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Internet Marketing Strategy!
With the right internet marketing strategy designed specifically for your site, your traffic will grow now, and in the future.

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Search Engine Optimization

The biggest source of traffic across the internet is, by far, through search engines. It may be an obvious point, but you would be surprised about the number of sites that neglect this. Almost all of this traffic comes from the top 3. These are:-

There are other popular search engines who's traffic is not as high, but should not be ignored. These are:-

SEO is not easy. In fact it's huge! It's not something you can do once, twice, or even fifty times. It's a constant ongoing struggle, with no end in sight. But don't let that put you off! SEO is vital to the success of a website, and you must devote time to it each month. We'll show you how to do many of the things required to get your site ranking in the search engines. Many of the sections of this site, such as Link Partners, Finding Keywords, Web Directories, W3C standards, etc, all make a huge difference to the way you rank in the search engines. So this section will focus on how it all fits together to get you ranking, how the techniques help and what other things you can do to your pages to get you onto the first page of results.

Optimizing your HTML

Without properly coded and optimized HTML pages how are the search engines going to know your site should be top of the list for your keywords? Follow these steps to get your pages up to scratch.

Step 1. Making sure the HTML is good quality and without errors

If your pages have got errors in the HTML code then the search engines will not be able to read them properly. Why not? Take a look at this quick example. Say your page contains the HTML:-

<title>home page</title>
<font size="5">Page heading in larger font</font>
<p>paragraph of text with some keywords and details of your site<br>
<a href="somepage.html">click here</a>
<p>another paragraph with more text

How is a search engine going to read this? Firstly it's going to see the heading as just a normal piece of text. When it looks for headings it's looking for tags <h1> to <h6>. Secondly it could easily miss the text all together. If the search engine was looking to extract the text from the paragraphs of a page it would look between the tags <p> and </p>. If there is no closing to a tag then it will find nothing. Likewise the link to somepage.html tells the search engine the important text for the link is "click here", which is pretty meaningless. The search engine also has no way of seeing that the "list of different things" is a list at all. To the search engine it just looks like spaced out text. The page title is also non descriptive, and has no relevance to the pages content. A version of this page with good HTML is:-

<title>Keywords and stuff</title>
<h1>Page heading in larger font</h1>
<p>paragraph of text with some keywords and details of your site</p>
  <li> list</li>
<p><a href="somepage.html">keyword phrase</a> another paragraph with more text</p>

Now the search engine can extract the heading and paragraphs properly. It can see that the "list of different things" is an unordered list, and what each list item is. It also knows that the link to somepage.html is relevant to the keyword phrase. The title now also has greater relevance to the pages content. Open your index page as raw HTML (NotePad should do it). This is how the search engine will see it. If you've made your site in a WYSIWYG HTML editor (let's face it, even us pro's use them now) you may find a few things that could do with a clean up. Common WYSIWYG HTML mistakes include things like:-

<font size=2>small text</font><br><font color="black"></font><font size=2><font color="black">small black text</font></font>

Although this would look ok in a browser, the HTML code certainly isn't. You've got tags doing nothing, and needless tags that could be combined.It should look like:-

<font size=2>small text<br><font color="black">small black text</font></font>

WYSIWYG editors such as DreamWeaver have functions to try and clean up their coding mistakes. In DreamWeaver click "Commands->Clean Up HTML..." which should clean up a few things. But these functions are not perfect, the only way to really clean up the HTML is to do it yourself. It may be time consuming, but at lest you only have to do it once, and if you making a new site, do it to the original template and you won't have to do much later.

We can't list every possible HTML mistake you could have on your pages. But we can give you a list of steps of what to do and look out for.

