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"Work" Websites To Top Of Search Engines

Use free keywords that sell! Optimization tips for top listings!

Search Engine Optimization

Myth #1: Believing that Search Engine Optimization No Longer Works

There's no question search engine optimization has become more challenging over the years. Many critics have taken this and declared that search engine marketing is no longer effective. However, research from third parties like the recent NPD Group study demonstrated that search engine listings result in six times more sales on average than an equivalent number of visitors from banners ads. That means, visitor to visitor, you'll make six times more money on search engine listings than banners.

There are countless testimonials from customers who claim dramatic increases in traffic and revenues after starting their SE optimization efforts. Recently Ryan Morton said he started his promotion efforts "...4-5 weeks ago and have seen our site traffic increase from 200-300 hits per day to 900-1100 hits per day. We have gone from relative obscurity and word of mouth advertising to becoming one of the most heavily visited sites for South Carolina Tourism."

So don't fall victim to the biggest mistake: the assumption that search engine marketing doesn't work anymore or that it's a battle you simply can't win. The key is to arm yourself with the right knowledge combined with the right tools so you will win. Back to Top

Meta Tags only help so much

Myth #2: Meta Tags Will Solve All My Problems

In the press you've probably seen one of many tutorials on how to create the perfect meta tags so the search engines can find you. What they don't tell you is that the majority of the major search engines don't even read meta tags anymore. The ones that do read them tend to give them little importance when deciding how your page will rank.

Some of the "experts" will tell you to simply include your keywords in your title and meta tags and to create a Web site with quality content. The search engines will then naturally flock to you and rank your site near the top. Certainly title tags and content quality are important, but don't make the mistake that this is all you need to do to be found on the Web today. Search engine requirements are getting more and more sophisticated all the time. Keep up on the latest news to be informed. Back to Top

Doorway Pages Do Work

Myth #3: Believing Doorways Don't Work or Will Get Me Banned

There's been so much negative publicity put out by the search engines about the evils of doorway pages that many of the SE optimization experts are coming up with clever new names like informational pages, spotlight pages, gateways, etc. to differentiate themselves, not realizing they are only complicating the issue.

The fact is that every page on your Web site that ranks well for any reason is acting as a "doorway" to your Web site. Many people mistakenly believe that everyone will arrive at their site through the home page. However, do a focused search on Google, AltaVista, or another major engine. You'll almost always find matches that are not home pages.

In addition, each search engine ranks pages differently. Therefore, you may have a page about Product X with 400 words on it. That page may rank well for "search engine A" that likes to see 400 words on a top ranking page, but it isn't going to do well for "search engine B" that is looking for 800 words on a top ranking page. There are other examples, but you see the problem.

Lastly, some of the same search engines that condemn the term doorway page include tutorials or FAQ's on how to create a page to rank well in their index. True, these tutorials are often too non-specific to be of great help. However, it confirms that optimizing each of your pages to rank better is not something the engines inherently object to.

It is important not to loose sight of the basics, GREAT CONTENT ATTRACTS VIEWERS AND SEARCH ENGINES.  
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Always use external links

Common Error: Submitting Before Establishing any External Links

People can submit and then achieve great results. Others who setup a new site however are unable to get indexed. Or, they submit and see their site indexed only to be dropped three weeks later.

There are many mistakes that can create these scenarios, but one that is easy to fall into is failing to achieve any links FROM other Web sites before submitting. Some engines are known to drop pages after a couple weeks if it finds no other domains linking to it. Google has also stated that it will not index a site that does not have at least one external link pointing to it.

Sometimes a link from a major directory such as Open Directory, LookSmart, or Yahoo will suffice. However, you should also try to trade links with other Web sites that are complimentary to yours, then submit the URLs of those pages that are linking to you. If you can submit the page of one of these external links and let the search engine spider find your site on it's own, you'll stand to rank much higher than if you'd submitted your site directly. The drawback is that it may take a bit longer for the spider to get around to indexing you.

