Let us take a good look at acronyms in the industry! Search Engine Optimization(SEO), is a term thrown around a million times a day online. So many sites use old techniques that will get there rankings hurt or reversed with there hap-hazard web designs it frustrates me. I don’t want you to be one of them. In fact this article is aimed for creating SEEN web design projects. If you don’t use this anti-SEO (i.e. cloaking and doorway pages) and follow the following rules you can expect decent results with your web design. The basics for SEO are simple and should be used by all web designers and web design services (although that doesn’t mean they are always used):

1. Optimize your site with a high percentage of text relevant to the search terms you intend to go after.

2. Make sure all alt (alternate image tags) and title tags have relative descriptions including keywords.

3. Make sure your site meets current online standards and can be equally viewed among all browsers and operating machines. Even though some pages may still display correctly with incorrect HTML, it can hinder the way search engines will look at them, bringing the overall optimization of the page down.

4. Make sure all pages are under 800K (recommended for fast loading pages).

5. Submit (manually, by hand) to all major search engines, an automatically to lesser engines through (at least) a free search engine submission service or program.

Keeping these five rules in mind will help, however a serious look at other aspects will help even more in SEO. I will go into these aspects in more detail with articles to come at [] but this is a good start.

PPC, otherwise known as Pay Per Click advertising is found on numerous search engines and smaller ones alike. The two major players are Google and Overture (now own by Yahoo), however there are some other PPC engines that use a multiple of lesser engines and quality websites to offer there services. Some will give you a top ten ranking within your keyword searches while others have you bid for placement among there engines. A few simple rules to follow:

1. The content of your site must match the keywords bid on.

2. SELL! SELL! SELL! While traditional SEO focuses on how the search engines will view your page, this is your chance to engage the human customer! Traditional sales techniques work best here.

3. Will visits to your web pages convert into quality leads or actual sales? Make sure the cost of bidding will be recovered, plus some.

4. The more popular the search terms = the more expensive it will be. Keep this in mind and target populated terms with financial efficiency.

5. All of your keywords stand no chance whatsoever of being listed in the top ten positions on the major search engines. Organic top ten placements can be very expensive so this is your chance of competing with terms you don’t rank well with.

Make sure to have a relevant page for your search term. This is critical as we all know from browsing; if a site doesn’t fit the bill in the first three seconds we are more than happy to click that back button.

SEM = Structural Equation Modeling? NOPE! SEM = Search Engine Marketing? NOPE! SEM = Standard Error of Mean? Nope! While all of these are acronyms for SEM, there not the ones we care to discuss here in our brief overview of Search Engine Mechanics. Anything I say in this column may be outdated with the next big search engine “patch” so what I mean by SEM is simple: Keep Up! That’s right, by simply going by what you know, or an article written 8 months ago you will get lost or penalized in your attempts for effective online marketing. Search Engine mechanics is the mathematical art behind the algorithms of the popular, well producing engine online. To find out that a “Jagger Update” relinquishes all reciprocal links to your website in the eyes of the 75%+ that currently engage Google is huge. The mechanics of the currently used search engines is something to keep your eye on. While HTML doesn’t change much each year (comparatively), search engines do. Simply put: make sure you know what to do to get ranked in this ever evolving market!

-One last note: make sure you know what pages are visited and where users are spending there time. If you have a well visited page (found through your web stats) that isn’t receiving much time spent: GUESS WHERE YOU NEED A REWRITE!

This is meant to be, and should be a good start to all wanting high search engine ranking within there web design realm.

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