Validate your HTML
Visit the section W3C standards and make use of their HTML and CSS validation. Depending on the quality of your pages, and your use of non standard HTML tags, this may turn into quite a task. But it will in the end be a very worth while one.
Use good anchor text
Anchor text is that between <a> and </a> tags. It's important that the anchor text you use contains keywords that are relevant to your site and the page your linking to. Never use "Click Here" as anchor text!
Use heading tags
Make sure all headings are within a heading <h> tag, and that they contain keywords. Make sure the headings are in the right order starting at <h1> down to <h6>
Use rich HTML
Use the HTML tags for what they are designed for. Make sure and lists are in unordered list <ul> or ordered list <ol> tags. Make use of definition lists <dl> (like this one). Use quote tags <quote> and blockquote tags <blockquote> for quotes. Use abbreviation <abbr title="Cascading Style Sheets"> and acronym <acronym title="World Wide Web Consortium"> tags. And so on. Search engines can see instantly how much effort has gone into a page by looking at the tags it contains.
Make use of Cascading Style Sheets. There may be a learning curve at first, but it'll be well worth as life using CSS does make web design much easier.
Use Meta tags
There are a lot of meta tags out there. We've made a step lower in this section devoted to meta tags.
Use the new <link> tag
W3C made a new tag <link>. Which has multiple uses, some of which listed below.
<link> bookmark
This tag can be used to define bookmark links for the current page. For this page we have a link tag <link rel="bookmark" href="seo.html" title="SEO Search Engine Optimization">. You can have as many tags as you like. I don't think the search engines or browsers are really using these tags yet, but get them in now and you're already set for when they catch up.
<link> contents
This tag points to where the contents of the current page starts. <link rel="contents" href="#contents" title="Contents">. We use an anchor at the top of our pages main text, just before the first heading tag.
<link> home
This tag indicates where your home page is. We include this on every page. <link rel="home" href="/index.html" title="Home page">
<link> help
This tag indicates where your help or FAQ page is. <link rel="help" href="/faq.html" title="Help FAQ page">
<link> toc
This tag is for where your table of contents (site map) is. <link rel="toc" href="/sitemap.html" title="Sitemap with the table of contents">
<link> alternate
This can be used to define alternative versions of the current page or site. This is useful for defining RSS feeds which we cover in the section RSS Feed
Alt tags
All images in your page should have descriptive <alt> tags.
Title tags
The pages title tag is the most important tag. It must contain the main keyword for this page at the beginning of the tag.
Sub title tags
Sub title tags? We're referring to the title tags that you can use for <a> or <img> tags. If you use the FireFox browser then you'll notice that if you hover over an image, the alt text is not shown as it is in IE. Why? Because the alt text is text that should be displayed 'alternatively' to the image, if the image is displayed then technically the alt text should never be shown. However if you give your image a title such as <img src="images/join.jpg" border="0" alt="Join here" title="Signup by clicking this link"> FireFox is more than happy to display the text when you hover over. Try it now on our 'Join Now' image (top left). This is for links as well as images, hover over the Copyright link at the bottom of our page. We recommend that you use the title sub tag on each link you have.
Copyright rel tag
This tag should be used on the link to your copyright page. <a href="" rel="Copyright" title="CopyRight for">CosmicMarketing.Com © 2005</a>
Spell check
Check all your spellings! Not only will it confuse the search engines, but it'll send potential customers running.

Step 2. The right Keywords in the right place

In the section Finding Keywords you should have built a long list of keywords and phrases that people are actually using when searching the internet in your sites area. Now we need to put this list to use to optimize your site. The current list is probably to long to include all the phrases in one page, this would also mean repeating some of the keywords far to many times. You need to look through the list, particularly near the top and pick out 5 phrases or keywords that best match the page you are working on, taking popularity into consideration (if you have a variety of single keywords then you can include more in this list). It's vital that this short list of keywords and phrases be included in your page in the right way for your page to rank well under these terms. This is very difficult to get right. Putting the keywords in too many good places, will lead to the engines severely marking down your page. This is known as over optimization. Not putting them in enough will mean your not getting noticed. Getting this right will vary for each site depending on the keywords and design. It's really a case of trial and error. Do your best from the information provided to optimize your page for these terms. Later on, after your page has been ranked and indexed you can come back to see whether you need to do a little more or a little less. Due to the heavy penalties for over optimizing we tend toward optimizing our pages so that there is a fair amount more we could do. As stated at the start of this article, you'll be repeating this process over and over. Optimization is a constant process, the search engines are always updating their ranking algorithms. Here are the best places to put your keywords:-