Pacific Web Sites can link your site to many other sites such as the ones we work on and directories on the Internet. We will all benefit from "cross-linking".
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Top 5 Search Engine Marketing TIPS:

Tip #1: Target the Right KeywordsWeb site promotion, creation, search engines, domain names choice, top listings...

For those of you new to search engine marketing, a "keyword" is simply a word or phrase that people would put into a search engine to find your Web site.

You might think that choosing the right keywords to target should be a no-brainer. However, you'd be surprised at how many people jump in, optimize their Web site, and achieve top rankings. They then cry out in dismay when their hit counter registers no more visitors than it did before they went to all the work to tune up their site.

What happened? They failed to choose keywords that people were actually looking for. Therefore, we recommend:

A. Brainstorm a list of keywords and phrases that apply to your Web site's products and services. Try to place yourself in the shoes of the Web searcher. Avoid generalities like "web site." Yes, you may sell a product for web sites, but who is going to search for "web site" when they are looking for web site maintenance or promotion?

B. Take advantage of excellent services like Wordtracker  to tell you which keywords are popular, but still not so  competitive as to make a top ranking next to impossible. There's  a fine line between targeting keywords that are TOO general or  competitive versus keyword phrases that are so specific that few  people ever think to search for it. Wordtracker handles both with ease.

In addition, it will do much of the brainstorming for you by  taking just a couple of keywords and producing a broad list of  related words and phrases from which to choose. Again, please don't make the mistake of picking the wrong keywords. Nothing is more disappointing than taking the time to achieve top rankings and then seeing no increase in traffic from all your efforts.

Also, don't pick keywords that are too popular or broad like "games" or "entertainment." You'll not only get visitors that are far less likely to buy your product, but the amount of work needed to gain that ranking will not be worth the trouble. You'll then join the ranks of misinformed critics screaming "search engine optimization doesn't work - don't waste your time!" SE Optimization works and works well, IF you take the time to do it right.

There are some good tools that are available on the Internet for doing keyword research for your particular search engine optimization purposes.

Yahoo Search Marketing is an excellent tool that is available for free; you can use this particular search engine optimization tool here: 

To get started, simply go to the white box near the middle of the page and enter a keyword  or keyword phrase to see how many searches were done on that keyword within the last month. Not only will you receive the number of searches for that particular search term but also all of the possible alternatives.

Simply by paying attention to the number of searches done on a particular term you can get a pretty good idea of what kind of competition exists for each term. It is (generally) a good idea to target keywords, or keyword phrases, that show fewer than 50,000 searches.

Another excellent tool for doing keyword research is available at Wordtracker is also free (limited use) but is probably one of the best keyword analysis tools available on the Internet.

A great service is provided by the folks at . They catalogue search activity at the major engines, and then make available those numbers to the general public. You simply type in a word or phrase related to your site's theme, and Wordtrackers shows you the number of times that entry is being searched at the major search engines. The service will also give you a list of related terms, so you can look for other important search words to target. If you are serious about search engine optimization you will want to check out Wordtracker.

Review the two tools I recommend to help with your job:

* Yahoo Search Marketing's Keyword Selector Tool

(  ) is a good place to start your investigation. You just type in a word or term you think people in your market might search for, and the Keyword Selector Tool will tell you how many people searched for that particular term in Yahoo Search Marketing over the last month.

It will also show you a list of related words and phrases, and tell you how many times people typed those terms into the free search engines over the last month.

This is a great way to find out how many people may be searching for information to solve a particular problem, and give you a picture of the demand for your product on the Web. But best of all, it gives you tons of ideas for keywords that you might never have thought of.

Once you've generated a list of useful keyword ideas, you're ready to dig in and do some serious research with Wordtracker.

* Wordtracker ( ) goes into more depth to show you not only what people are searching for online, but also how many other web sites are competing for the same audience.

Basically, it keeps a record of how many times a particular keyword or phrase was searched during the past 90 days across the Web.

