1) Chose your Keywords Carefully Once you have chosen your business and purchased a domain name the next step before submitting your site to search engines is to find useful and relevant keywords. Without this step your website will get lost in the millions of websites competing for your business. To start our keyword research we need to utilize some very useful tools. The first website viewed should be Google Keywords which is a free tool that displays the amount of searches and competition for specific keywords. It also allows you to find more specific keywords that can better describe your site. A better tool would be to purchase some type of software such as Word Tracker which offers detailed information about keywords. Unfortunately word tracker is not free, but there are other services that are. 2) Find a Niche Market This cannot be stressed enough as it is much harder to receive top search engine rankings for a new site than an established site. A new site will have to fight amongst web sites that have established high search engine rankings. To compete with these web sites you would be crazy! You first need to find a niche market, and then build up your website to a position as to where it can compete with these generic terms. For example let?s say you have a web site geared towards weight loss. You would not use the keyword weight loss because it has too much competition. You can use one of the keyword tools to find suggestions of related keywords that you will be able to compete against. You may find the keyword ?weight loss surgery? or ?weight loss techniques?. These phrases are much better keywords than generic terms like ?weight loss?. Use the list of a few keywords and check out the competition that word/ phrase has on Goggle. Look at the number of competitors. If this exceeds a few million, then you need look for a more specific keyword. The next step is to observe the top listed pages and see how well they are optimized. You can download Google Toolbar and add Page Rank to your browser for free. A low Page Rank between 0 ? 3 means that you can easily compete with these web pages. A web site with a Page Rank of 4 ? 6 is a bit tougher to compete with, but is manageable using my guided steps and expertise. You do not want to compete with web sites that have a Page Rank above 7. Check the domains homepage, not a sub page to get an accurate Page Rank! 3) View Competitors Source Code It is important to view potential competitor?s source code to see if they have efficiently performed on page search engine optimization. To do this on your Brower click ?view? and then click on the ?source? option as displayed? This will bring up a page with all the html code on it. You do not need to be an expert with html to understand what we are looking for. We need to see if our competitor?s web site is properly optimized. We look to see if they are using their keywords in the header tags, the title tags, and the image alt tags. These should all be located near the top of the source code. If you cannot find these then go to the toolbar and chose ?edit? and select ?find? and type in h1 or title, etc. to see if there are being used for the keywords. If these do not exist or are not being used to hold keywords, you have found an easily beaten page. This means that with some proper optimization you will be able to outrank this page. The last thing you want to look at is the body content and to see if the keyword is used a few times in the body content. A site lacking in keywords in the body context is a poorly optimized page. You should always make sure your web page is keyword rich with relevant content. 4) Keyword Placement After you have selected a few keywords to use we want to combine the ones that have like terms. For example if you have selected three keywords: Weight loss story; Weight loss picture; Safe weight loss As you can see that all three keywords contain the words ?weight loss?, therefore we can combine the words to better optimize your page. For the title tag the fewer the keywords used, the better the search engines will rank your page. When we create the page it should NEVER have ?Welcome to our website!? in the Title Tags. It should NEVER have ?weight loss story and weight loss picture and safe weight loss? in the Title Tags either. The way the title tags should look is: ?Weight Loss Story | Safe Weight Loss Picture? (Note: You can add this character | by holding the shift key on your keyboard and pressing the backslash key above the enter key.) You should always remove prepositions such as ?and? as this will only hurt your search engine optimization. The fewer, more relevant the words are the higher your search engine ranking will be. Header 1 tags should be placed above your body content. This should contain your most relevant keyword in this tag. Ex) ?Weight Loss Story? This main keyword placed in the H1 tag will substantially increase your page ranking! The Header 2 tag should contain your second most important keyword. The header 3 tag will have your least important keyword placed in it. These header tags are often overlooked, but make a significant difference in your on page search engine optimization. The body content of your webpage should be rich with keywords and relevant content. You should have each keyword appear at least once for every 1-2 paragraphs. Do not stuff your body with keywords, as this will only hurt you. You want to give your body a clean natural look, meaning do not over or under use keywords! Image tags alt tags should also be keyword rich. Search engines often look at the alt tags of images on your web site to get a feel of what your web site is about. If the alt tags do not have your keywords then you will be ranked lower than if you had keywords in your alt tags. 5) Homepage Organization We want the search engines to notice your keywords and index you according to those keywords. In order to do this you should start your body and end your body with your keywords. This gives the search engine spider information that your page is highly relevant to your keywords. When the spider looks through your web site it reads through your content from top left to bottom right. Below is an example of how the search engine reads your page starting with 1 then 2 then 3. Rather than creating a table that looks like this: navigational links You body text... You should create a table that looks like