Title tag
This is the single most important place to get your most targeted keyword or phrase. Make sure it's at the beginning of your title tag and that the tag is not to long.
Heading tags
Next it's the heading tags. Your top keyword should be in <h1>, others should be in the other heading tags.
Anchor text
Anchor text is very important. Links in to your site or page should include the keywords in the linked text (anchor text). Links off the current page that point to pages that contain the keyword, should also include the keyword in the anchor text.
Alt text
Make sure you've got some of the keywords in the alt text of images.
Meta tags
You must have the best keywords and phrases listed in the meta keywords, with some in the meta description.
Body text
Get all the keywords and phrases you have into the body text of the page.

It's important that each and every page is optimized for it's own set of keywords and phrases. Many of these keywords will and should overlap, but they shouldn't be the same on every page. Depending on how diverse the subject matter of your site is will dictate how many keywords you have to sift through. Think about searching on google, how often do you bring up a home page? Each and every page should be treated specially and optimized individually whilst keeping the whole site in mind.

Step 3. Meta tag magic

Ok, meta tags aren't magic. But they are important. There are a lot of meta tags these days, the ones we recommend are detailed below:-

One of the most important meta tags. Here you should list all your select keywords and phrases. It's important that any keyword you list actually appears in your page. Do not list more than 10 - 20 keywords. <META NAME="keywords" CONTENT="internet marketing, promotion">
The description meta tag is used by a lot of search engines for the description that appears under your site listing. Make sure yours is relevant to your keywords and makes people want to click. <META NAME="description" CONTENT="Develop your Internet Marketing Strategy with step by step guides.">
Similar to the description tag, this should be a single sentence summing up your page. <META NAME="abstract" CONTENT="Meta tag magic">
Tell search engine spiders (the ones that are listening) what to do. Similar to a robots.txt file. <META NAME="robots" CONTENT="FOLLOW,INDEX">
The author of the page. <META NAME="author" CONTENT="">
Distribution for the page. Options are Global (for anyone to see), Local (only for local users) or IU (Internal Use only). <META NAME="distribution" CONTENT="Global">
How often you would like the spiders to return to index your page. Never go lower than 2 days, honestly how often will you be updating? We recommend having 2 days for your index page and something like 15 days for other pages. <META NAME="revisit-after" CONTENT="2 days">
Used by some engines to categorize your site. Suggest a category or categories where your site should be listed. <META NAME="classification" content="Marketing">
Copyright notice for the page. <META NAME="copyright" CONTENT="Copyright All rights reserved.">

Step 4. Rankings are more than just good optimization

You've got your pages looking great, HTML rich and error free. All the keywords are in the right place and your site is ready to take it's place at the number 1 spot, but for some reason you find your listing hiding down in the lower pages. Why? These days a good ranking is about more than just a well optimized site. Now you have inbound links, the so called 'PageRank' to worry about as well. Every time a site links to you, depending on how popular that site is itself, you get an increase in PageRank. You can view your and other sites PageRank by using the google toolbar. Or there is a very useful search engine called PROG that displays a sites page rank in search results. Building up your inbound links starts with Web Directories and Affiliate Marketing. Then you move on to building up a collection of Link Partners. This may not be as difficult as optimizing your pages, but it is very time consuming. Without building up your in bound links your never going to rank well. But don't be put off! There is now light at the end of the tunnel, as every link you add put's you a step closer to that number 1 position!

Step 5. Looking at the Semantics

The W3C have developed a Semantic Data Extractor that extracts more rich HTML elements from web pages. At the moment this thing picks up some of the stuff search engines don't, but will be looking at very soon. Take a look at what you get if you run it for, and compare to the results for your site.

Step 6. Using our SEO tool

We have developed a useful SEO tool. It evaluates your page and gives details of your keyword density comparing you to other sites.

Run again

Show PR for all links
Show keyword density
Compare to lowest
5 PR in top 10
10 PR in top 20


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