your search engine optimization
campaign. Keywords (can be 1, 2, 3 or more words) are the search terms which a surfer types in
the search box of a search engine to reach your website. Let us consider that you are an India-
based Outsourcing consultant interested in optimizing your website for top search engine
rankings. The following are some of the keywords which surfers will type to reach your website
-

Keywords

bpo
bpo india

bpo outsourcing services

business outsourcing services

business process outsourcing

offshore companies

offshore outsourcing

offshore outsourcing services

offshore services

outsource india

outsourcing companies

outsourcing consultants

outsourcing india

outsourcing services

outsourcing services company

Keyword research tips

      Always target keywords that best describe your products/service.
      Try to find multiword potential keywords compared to single keywords.
      Try formulating keywords which give answers to as why/how/what .?
      Utilize your server log files to know what your customers searched most while visiting
       your site.
      Use keyword generator softwares like Wordtracker (http://www.wordtracker.com) or
       Overture (http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/)
      Include popular common misspellings (e.g. viagra typed as viagara etc.) in your keyword
       list.

b. Title of the webpage - - Title has a deep impact on your websites search engine rankings.
Experience shows that most companies use the following as title of their index page which can
prevent them from getting top search engine rankings.

Welcome to the website of XYZ.com
For example, lets continue with the above example of India-based Outsourcing consultant.

An ideally optimized title should contain the top 3-5 keywords of your business, e.g. outsourcing
consultants, outsourcing india, outsource india

Optimized Title - Outsourcing Consultants, Outsourcing India, Outsource India

c. Description Meta tag of the webpage Description of a webpage also plays important role in
getting top search engine rankings.

Optimized Description - Develop a suitable description based on your top 3 keywords

d. Keywords Meta Tag of the webpage - This meta tag was of great importance at one time. But
rampant manipulations (i.e. multiple, often non-relevant keyword stuffing in the keywords tag),
leading to abuse has resulted in search engines giving lesser importance to keywords tag while
ranking sites. Nevertheless, you can always place top 3 5 keywords of your site in the keywords
tag.

Optimized Keywords -

e. Importance of Content/Keyword-enriched optimized pages for top search engine rankings

Well, if there is one aspect which holds supreme importance in search engine, specially in
Google ranking, then it is this. Yes, content! The popular industry say Content is King was
perhaps devised by watching Googles love for content. Develop content based on the top
keywords related to your business. While developing content for your web pages, keep in mind
the keyword density (KD).

Mathematically speaking, Keyword Density is the ratio of the total number of time a keyword is
repeated divided by the total content words. Since KD is normally represented in percentage, the
above figure is to be multiplied by 100

For example, if you have developed a web page of around 250 words on the keyword search
engine optimization, and that particular keyword (search engine optimization) is repeated 10
times, then

Keyword Density (KD) = 10/250 * 100 = 4%

As a thumb rule, Keyword Density of an optimized page for top search engine rankings should
vary between 2 7 % (this figure varies among different search engines)

4. Submission of Keyword-enriched optimized pages After you have finished content
development for the optimized pages based on the keywords targeted for top search engine
rankings, submit those pages to various search engines.

   a. Google - http://www.google.com/addurl.html
   b. AlltheWeb - http://addurl.alltheweb.com/add_url
   c. AltaVista - http://addurl.altavista.com/addurl/new
   d. MSN - http://submitit.bcentral.com/msnsubmit.htm

5. Role of Link Popularity in top search engine rankings

Link popularity has assumed tremendous importance for getting good ranks in Google now a
days. In fact, what started as a friendly reciprocal link exchange program among various
webmasters has now become a sub-industry within the SEO industry itself, with thousands of
link farms popping up every day! Yes, if you are interested in getting top ranks in search
engines, especially Google, then you must pay effort in building up links for your site.

Create a html page, preferably named as Resources/Links/Partners and place a link of this page
from Index Page of your site. This page should never be more than 1 click away from the index
page of your site, else webmasters wont be interested in participating in the reciprocal link
exchange program.

Target both industry-related and non-industry-related websites as your link exchange partners.
For example, if you are providing outsourcing services, then try getting links from industry-
related websites (i.e. websites dealing with outsourcing services, maybe your business rivals!).
This is important, because if 10 of your rival sites give links to your site, then Google will surely
pay importance to your site, because getting links from rival companies are difficult. Your site
MUST be of some high caliber, else the other 10 sites wont have linked! Also, try procuring
links from top ranked general informative websites as well.

Always exchange links with websites which have high Google PageRank (PR) of at least 4, the
more the better! (both Index Page as well as Resources/Links Page of the Link Partners site
should have PRs of >=4) [PageRank is a proprietary tool that Google uses to determine the
importance of a page and varies in a scale of 0 (least important) to 10 (maximum importance)].

Have a link code ready for participating in link exchange program. Here is a sample link code for
an India-based Outsourcing consultant.

- Indian outsourcing consultant providing guidance to companies willing to set up outsourcing
centers in India.

Always prefer a text link (as given above) in comparison to a banner link, where your chance of
Google and other search engine spiders finding the potential keywords is limited only to the alt
tag of the banner. Also, Google pays importance to the text of the incoming link/anchor text (i.e.
the incoming link text must contain high potential, relevant keywords), so develop a link text
with title (indian outsourcing consultant) which will help you in Google Ranking.

Refrain from javascript link code because Google spider finds it difficult to index.

Key SEO Factors
      Targeting the right keywords for your website
      Title of your webpage
      Description Meta tag of your webpage
      Keywords Meta tag of your webpage
      Quality, Informative Content
      Link Popularity

Conclusion -

With Googles numero uno position in the search engine market being threatened by arch-rivals
Yahoo! [bought Overture, the largest PPC search engine recently, who in turn bought Altavista
and Alltheweb] and Microsofts MSN [believed to be developing its own search engine], it is no
doubt that the search engine industry is going to experience tremendous changes in the next few
months. The recent Google Florida Update is just one of the many upheavals that we may be
witnessing in an industry where the only constant factor is the change. However, the various
techniques outlined in this paper are basic and are we believe that following them you will be
able to achieve top 10 ranks in Google and other search engines.

This article was posted on April 04, 2004