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February 18, 2008

7 Tips to a High Ranking Site

So you would like your site to rank higher in the search engines. Below are some tips to help you achieve your goal.

1. Before building your website decide on which keywords you want the site to rank high for. Keywords are words or phrases that people type into search engines to find websites. Your keywords need to be related to your product or service so that you get targeted traffic ( There is no point in having “buy flowers online” as a keyword if you sell “houses”) Your keywords should also have as many people searching for the keyword and as fewer websites competing for the high rankings. I would not get overly worried about this. There are several tools out there to help (Just google “Keyword Effectiveness”) but I would concentrate more on the relevance of your keywords.

2. Once you have decided on your keywords you can start to build your site. The look of the site needs to be good to convert visitors into customers but will not help with getting a higher ranking. I would concentrate on getting a high-ranking site and then worry about the look and feel of the site later. (There is no point in having a site that looks wonderful if nobody can find it and it therefore has no visitors). Remember when you start to build your site that what the search engines are looking for is content. The content you have also needs to be rich with your keywords.

3. A very common mistake people make is the links between pages on their own site. The links need to be “spider friendly” i.e. a spider needs to be able to follow them easily. A graphic button with a rollover effect using an active X control might make the site look wonderful but a spider will be able to follow a text link far easier. This is important, as unless the spider can follow the links only your Index page is likely to be included in the search engine.

4. There are certain important elements of your site that can be added after the site is built. Title Tag – H1 Header Tag – Keywords – Meta Description. All of these should include your most important keywords and phrases. Your Meta Description should be a short paragraph about your site including your keywords and phrases in the text. It should also encourage people to take a look at your site.

5. Alt Image Tags – These are tags that you attach to an image so that when the mouse hovers over an image the text is displayed. So any images on your site should have Alt Image Tags that are rich with your keywords and phrases.

6. Links – One of the ways that a search engine decides which pages are to be located at the top of the rankings or be a higher ranking page is that it looks at the links that are pointing towards the site. It is not just the number of links but also the relevancy of the links and the type of links that point to the site. Also the type of site that is linking to your site is important. In other words a text link from a high-ranking site that uses your keywords in the link is a far more important link that a picture link without keywords from a low ranking site. – So you want to have as many relevant links from high-ranking sites as you can. There are several ways to achieve this and the more links that you have the more important the search engines will believe your site to be and therefore the higher your site will be ranked in the search engines. The search engines are working on the presumption that if you have lots of high ranking sites that want to have a link to your site then your site must have some valuable content otherwise they would not want to link to it and potentially send their visitors onto another site.

7. You can also help to keep your site high in the rankings by adding new content to your site and updating the pages as the search engines are looking for current content. Not a site that has been built and just left.

Once you have built your site and got some links to it you will need to tell the search engines about it (This is called submitting your site). You can manually submit your site to the search engines but there are several good programmes you can buy to do this for you. Just do your homework before you decide which one to use. ( I use addwebb but its quite expensive)

If this all seems a lot of hard work to get your site ranked – It is! – But if you use the tips above then you will be on the right track. Remember if it were easy everybody would be doing it!

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