Search Engine Optimization & Content

We all want to optimize our web sites in order to achieve the highest possible search engine rankings or for that matter just to be listed at all. You’ve already scoured the web and spent countless hours doing everything by the book. You spent money having a web designer design your website. You’ve checked your Title, Meta and other html tags. You spent time analyzing other websites. You’ve done search engine optimization in New York and Kalamazoo. You’ve also done engine placement by submitting all your links to directories and engines. You’ve partnered with other websites for links and link exchange programs. You followed different search engine optimization techniques. You’ve done just about everything you know. You’re ready to throw in the towel and hire an SEO firm or just stick to pay per click (PPC) advertising. But, what can you possibly do next?

The answer is simple. Content! I believe it was Bill Gates who said “Content is King”. He’s absolutely correct. Content is what separates the men from the boys. Keep in mind that all the techniques listed above are still valuable and should not be discarded. It is a combination of the above techniques along with quality content that should attain higher page rankings for your website.

What is the basic function of a search engine? A search engine’s primary job is to help users find web pages or content for a given subject matter. These search engines maintain databases of web sites and use very complex programs to collect and index this information. They want to make sure they deliver the most relevant information as possible when searched. If they couldn’t deliver the “searched content” they would be no good to anyone. Why would a user want to go to a search engine that can’t find anything?

Now, if you’ve used any of the search engines to date you would realize that they do provide some degree of accuracy when searching. So, if these engines are functioning properly why not provide them with the content to find. In the end, I don’t think its page rank (PR) or links that will get the best search results but the design and organization of the content within those pages. I’ve actually seen web pages that contain no back links and minimal page rank appear in engine search results because of content.

I was analyzing website statistics on a particular web page one day, when noticing hits on keyword phrases that were not intended for that page. The pages obviously appeared in search results because hits were detected in statistics, which means the search engine compiled and stored relevant content for the keywords and/or phrases within the webpage. It had very little to do with the links, meta or other tags for that page since the tags were not geared for that particular keyword. If your website or webpage can ultimately provide quality content and is organized and structured in a useful manner engines should pick up that information when searched.

There are two main issues when dealing with content. The first problem is, where do you get the content?. Good and original content is hard to find. We all want it but where do we get it? You can solve this in two ways. The first way would be to purchase the content. There are a number of sources that will sell content, but they can be very expensive and they usually take credit. The second option is to create the content yourself, which is very time consuming.

The other issue with content is how should it be designed and organized? How do you choose proper keywords? How do you retrofit your content with keywords? This is not an exact science and may be a matter of trial and error. In matter of fact it will take a number of passes until you start to see results.

Overture and Wordtracker are tools that gather search engine statistics and can help you in defining your targeted key phrases. This step is very important because you want the right balance of phrases and words. Your mix-n-match of keywords should be present in the different page elements like Meta, Alt, Title, and Body sections. As you choose your keywords don’t lose site of the main objective, which is ultimately the content. Your content can easily become distorted. This will take some creativity on your part. It may be a good idea to first create the general content and then incorporate your keywords into it.

You also want to remember that your site is not just one page. Your website is composed of many pages and you may want to spread out your message. For Example: If your website was about web design and search engine optimization. You can optimize web design related information on one page and optimize SEO information on another page. Remember, you don’t want to spam your pages.

In summary, your pages should contain quality content, they should be optimized with a mix-n-match of targeted keywords and/or phrases. You should organize your content by utilizing the different web pages of your site and each web page should be utilized and optimized to it’s fullest potential. Most importantly don’t get discouraged. You need to understand that as engines change algorithms or competitors optimize their websites you will find your results varying on a day-to-day basis. It will take patience and consistency to maintain your page rankings. If you would like to view this article in Spanish.

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