What you do on your web pages can have a positive or negative impact on your search results. However, as we’ll discuss later in this report, off-page optimization is even more powerful when it comes to increasing your search engine results.
Some of the most important on-page optimization techniques begin with choosing a key word to optimize your web page for. There are a number of free tools available on the Internet that can help you find a keyword that is popular but not overly competitive. Keywords that are highly competitive, meaning that many other sites are optimizing for the same keyword, are often very difficult to place well for on the major search engines.

Regardless of which tool you use, free or purchased, I recommend using the Keyword Selector Tool (inventory.overture.com) offered by Overture. This free search will provide you with a count of the number of times the keyword or keyword phrase is searched on each month. If the keyword or phrase gets few searches, it’s not worth optimizing for.

On the other hand, if your keyword phrase is highly searched, it may also be competitive – meaning that many websites are optimizing for that term. The ratio of searches to the number of websites containing a particular keyword or keyword phrase is called KEI. The challenge is to find a keyword phrase that is popular (a lot of people search for it) but isn’t all that competitive (i.e. not a whole lot of sites are competing for it). There are a ton of “keyword suggestion” tools available online for free. Just use Google and take your pick.

Once you’ve selected a keyword or keyword phrase, you’re ready to learn the 7 Secrets of Search Engine Optimization. Each of these secrets will increase your search engine results. Used together, you’ll find yourself rising through the search engines more quickly than you thought possible.

Secret #1: Don’t optimize for a single keyword, optimize for a keyword phrase. When you optimize for a single keyword, more often than not, that word is highly competitive and your chances of coming out on top are minimal. Where you gain a significant advantage is by focusing on a keyword phrase. This actually increases your chances of ranking well and helps you towards ranking well for the single word you originally chose as your ideal keyword.

A keyword phrase is usually less competitive than a single word and gives search engines a variety of choices when displaying your site. One of the best secrets I’ve learned over the past few years is to use a ‘post’ to separate your keywords. You can find the post symbol, usually over the backslash key, located near your Enter button. Be sure to hold the shift key down and viola! Keep in mind that your keyword phrase(s), in addition to appearing on your web page should also appear in your page title (ex: Marketing Tips | Internet Marketing Secrets).

Secret #2: Place your keyword phrase within the first 25 words of text, and the last 25 words of text on your web page. Proximity to the beginning and ending of your website are paramount. This tells the search engines that the keyword phrase is important to the content of your web site..

Additionally, place the keyword phrase through out your page – being sure to bold the phrase once, italicize the phrase once, and underline the phrase once. Mention your keyword phrase every paragraph or so. Just make sure that it appears as natural. If you stuff the page with keywords, you’ll potentially turn off browsers who would otherwise find your page valuable. Additionally, search engines can tell when your stuffing your pages with keyword, having a negative impact on your search engine results.

Some of the client’s I’ve worked with have struggled to find an appropriate place to include their keyword phrase. One technique you can use is to include your keyword phrase just after your copyright notice on the bottom of your webpage. This ensures that it appears within the last 25 words of your page. An example would be, © 2007. MarketingScoop.com Marketing Experts.

Secret #3: In addition to where your keyword is placed, it’s also important how it appears. Place your keywords in an h1 tag towards the top of your webpage. An h1 tag, also known as a headline tag, is the code you use to display your headline in large type. Although this may seem awkward depending on your website layout, it is one of the most powerful secrets you can use to boost your search engine results. Additionally, you can change the display of your h1 tags using a cascading style sheet.

If possible add a number of sub-headings using an /h1
h2 and/or /h2 h3 tag. Smaller than an h1, but still significant, using your keyword phrase in these tags is also very valuable to search engines. They also help to organize your content in a meaningful way.

Secret #4: Be sure to place your keyword phrase in your meta tags (the HTML code that appears at the beginning of your webpage) – specifically your page title and description. Try to repeat your keyword phrase twice in your description tag. Your meta tags should look like this (this is only a sample):

[Keyword Phrase1] | [Keyword Phrase2]

The last tag, the Robots tag, lets the search engine know that it should be crawling your entire website. There are other things you can do to improve the search-ability of your website such as a sitemap and on-page linking, a bit too detailed for this report but worthy of doing further online research.

Now that we’ve covered the first four secrets, most of them having to do with on-page optimization, let’s focus on what you can do outside of you website to increase your search engine results. We call these techniques Off-Page Optimization.

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