Website Promotion Tips - authored by Jim Rhodes

It's the hottest topic on the Net: how to get your site to the top of the list.

Everywhere you look there's somebody giving you advice, but you know what? Most of that advice is theory passed on from person to person. Not many people have tested their own theories over a long period of time to see what works and what doesn't. I have.
All the advice you're about to read is from first hand experience. I worked all this out on my own with a lot of trial and error, and as a result I have some severely successful sites to my name. You can too.
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 'dogs'.

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

Preparing Your Page
The first thing to do is to 'doctor' your page so that when the deep engine robots visit, they think "Hey, this is a powerful page with strong keywords, I'll list this one high!"

There are a number of aspects of your site (some of which you may not even have considered) that you have to 'load' with keywords:

I'm talking about <HEAD> <TITLE>The Page Title</TITLE> </HEAD> - not the first heading on the page itself.

The first, and most powerful aspect. Keep it short, keep it interesting and put one or two (no more) of your most powerful keywords in it. Do the same for your subpages. Never put a looong sentence in your TITLE.

Don't put too much effort into trying to have a title which is low alphabetically. If it's naturally low, then good, but it's becoming of less and less importance.

Not as powerful as most people seem to think. Important, nevertheless. You can put a lot of keywords in your META tag, but don't repeat more than a couple of times otherwise you'll get penalised and sent to the bottom of the list:


<TITLE>The Page Title>/TITLE>

<META Name="description" Content="Something interesting. Keywords not required at all. 150 characters maximum."> <META Name="keywords" Content="Your keywords, the whole list repeated twice in entirety, each word separated by a comma.">


The number of keywords isn't important, only the percentage compared to the rest of the page. I've seen pages with nothing on them but a couple of graphics, and no META tags. They had one word in the TITLE and a few words of text in the BODY. Very small pages. But they were right at the top of the list for the keywords used.
Use it! Not many people do because they like to have a short, "cool" URL. If your site is www.johnsmith.com and it's about pets, you can still have your site as www.johnsmith.com, but you can copy the whole site to www.johnsmith.com/pets/ and submit only this URL to the search engines. Keep the main URL to put on your printed material and to tell your friends.

Submission Time
Make sure your page is absolutely perfect and that you've double-checked everything before you submit. Once your page is listed it's very difficult and time-consuming to change it. Likewise, take great care over the listings you submit to the directories.
Submit all your pages, including your sub-pages whenever possible. Yes, the robots will crawl the rest of your site if you only submit the home page, but it can take longer.
On the standard engines, like Yahoo!, choose the most relevant categories. Then eliminate the ones that are deep in the hierarchy (ie. have long names). When you have the best two, put one in the main category box, and put the other in the 'additional categories' box. Yahoo! definitely won't let you have more than two. You'll be lucky if you can get more than one.

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