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Search Engine Optimization Tips & Tricks

MJM Design has experience in Search Engine ranking technologies dating back to before Google was even a day dream. If you are looking for true Search Engine Optimization experts, look to those who dealt with ranking websites in the early days. Before Yahoo charged $199 to get your site listed in their directory, Altavista (Pre-Babelfish) and MetaCrawler to just to name a few.

Age of a Website. Google puts importance on the age of your website. The age is not calculated by how old your domain name is, rather how long ago the information on that particular domain was published. It is a good idea to publish your content as quickly as possible, but even more so important to keep that content fresh and up to date. We canít stand when we visit a website, read some information then realize that it was published 4 years ago and is completely out of date and irrelevant.

Title Tags. Imagine yourself in the library. Well weíve all sat at those old school Pentium II computers searching the directory by typing in keywords related to the subject of the book you are looking for. Once you got your results, you jotted them down on those tiny pieces of paper smaller than a Post It note with a little pencil you could barely get a grip on and off you went searching for the title that seemed most relevant to what you were looking for. Title tags on websites are just as important as the title of the book you were searching for at the library. The title tag best describes what each pageís content is about and helps the search engine spider to index that page correctly. Whatever is in your title tag should match the content of what is on the page itself.

Meta Tags. A lot of search engines these days donít use meta tags anymore, but they can still be helpful. Especially the robots.txt file which tells automated search engine spiders which directories are indexable on your server and which ones are not. The robots.txt file should be located on your serverís home directory.

Heading Tags. Your HTML pages should feature at least a H1 tag which should be used to highlight the subject of that page. For example, if my title tag was ďABC Widget FactoryĒ an appropriate H1 tag for the subject or heading of that page would be ďWe Manufacture WidgetsĒ. This is an example and works just the same for any other subject. H1 Tags appear before H2, H3 and so on. This gives a hierarchy structure of the content on the page to allow search engine spiders to index your page more efficiently.

Reciprocal In-Bound Links. We know you have heard this before. You should take time and put forth effort in establishing reciprocal links between your site and other websites that are based on the same subject as yours and you are still asking yourself, ďIf I own a widget factory, why would I go trade links with the widget factory down the road?Ē The answer is simple: you donít. When we say itís important to establish reciprocal links with other relevant sites, it doesnít mean that you should contact your largest competitor to trade links. It means that you should research and find other sites that are relevant about the types of products or services your site offers. Google gives importance on links from relevant websites to yours because it is easy to fill a website with keyword rich text, but it is considerably more difficult to establish your website as a reliable source of information via links from relevant websites. You trade links with other websites because Google will begin to recognize your website as a reliable source. Donít expect dramatic changes in your site's rankings to happen overnight. If you are serious about drawing traffic to your website, generating leads or sales, then expect to put forth effort in establishing reciprocal links. Do yourself a favor.

Keyword Density. Keyword density refers to the density of keywords in the text copy on each of your pages. We notice many businesses talking about how long they have been in business, how many clients or projects they have and how important they are, but they are missing one key thing. Keyword density! Not everyone is going to come to your website and read every single word on the page. After all, how do you browse the net? If Iím at a particular website that I searched for I already know what Iím looking for and probably donít need to read their introduction paragraphs, which is a great place for keywords because search engines will give more importance to keywords that are placed higher on a page.

Sitemap. Sitemaps have become important in the past few years because it tells search engines about all of the pages on your site. This will help the search engine spider thoroughly index all of the pages on your site. If you do not want certain pages to be indexed, but still wish to display that page in your Sitemap you may exclude the page in your robots.txt file. I very rarely use a websiteís sitemap unless I feel I have searched every square inch of the site and have no other place to look for information. In my experiences, I have noticed that older men tend to use sitemaps more.

This list goes on and on this certainly isnít all of the Search Engine Optimization tricks out there, but we feel this is the most important items that have helped out our client's rankings. We hope this information helps give your Search Engine Optimization a head start so you can one up your competitors. Donít forget that itís Ok to get into a particular niche and that you donít have to target the most common keywords. Considering the size of the internet today and what it was 10 years ago, you will have plenty of visitors coming in from even more refined and longer keywords phrases in the future.

© Copyright 2007 MJM Design. All rights reserved. This article was authored by Matt McWilliam for MJM Design. Matt McWilliam is the owner of MJM Design located in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. Read more about Matt McWilliam.

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