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Meta Tags, Keywords, and Search Engines, Oh My

Are you avoiding that crucial step, waiting until everything is just right? Doing all your research to make sure you don’t “do it” wrong? Well, your not alone. Many folks who could be making tons of money online, are missing out because of their internet-phobia. Companies that know what they are doing, charge an arm and a leg to produce an effective website. But with all the millions of searches going on every minute, there must be room for us!

There is.

First of all, you need a domain name, a hosting company, and a little understanding of HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language.) Domain name registration and hosting accounts are very affordable services offered by many companies and they are all pretty similar in what they offer. Once you have a domain name registered and a hosting account, you will be able to upload your pictures and pages to the internet.

Your website is composed of pages, images, and other files that must be readable to internet browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome, etc. Most pages can be created in notepad and saved with an html (.html) extension. HTML codes for page layout are beyond the scope of this article, but I will talk about a few Meta Tags which every site NEEDS: Title Tag, Keywords Tag, and Description Tag. In addition to these, you will need keyword rich pages with content relevant to your description, title, and keywords tags.

You also have to keep links on all your pages to all the other pages. This allows the search engines to find all the pages on your site. I highly recommend placing titles within the code of your links. This should be the title of the page it leads to and support the importance of both pages, the page with the link, and the page linked to.

Your site is a collection of information. It is like a book, an electronic digital book. Every book has a title. But once inside, each chapter is titled as well. The table of contents is like the menu. Your website needs to have an interactive menu that links to pages with a title, keywords, and a description for each page. This is what search engines love and the more they love your site, the higher your page will rank. They want to recommend websites with organized, well indexed information and relevant content within each page. This is probably the most important part of making your site “search engine friendly. You must match the title of each page within your site to the description of the page (description tag) and the keywords used in the page (and keywords tag.) Don’t be overwhelmed, it is much less confusing than you think.

Once your site is indexed within search engine databases, you’ll want to increase your page rank. The most powerful way to increase your page rank in search engine results is with valuable inbound links. These links, from other websites to yours, are extremely important. The higher ranked the website is, the more valuable the link will be. I mean, if you read a good book and it talked about an amazing vacation getaway, wouldn’t you start planning that vacation as soon as you put the book down? Do you know how many people buy a book because Oprah puts it on her book list? Likewise, if an important, well accepted website links to your site, search engines believe your site must be noteworthy.

Keyword selection is an important part of your online marketing plan. When you first start out, don’t expect to be listed high in search results for phrases that are competed over heavily. General words like “car” or “cheap” will have millions of results appearing before your site regardless of how well your page is organized. Bidding or paying for these types of keywords may be a better way to get to the top of the list (in sponsored or paid search results.)

So, that pretty much summarizes it. You need a domain name, a hosting account, and something to write about. Think about what people are searching for that you can help them with. Use keyword tools to find highly searched but low competition search phrases related to your content. Use these phrases in your pages, bold them, and use them in your meta (title, keywords, and description) tags and in the names and titles of your links. Then, find other companies in your industry or websites related to your topic, and contact them about linking to one other. And don’t forget good old fashioned word of mouth. Traffic, is not only the desired effect, but actually increases the value of your page and your position in search engine results.

Be proactive. Good Luck!


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