Proper search engine optimization is a
process involving several distinct steps.
We'll walk you through the steps a
professional search engine optimizer (SEO)
follows when reviewing a site before
starting an optimization campaign.
1. Visual Review of Page.
Make sure the page looks professional, has
usable navigation and is complete. Search
engine spiders may grade your site, but you
need to appeal to directory editors and
human visitors too!
Include good quality content on the page.
It increases the value of your site to both
humans and search engine spiders. Good
content will place your site in the top of
2. Look For Spider Traps.
A spider trap is anything that would
prevent a spider from crawling your page or
site. If a spider can't crawl through your
site, the site won't get indexed. Part of
the SEO's job is to look over a site and
identify anything that could potentially
hurt the site in the search engines.
Also check your page for anything that
might be considered spam by a search
engine. Most spam is accidental, but it
will get you banned just as quickly as
3. Review Your Keyword
Keyword selection is the most important
step in optimizing a page for the search
engines - and where most people (even
professionals) make mistakes. You can get
all the top ten rankings in the world with
unusual keywords, but you won't see any
traffic unless people actually type them in
as search terms.
Use a good keyword
popularity tool to find out how popular
your keywords are. Compare different
keywords and see how they rate in
popularity before you select the ones for
Make sure your keywords are appropriate for
your site and limit the number of keywords
per page. Too many dilute your relevancy
For more about keywords, see our newsletter
story on keyword
4. Get a baseline on where your
site is currently ranked.
Enter your keyword into a search engine.
Does your site come up? Where does it rank?
This can be a tedious task if you're
checking multiple engines.
Need to improve your ranking? Steps five
and six will get you started.
5. View the HTML source code.
It's back to the basics. If you don't do
the fundamentals correctly, advanced tricks
won't help you much. Look at the keywords
you've selected and make sure they're in
the strategic places where search engines
look. At a minimum, keywords should be in:
Optimize every important page in your site!
Visitors may enter from any page indexed by
a search engine spider, not just the home
6. Check the link popularity.
Link popularity is important because every
major search engine uses it to rank sites.
Read and emplement our Link
Popularity Tips to
increase your site's link popularity score.
many engines you can type:
link:http://MySite.com or "MySite.com" (putting name in quotes) and you can get a
link count for that particular engine.
7. Submission to search
If you have prepared your site and followed
the steps above, you're ready to either
submit for the first time or resubmit your
Using an automated submission tool will
save you a lot of time and headaches, allowing you to submit any
page in your Web site to your choice of 100
search engines. If submitting by hand, have a text file of your
description, keywords, page title, URL, etc. This will cut the time
to key in the text for each submission by copying and pasting.
Most people think they can submit one day
and the spider will come the next day.
There may be a considerable a lag time from
when you submit your site to when the
spider actually visits. This can be
anywhere from a week to a few months
depending on the search engine.
8. Hand submission to
Always hand submit to directories! Avoid
automated submission tools that claim to
submit to directories: they rarely submit
to the proper category, so directory
editors will just ignore your site. Read our automated
versus hand submission artical for
complete directory submission instructions.
9. Maintenance Stage.
Search engine optimization is definitely
not a "do it once and forget" activity. You
must continually track and adjust your
pages. The rules change constantly, so
techniques that worked great last year
could get you banned this month.
Search Engine Tracker automates the
tracking process and give you quick
feedback about changes your make to your
site. In a highly competitive market, you
have to continually work at optimization.
Page Primer evaluates your page for
optimization. It scans your page checking
all the important sections to make sure you
haven't made any critical blunders.
10. Track traffic to your site.
People assume a top ranking automatically
means high traffic. But high rankings only
bring traffic if the rankings are for good
keywords. If you've done all your
optimization around "yummy orange cakes"
and nobody enters that in a search you
won't get any traffic.
Increased traffic is the real result of a
successful optimization process, not a top
ten ranking. If you're not seeing a jump in
your traffic, you need to re-evaluate your
keywords and cycle back through the
Use a good log file analysis program to
determine which search engines and search
terms are bringing you the most visitors.
Search engine optimization is a multi-step
continual process. It's not cheating; it's
helping search engines do their job more
efficiently. Optimization takes a lot of
time and patience. Don't get discouraged:
search engine optimization pays for itself
in increased revenue. It is worth
the time and trouble.