When you enter the keyword phrases your market is searching for, you search the Wordtracker database of over 330 million searches (or "queries").

You're looking for search terms that are popular, but don't have too many sites competing for them.

You can also pop all of this detailed information into useful reports that help you determine which keywords and phrases will bring you the most traffic.

Be sure to check out Wordtracker and get a head of your competition!

Wordtracker is a paid service, but you can sign up for a short time. It's a great investment.
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Tip #2: Proper Submission to the Major Directories is Critical

One of the most significant changes in search engine marketing in recent years has been the rise in popularity of human reviewed directories and catalogs like LookSmart, Yahoo, and Open Directory. Some search engines prominently display directory listings for many popular searches. MSN is a prime example. Do a search on MSN and you'll generally find the first page of results dominated by LookSmart directory listings. Some of the other major engines also list directory results prominently, or at least emphasize them in various ways. You can recognize directory listings since they are often called "Web Site results" rather than "Web Page Results."

Once you submit to a directory, it's difficult to go back and correct mistakes later. Some of them like Yahoo and LookSmart charge you as much as $200 for the privilege of simply being reviewed for inclusion. Therefore, it's of utmost importance to get it right the first time.

There are many strategies for achieving great visibility with the directories. Some of them involve keyword placement and some involve human psychology. Read all the information you can about submitting to each directory BEFORE you submit. Even if you've submitted already and ranked poorly, you should find some strategies to help you reverse the damage. Back to Top

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Tip #3: Optimize your Page Content

There are countless tips for optimizing your page's content so that it will be more "relevant" to a given search. Each engine ranks pages differently, so most tips are not universal.

However, there is one tip that overrides them all: Create pages that emulate the "statistics" of pages that already rank at or near the top of the search results. These statistics include:

a) Frequency of the keywords on the page.

Tip: This does not mean more keywords are better. Instead, emulate the same number of keywords of top ranking pages as closely as possible. Be careful not to base your entire strategy on the statistics of a single top ranking page. The content of a top ranking page could have easily changed since it was last indexed. Therefore, every page ranking in the top 10 may not always represent exactly what the engine is currently looking for today. Using averages is one way to combat this problem.

b) Total words on the page.

Tip: Mimic the approximate number of words of a top ranking page on your own page.

c) Weight of the keywords on the page. (i.e. frequency divided by the total words)

Tip: Too high a weight is just as bad a too low a weight.

d) Location of the keywords on the page. (i.e., title, heading, etc.)

Tip: A keyword is given more relevance by an engine when the keyword appears in the engine's "preferred" areas.

e) Prominence.

Tip: Generally, the closer to the front of the area you can place the keyword, the better.

f) Proximity.

Tip: The closer that the words of a phrase appear together, the better.

g) Off-page criteria. (i.e., link popularity, click through popularity, etc.)

Tip: Even when you've done everything else right, don't forget the off-page factors! Back to Top

Tip #4: Increase your Link Popularity

This "off-page" statistic has grown in importance in the last year, becoming a significant factor at many engines. You must have at least one or more links from other domains in order to be indexed by some engines. In addition, if you don't have a high enough link popularity, you'll never achieve top rankings on many keywords. Therefore, make link popularity a high priority in your Web marketing plan.

There are many strategies for increasing links to your Web site. Links to your site not only improves your rankings, but will increase your traffic in a consistent and long-term manner.

If you're curious about how you stack up against your competition, you can check your link popularity for free at:

Tip #5: Track Your Progress

As you learn more about search engine marketing, you'll discover it is not an exact science. Some of your pages will rank well the first time out, and some will not. In addition, your rankings will fluctuate, calling for tweaks in design from time to time.

It is important to use a Tracker, which tells you where a visitor came from, their search term used, their browser, screen resolution, etc. Some web site hosting services provide this information, and there are free trackers available. Pacific Web Sites can suggest a free one for you.

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Comox, British Columbia,
V9M 2Z5 Canada
Phone: 250-339-2687
Monday - Friday 9 AM - 4 PM
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