Rick Seaman offered the best suggestions in the below article.
The Basic “Dos and Don’ts” Of Search Engine Optimization
Rick Seaman July 2004
Search Engine Ranking is Platformed Upon Relevancy.
The heart of an Internet marketing strategy is optimizing a website to rank high in the free search results. Each individual search engine sets its own unique methods of ranking search results, but the root of all criteria (algorithms) is based upon how well a web page satisfies relevancy to a particular search query.
The search engines reward sites that make it easy to determine the level of relevance to a query. They prefer simplistic html development that places keywords where they are most impressive to the criteria. They do not like deceptive optimization techniques that intend to deceive users or their guidelines and will penalize sites for spamming those guidelines.
Ranking algorithms are complex and are kept confidential. They are changed frequently in-pursuit of enhanced search results and to make it difficult for search engine optimizers to reverse-engineer the criteria. But you can always be assured that establishing relevancy without spamming the engines is the key to long-term search engine prominence.
The Basic “Dos”
• Keep code simple and lean.
• Place keywords where they’re impressive to ranking criteria.
All copywriting should maintain a “natural flow” without an overzealous attempt to stuff keywords which is disruptive to a reader. Keywords in content should always be viewable by the user and “lightly sprinkled” throughout html content reinforced by reasonable usage of exact phrases to the search term. Ideal locations for keywords include the following:
Page Title Tags
Meta Keyword Tags
Alt-Tags (Particularly Linked Graphics)
URL Root Domain
URL Page Extensions
• Create a site map.
Search engines discover web pages by following links. Make it easy for them to discover and index your web pages by creating a Site Map that lists and links to all internal pages. Apply very brief descriptions of what the user will discover at destination. Link to the site map from all web pages.
• Continually add relevant informative content.
Search engines like larger websites with themed on-topic content. Every new web page you add creates a potential “landing point” for a wider-range of targeted keyword phrases. Rich informative content will attract unsolicited “natural” one-way links into your site that continually enlarges traffic potential. Set a goal to add new fresh content to your site frequently and you’ll be rewarded with enhanced ranking potential and new streams of qualified leads.
• Accumulate quality inbound links.
You need at least one link to your site to become indexed by a search engine. You need lots of links to become highly ranked for competitive search terms. Links from websites that are relevant to your receiving pages are more valuable than completely off-topic links. One-way (non-reciprocal) links to your pages are stronger than two-way reciprocals. Create a linking strategy and execute the campaign with assigned committed responsibility. Sustaining prominent ranking positions requires a continuous ongoing effort. Not only do quality incoming links increase ranking potential but those links will also refer quality leads.
• Submit your site to online directories.
Online directories are a great source of one-way links from directory pages that are relevant to your content. They contribute link popularity and provide lead referrals as well. Many directories offer free index inclusion such as the Open Directory Project (dmoz.org). Some charge relatively low inclusion fees such as Joe Ant and Web Savvy, while others can be quite expensive including the Yahoo Directory. Determine your own derived benefit versus your marketing budget, but take full advantage of the free opportunities.
• Maintain theme continuity throughout your site
The stronger an on-topic theme is sustained site-wide, the greater the ranking potential. Search engines measure theme continuity as an indicator of strong relevance. If you have “incompatible” content, it’s best to create separate websites for each non-relevant topic.
The Basic Don’ts
• Do not use hidden keywords.
It’s amazing why so many SEOs will hide keywords when it’s so easy to make them viewable to a user. Always make content viewable and do not attempt to hide keywords using same color words on same color backgrounds or any other method of hiding content which is considered search engine spam.
• Do not heavily cross-link between sites.
The core purpose of the web is linking users to information of interest. Links to third-party web pages should be done naturally where it makes logic to a user. However, do not be tempted to cross-link from and to every page between separate websites as an attempt to artificially inflate link popularity. This type of abuse is particularly disdained by the search engines when the interlinking sites are commonly owned and reside on the same server. Every link between two websites should provide a meaningful purpose to a user.
• Do not participate in link farms.
A link farm can be described as a group of websites that participate in an interlinking scheme for the sole purpose of inflating link popularity among the participants without providing meaningful value to a user. The engines can detect such schemes and will move swiftly to penalize the participating sites including potential index expulsion. To protect against innocent collateral damage, only link to compatible web pages that provide informative value to your visitors.
• Do not hide links.
Links should always be evident to a user. Do not hide links using any method including same color on same color or attached to “periods” or “commas” which are techniques used by unethical SEOs.
Achieving Long-term Success
The key to long-term success is satisfying relevancy in every respect using sound approaches focused on user-experience, informative value and attention to search engine guidelines. The goal of all engines is presenting the most relevant results to a search query. Therefore, helping them attain that mission should generally strengthen your website’s ranking potential. Click here for more information on “Avoiding Search Engine Penalty”.
Other interesting articles:
- Microsoft Small Business Center “Dos and don’ts in your search-engine marketing” written by Jonna L. Krotz.
- Get a Higher Page Rank by Blogging – Test and Try