In this economy, people are looking for value even more than they were in the roaring days of, well, hell, there haven’t been any roaring days for most people in a long time. With that in mind (and believe me, I feel your pain on the being broke thing) I’m giving away some search engineering tips to help yourself get higher search engine ranks.
1. Your HTML title tag should have the 7 or 8 keywords that people most use to search for what you have. Of course, if your subject matter is highly competitive, you might want to do some keyword research (I use Word Tracker), and find a niche.
2. Repeat those words on the home page at least 4 times for the most important 4 (not too many times though, as it will look like you’re spamming), and 3 times for 2, and two times for the last two. This is not a hard rule. You can repeat them all 4 times, but if you’re tying to keep your home page short, you can truncate.
3. Still, you should have at least 400 words on the home page. Content is still king on the internets.
4. If in those 8 main words there are 4 categories, then the titles of those categories (and the corresponding pages) should have the keyword pair as the first words in that title tag, followed by words that are related, or subsets. This navigation, or architecture, is very important. The better organized, the better.
5. Get a robots.txt file.
6. Get an XML site map.
7. Use the main words in the ALT tags of the images, and in the names of the images.
8. Google doesn’t read the description or keywords metatags, but use them anyway. There are other search engines, and those people spend money too.
9. Blog. Set it up at blogger or wordpress if you have to. In fact, I recommend using one the free blogs for small businesses, because you can benefit from their “piggy back” page rank. I helped a client in Hawaii set up a blog about Maui last year, and she’s already got a Google PageRank of 3 (out of 10), which is quite good. Link prominently to the blog from the site, and vice-versa.
10. Get inbound links from quality, high-ranking sites, preferably from like-minded sites. Get them often. Then get some more. Make sure the links to your site have your keywords in the “anchor text” or the text that’s actually in the link. Link images that have your keywords in your alt tags.
11. Hire me and don’t worry about it.
OK, 11 tips on getting higher search engine ranks. Think of it as a bonus.