The Basic Principle
- There are two types of search engine: the deep engine,
like Alta Vista and Infoseek, which sends out a robot to your site
and saves the info from your page itself, and then there's the standard
engine (also known as "directory") which doesn't use any info from
your page, only the info which you give it by way of an online submission
form. The most important of all search engines is Yahoo! and it's
absolutely vital to take extreme care when you submit to this one.
Building A Keyword List
- Before you touch anything, you have to decide which words are
best suited to the topic of your site. Think carefully because the
key is to match the words your potential visitors are likely to
type into a search engine. Users tend to be fairly general with
their initial searches, then they narrow it down. So, if you have
a pet shop the keyword 'pets' is going to be more powerful than
You can choose between a short, powerful keyword list which
is likely to put you high up but with only a limited number of
words, or you can have a long list which will put you slightly
lower, but with a broad 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
name of the game is getting Web site visitors. Once they've
arrived you can talk to your heart's content about your annual
turnover or whatever.
- Empathise with your users. Think what they might be
searching for, which may not even be something you're actually
selling but may be related to something you're selling. The
user may thank you for selling them something better. The keywords
are more important than the facts!
- Test your keywords. Search for each one on any search
engine and then examine the top few Web sites to see if there
are any other keywords you might like to add to your list.
- Plurals: always use the plurals of keywords. A user
will search 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 something like:
ignored 19,152,057 services
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 together as one keyword phrase - in your META tag
(enclose all 3 words between two commas), TITLE and even URL.