this: You body text... navigational links Now search engines will view your body content before it views your navigational menu. The search engine will see the top of your page then see a blank area and skip to your body content then move onto your navigational menu. 6) Search Engine Submission The best way to achieve high search engine rankings for new web sites may not be what you expected. You should not submit your site directly to the search engines as this process can take weeks or even months to get your site listed. Instead you need to get listed on top ranking pages that are relevant to your web sites content. These high ranking pages are often optimized on a weekly or even daily basis. Every time the site is indexed your link will appear and the search engines will automatically list your site in its index. It is as simple as that to get listed on top search engines in only a few days! To do this we need to search for web sites that that are indexed by search engines and get them to link to us. This can be difficult to do unless you give the site some incentive to do so. The incentive you need to give them is to write some sort of article that is relevant to your line of business. At the bottom of the article you include your web page URL to get picked up by the search engines. You submit the article to popular article directories on the web and you will be indexed by the search engines in a matter of days rather than months! Here's a list of the most popular article directories you can submit your website to GoArticles.com Ezinearticles.com ArticleCity.com Certificate.net/wwio Amazines.com Articledashboard.com Article-directory.com Submityourarticle.com/articles Magportal.com Isnare.com Pubs.acs.org/hotartcl Article-hangout.com Webarticles.com Articlecube.com Article-buzz.com The other option is to perform a search of the most generic term that is related to your business. Click through these web sites looking at the Page Ranks. Contact the web site and by sending them an email asking them to link to your site and in return for you linking back to their web site. Always contact sites that are relevant to your line of work and always offer them something their visitors can benefit from once they add your link. You can purchase a link in top Page Rank sites through link builders. A few of the good web sites that can do this for you are: textbrokers.com or text-link-ads.com or linkadage.com. Remember that you only need to purchase a link for one month, since it will take less than one month to get you indexed by the major search engines. Continuing to pay for the link after a month is a waste of your money. Basically you are paying a onetime fee to instantly get indexed in the major search engines. 7) Off page Optimization This is just as important, if not more important than on page optimization. To do this we need to study the linking strategies of the top 10 websites for your keyword. We want to copy their model, but do things slightly better to achieve the top rankings. First open up a spread sheet in Excel and list the following columns: Linking Website, Anchor Text, Page Rank, Link Popularity Page Title, and Number of Outbound Links. Then we search your keyword on Google and fill in the information for the top 10 websites. To discover the linking websites go to Google and type in the websites URL ?link:www.thewebsite.com? Then count the number of sites that are listed to get the link popularity. Anchor text is whatever follows the .com or .org of a website URL. Page Rank is the rank Google gives to websites. You can download it for free at Google?s web site. Page Title is the title of the page that appears on the top left of the screen. If the title does not contain the keywords then the site is not well optimized and easy to surpass in rankings. Number of Outbound Links is the number of links located on the webpage linking to the site you?re checking. Once all this information has been collected you can see what needs to be done to your site to beat the top ranking sites. 8) Search Engines and Capitalization Capitalizing different letters in keywords brings up different results in search engines. Search engines are case-sensitive so it is important how you use capitalization. The problem with listing every variation of a word results in the search engines thinking that you are spam and deleting your URL. This gets worse with singular and plural words! The solution is to stick with lowercase listings rather than trying different variations. Studies have shown that most people search in all lowercase and this has the most relevant listings. Not using every other variation means you lose out on 18% of traffic. This is not worth the risk of being banned from the search engines. Lowercase searching has dominated all the search engines ranging from 85 percent to 90 percent of the total terms used. Now most search engines are not case sensitive anymore. 9) Search Engine Spamming Spamming does not take well with current search engines. Search engines have discovered ways to fight keyword stuffing and other search engine tricks. Search engines can detect your spam and will act accordingly by penalizing or banning you from their listings. Search engine spamming is attempting to achieve top ranks for extremely popular keywords. You can attempt to fight that battle against other sites, but you ought to be ready to fight a long and hard battle defending your ranking. All that wasted effort can be better spent for finding other ways for internet marketing. There is no need for search engine spamming if your website has been optimized correctly using the above methods. The risks are not worth the temporary rewards. Search engine spam should be considered the same as email spam. Nobody likes or wants spam! We want spammers removed from the internet, so why would customers want to work with you, a spammer. 10) Hire a Professional SEO Hiring a professional search engine optimizer is a great idea if your business relies on internet sales. Search engine optimization is something that is time consuming and requires lots of research. Most businesses do not have time to optimize their web sites. They have better things to take care of, like making sure their products are selling and keeping good customer relations. If you really want to be at the top of any searches you need professionals to come in and help solve the problem.