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Here's how to Optimize your site for the Search Engines (Part II)

Posted on January 21, 2000

by Paul Short,

[This is the continuation from our previous issue, available at URL: ]

Page Content

Again, focus plays a major role here. Your sites content should offer a wealth of free information in it's category. Once you have established the area your site is focused on it'll be easy to work your relevant keywords and phrases into the text not only to increase their frequency on the page, but also to be as descriptive as possible about what your site contains.

Right after the tag in your html, include a brief description similar to the one in your META tags. I know, this may alter the overall appearance of your page but it is well worth it because the search engines that do not make use of the META description often use the first text that appears on the page as the text that shows up in the search results.

How many times have you searched for something in one of the major search engines and the description appears with a jumble of html code? Not too appealing is it? You can counteract this by using an actual descriptive paragraph as the first text that appears at the top of your page. Right after the BODY tag and before anything else in the html code.

Body Copy

Again, if your site has the focus mentioned earlier, including relevant keywords and phrases in your body copy will come naturally when writing your pages body copy.

Your pages should be short and concise, no more than about 2 regular 8.5 X 11" pages if you printed them out. It is a known fact that the "Frequency" of relevant keywords and phrases within your overall text has a lot to do with your position in the search results. For example, if you have six short paragraphs on a page, make sure one or more of your keywords is mentioned at least once or twice in each paragraph.

Doing this will show the search engine spider that the content of your site is directly related to the title and description you gave in your html. It shows that your site is definitely on topic.

Alt Text

Although it is debatable whether the search engine reads ALT Text as page content or not, it's not a bad idea to use this anyway. When adding images to your site, you have the option to describe the image using alternate text, or text that is displayed if the image is'nt for whatever reason.

Instead of using "ball.gif" or "email.gif" as the ALT text for an image, use a phrase that is relevant to your sites overall focus and make sure that you include at least one keyword in each. This is just one more way to add more of your keywords to your page.

Trim down the toys

Yes. Java, frames and tables show off your ability as a designer but it doesn't impress the search engine spiders. This code in your pages may halt the spider program before it gets a chance to properly index your site, it may also decrease your text to keyword ratio, etc. My best advice would be to cut the fat out of at least the main page of your site, the one that you're trying to get listed higher.

Links on your main page

Because most search engines crawl through links to other pages, make sure that at least on the page you're promoting, you have links to the other pages on your site. Many of the search engines now instruct you to only register your main URL and leave the rest up to them. So if you are planning on using doorway pages to improve your rankings, link to them from your main page.

Offer these doorways as text intensive descriptions of different aspects of your site, an information source if you will, rather than just a primer for the search engines. That way, even if your main page lacks in it's ability to get listed higher, the doorway page will take up some of the slack.

Link Popularity

Lately, this has been a major issue on the internet. From what I gather, it seems that search engines also rate your site in their rankings by how many other sites are linked to it. The idea is that the more sites linked to yours, the better of a resource your site would be on your particular topic for someone doing a search.

A lot of analysis has been done and it appears that this is now a major factor not only in getting a higher listing, but also in providing searchers with pertinent information in their area of interest.

So now you will have to also approach webmasters of sites related to yours and somehow get them to link yo yours. This may not sound easy and it's not. But again it all boils down to focus. If your site is an excellent resource and other webmasters consider it valuable info for their viewers, you should have no problem arranging a recriprocal link with at least some of them.

Start a resource links page or something to that effect and include a link to it off your main page. Not only will you be providing your viewers with links to more information, you'll also be further establishing your site as a resource center for your particular topic.


As you can see there are really no secrets or insider info on improving your rank in the search engine listings. Just a little know-how, ongoing research and a lot of hard work. It's not one key thing that you must do but a combination of several common sense techniques which all work together smoothly to help improve your ranking in the search results.

Paul Short is the Internet's leading Website Optimization Specialist. To find out more about putting Paul's Website Optimization & Search Engine Submit Services to work for YOUR Website, contact him by Email at: or via his website at:


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