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Search Engine Optimization Tips
by Jimmy Whisenhunt

Search engine optimization (seo) can be a freighting and daunting experience. We have put together some tips to make this task much more pleasant. We are going to go over some tips to help your search engine rankings. Here is what we are going to cover in this article.

1)Design and Setup Problems
2)Selecting the correct keywords
3)The Title Tag
4)Your Page Copy
5)Meta Tags
6)Images "alt" tags
7)What you should not do

1)Design and Setup Problems
Unfortunately, some webmasters have lost the ballgame before they even get started with search engine optimization with design problems. We are going to go over five of the most common design problems and there work around or solutions.

a)Sites that use Frames:
Search engines do not index frames well. In fact search engine do such a poor job we recommend no to use frames at all. Here is the problem a frame page is like the name conveys it is a page in side of another page in a frame. The HTML code is like this:

As you can see, there is no real content on in the page so search engines do not have anything to index. The work around is to use the tag to add content to the page manually. You would place the tag before the tags and insert it in the tag.

Optimized page content goes here for best results.

Keep it simple search engines like it that way and no one will every see it. Do not for get about the Title and Meta tags more on that later in the article.

b)Dynamic URLs
Most search engine cannot or will not index dynamic URLs. A dynamic URL is a URL that contains any of the following characters: ?, &, %, +, =, $, cgi-bin, .cgi

Dynamic URLs are most common on database driven sites. If your URL contains any of the above characters it is very unlikely that you will get listed with the major search engines. Solution is to make a static page that has a static URL on that does not contain any of the above characters.

c)Sites That Use Flash
Sites that use flash as a splash screen spiders cannot index them. A general rule is not to use flash as a home page splash screen. If you just have to use as much of your page copy as you can and remember to use your title and meta tags. Another note about flash is menu items. Spider's follows HTML links with flash menu spiders cannot follow them. Work around use a site map to link all of your pages together so the spiders will have HTML links to follow.

d)Image Maps
Image maps are similar to Flash most spiders cannot follow links in image maps. To be on the safe side build a site map of your entire site so the spiders have HTML links to crawl.

e)Javascript for Navigation
Search engines cannot follow links written in Javascript. If Javascript navigation is all you have on your site, you are in trouble. The solution is to add a HTML navigation menu some where on the home page and to add a site map of the entire site to make sure the spiders index your site completely.

2)Selecting the Correct Keywords
The first step in the optimization process is selecting to correct keywords for your targeted market. The keywords step is the most important step in the optimization process because your will use them throughout the entire optimization process. It is also how other people will find you on the search engines. Optimize for the wrong keywords and all your efforts will be wasted. The first thing you want to do if write down on a piece of paper what the theme of your site is. For instance your site is about golf. You would write down 10 keywords or phrases about golf. Think specific keyword phrases not keywords. Why? Because keyword competition is so extreme for general terms such as golf. You would need to be more specific golf clubs, golf shoes, golf courses, golf equipment, etc. to rank well in the search engines than for a more general term. Then you would need to use a tool like Word Tracker to see if that is a well searched for phrase. Get outside opinions ask family members and friends what they would search for making a note of them. Then go back to Word Tracker and check the new key phrases adding the best ones to your keyword list. Also check out your competition for ideas. Do a search on a search engine and check out some of the sites. View the source HTML of the page and look at the meta tags. This should give you some more ideas. Only use keyword that relate to your site . You should develop a list of keyword phrases for each page that you optimize for the search engines.

3)The Title Tag
Without a question the title tag is the most important process of optimizing your web page. I can't stress enough how important this tag is. This is because most search engines & directories place a high level of importance on keywords that are found in your title tag. We recommend using 1-2 of your keywords in the title near the front. Do not use just keyword in the title search engine may blacklist your is. Make your title enticing! The title tag is what most search engines show in there search engine results page (SERP) as the clickable link. Each page in your site should have its own title with its own keywords.

The Format:
Where to place it: The correct place to place the title tag is between the tag. It should be the first tag after .
Tag length: We recommend that your title tag be between 50-80 characters long - including spaces! Staying at about 60 characters will be optimum.

In the next article we will go over Your Page Copy, Meta Tags, Images "alt" tags and what you should not do.

About the Author
Jimmy Whisenhunt is the webmaster at Article Zone. Article Zone is a new web site for free articles that you can use on your web site or in your newsletter. http://articlezone.vipenterprises.org