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The Basic Principle

There are two types of search engine: the deep engine, likeAlta Vista and Infoseek, which sends out a robot to your site andsaves the info from your page itself, and then there's the standard engine (also known as "directory") which doesn't useany info from your page, only the info which you give it by way of anonline submission form. The most important of all search engines isYahoo! and it's absolutely vital to take extreme care when you submitto this one.

Building A Keyword List

Before you touch anything, you have to decide which words are bestsuited to the topic of your site. Think carefully because the key isto match the words your potential visitors are likely to type into asearch engine. Users tend to be fairly general with their initialsearches, then they narrow it down. So, if you have a pet shop thekeyword 'pets' is going to be more powerful than 'dogs'.

You can choose between a short, powerful keyword list which is likelyto put you high up but with only a limited number of words, or youcan have a long list which will put you slightly lower, but with abroad spectrum of keywords.

Now that you've got your list, here's what to do with it...

Tips On Keywords And Descriptions

  • Describe your Web site, not your company. The nameof the game is getting Web site visitors. Once they've arrived youcan talk to your heart's content about your annual turnover orwhatever.
  • Empathise with your users. Think what they might besearching for, which may not even be something you're actuallyselling but may be related to something you're selling. The user maythank you for selling them something better. The keywords are moreimportant than the facts!
  • Test your keywords. Search for each one on any searchengine and then examine the top few Web sites to see if there are anyother keywords you might like to add to your list.
  • Plurals: always use the plurals of keywords. A user willsearch for 'pet' or 'pets'. Your keyword 'pets' will match in both cases.
  • Common words: don't use words like 'web', 'internet','services' - if you think one of your words might be a common one,test it on Alta Vista. If the response is somethinglike:

    ignored 19,152,057services

    then don't use that keyword!
  • Keyword phrases: your keywords don't have to be one word.Users often search for well-known phrases like 'web site promotion'.If your topic has a natural phrase like this, use the words togetheras one keyword phrase - in your META tag (enclose all 3 words betweentwo commas), TITLE and even URL.

Preparing Your Page

The first thing to do is to 'doctor' your page so that when the deepengine robots visit, they think "Hey, this is a powerful page withstrong keywords, I'll list this one high!"

There are a number of aspects of your site (some of which you may noteven have considered) that you have to 'load' with keywords:


I'm talking about <HEAD> <TITLE> The PageTitle </TITLE> </HEAD> - not the firstheading on the page itself.

The first, and most powerful aspect. Keep it short, keep itinteresting and put one or two (no more) of your most powerfulkeywords in it. Do the same for your subpages. Never put a looongsentence in your TITLE.

Don't put too much effort into trying to have a title which is lowalphabetically. If it's naturally low, then good, but it's becomingof less and less importance.


Not as powerful as most people seem to think. Important,nevertheless. You can put a lot of keywords in your META tag, butdon't repeat more than a couple of times otherwise you'll getpenalised and sent to the bottom of the list:


The Page Title >/TITLE>

<META Name="description" Content="Something interesting. Keywords not required at all . 150 characters maximum.">

<META Name="keywords" Content="Your keywords, the whole listrepeated twice in entirety, each word separated by a comma.">



The number of keywords isn't important, only the percentagecompared to the rest of the page. I've seen pages with nothing onthem but a couple of graphics, and no META tags. They had one word inthe TITLE and a few words of text in the BODY. Very small pages. Butthey were right at the top of the list for the keywords used.


Use it! Not many people do because they like to have a short, "cool"URL. If your site is www.johnsmith.com and it's about pets, you canstill have your site as www.johnsmith.com, but you can copy the wholesite to www.johnsmith.com/pets/ and submit only this URL to thesearch engines. Keep the main URL to put on your printed material andto tell your friends.

Submission Time


Make sure your page is absolutely perfect and that you'vedouble-checked everything before you submit. Once your page is listedit's very difficult and time-consuming to change it. Likewise, takegreat care over the listings you submit to the directories.


Submit all your pages, including your sub-pages wheneverpossible. Yes, the robots will crawl the rest of your site if youonly submit the home page, but it can take longer.


On the standard engines, like Yahoo!, choose the most relevantcategories. Then eliminate the ones that are deep in the hierarchy(ie. have long names). When you have the best two, put one in themain category box, and put the other in the 'additional categories'box. Yahoo! definitely won't let you have more than two. You'll belucky if you can get more than one.


Get this one right and you'll be laughing all the way to the bank. Ifyou've done your TITLE right, it should have the two most powerful ofyour keywords in it, so put the same title for your Yahoo caption. Ifthe main heading in the BODY of your page doesn't match the title,change it so it does! The Yahoo! staff always check sitesbefore they list them. I'm not kidding. And they're very sharp atspotting questionable tactics. Anything dodgy and you'll get arejection message. It's the toughest of them all but also the mostrewarding.

For the description, use about ten words to avoid it getting choppedshort by the staff, and include as many keywords as possible whilststill making a sensible sentence. Nobody said it was easy.

Doing It The Easy Way

You're thinking you've got a long haul ahead of you... all those search engines...


As long as you've prepared your page as described above, all you needto do is get yourself some killer software to actually make theregistrations. Something that you can try out first for free, andthen pay if you like it... something that's customisable for your ownsite... something that has the peculiarities of each engine builtinto it by a professional Web marketer...

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