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Improve your Search Engine Ranking

If you are an internet marketing novice, you are probably facing the seemingly impossible and somewhat daunting task of trying to get your site listed on the first page of the search engines. You probably have no idea how to improve your ranking. For the purposes of this discussion, we will outline the procedures you should follow to climb steadily to the top of the search engines, while still making sure that you attract qualified traffic that will actually be receptive to the products or services that your Website offers.

The first thing you need to understand is that your search engine ranking will not improve overnight. There are quite a few charlatans in cyberspace who work as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) consultants. They will charge you an arm and a leg for their services, sometimes as much as $2,000 per month or more. They often make dubious claims that they can get you ranked on the first page of the search engines within a few months, and if not, they will kindly refund your money.

However, there is a catch. Once you pay the initial deposit and the SEO company begins working on your Website, they will often optimize your Website in such a manner so that you will be able to quickly rise to the top of the rankings for a keyword that is either not significant or will not attract any real traffic to your Website.

For example, if your Website provides auto insurance quotes, any SEO consultant knows that it will be impossible to expediently get your Website ranked on the first page of Google for a highly competitive phrase such as AUTO INSURANCE QUOTES. So, instead, they will pick a variation of that phrase, such as AUTO INSURANCE QUOTES FAST, for which there is no competition, and you will quickly rise to the top. The only problem is no one will ever actually use that precise phrase when searching for auto insurance quotes, so even though the SEO company delivered on its promise to improve your ranking, you will still not get any visitors to your Website because you will be ranked high for a keyword that no one will ever use when searching for auto insurance quotes.

So, you need to use a different approach if you want to not only improve your ranking, but also attract qualified traffic to your Website. The first thing you need to do is optimize your Website for the keywords or phrases that people actually use when searching for products or services related to what you offer. For example, if you sell vitamins, you would want to improve your ranking for the phrases BUY VITAMINS or BUY VITAMINS ONLINE. To optimize your Website for your chosen keywords, you should either hire a web designer that has experience optimizing Websites, or you should purchase search engine optimization software that will show you how to tweak your Website and how to change your HTML code so that your site is properly optimized. You should also try to have a decent amount of free content on your Website that relates to the keywords or phrases for which you want to be ranked higher.

The next step is to submit your site to the search engines, if you have not already done so. It seems silly to mention this considering that we are talking about search engines anyway, but some people actually forget to submit their Website to the engines, or only submit their site to a couple of search engines and then quit. There are hundreds of legitimate search engines and directories in cyberspace, and you should submit to all them. I recommend that you look for search engine submission companies on Google and pick one that charges a small monthly fee to submit your site to the search engines once per month.

The last step, and probably the most important component of getting ranked higher on the search engines, is increasing your link popularity. The more Websites that are linking to your site, the higher your ranking will be. To increase your link popularity, you will need to submit your Website to link exchange directories so that you can swap links with other Websites (they will link to you if you agree to link to them). Also, you can write articles and submit them to article submission directories. At the bottom of each article you write, you are allowed to include a link to your Website. As the articles you write are put into circulation and are published on other Websites, your link popularity will increase.

If you employ each of the strategies outlined in this article, you should be able to improve your search engine ranking while at the same time garnering the kind of traffic that you want. No Website can improve its ranking overnight, but if you are persistent, your efforts will be rewarded in the long run.

About the Author: Jim Pretin is the owner of http://www.forms4free.com, a service that helps programmers make free HTML forms.

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How Press Releases Can Help Drive Traffic to Your Website

Have you been trying to promote your new blog or website but can't seem to get your foot into the first page of the search rankings? If so, perhaps you are performing SEO incorrectly. Find out how press release can help boost your search rankings and get you more traffic.

Many Internet marketers neglected press releases in their SEO campaigns simply because not many marketers have been talking about using press releases for SEO purposes.

This is mainly due to the fact that most people have the conception of press releases being some kind of news related article. This is true in the traditional sense. Traditional press releases are meant to announce some kind of time sensitive story.

For example, if you are just launched a new application online, you issue a press release. Or a new shipment has just arrived and you want to let the world know that you have a batch of new products to sell.

For whatever the reason, there is always the tendency to think about press releases only when there is something new to announce. This works very well on print medium.

However, the Internet is a very different medium. On the Internet, it's not just about the story. The Internet is also about links. Just think, when you are performing SEO, what exactly are you trying to achieve?

Being clear about SEO.

Let's take a step back and be clear about SEO. If you are doing it right, you are always looking to build back links to your website. You don't want just any back links. You want links from well established sites - sites that have been recognized as authority sites by the search engines.

On top of that, you want proper anchor texts. If you are selling "baseball bats", then you want those keywords in your links. The search engines determine the overall theme of your website by looking at the keywords that you use as anchor texts.

The more relevant anchor texts you have that is pointing back to your website, the better your search rankings will be.

To put that in simple terms, you are trying to achieve:

1. Acquiring more back links from high authority sites.

2. Proper anchor texts pointing back to your website.

These are the two primary goals that you are trying to accomplish. Now let's take a look at how press releases can help you achieve those goals.

Link building with press releases.

There are several types of press release services that you will come across.

1) Free releases with no links allowed - These are press release sites that allow you to submit press releases for free. But the drawback is that you can't have any active links in your release. If you are purely looking for some exposure with no SEO benefit whatsoever, you can still make use of these services.

2) Free releases with links allowed but no anchor texts - These are services that allow you to include 1 or 2 URLs in each press release. But these are URLs, and you cannot have your choice of anchor texts. So unless your URL contains your target keywords, you are out of luck.

3) Paid releases with links and anchor texts allowed - These are the kind of press release service that will have maximum SEO benefits. For an affordable fee, you get to publish a press release with at least 2 back links included. You are also allowed to choose your own anchor texts.

The reason why such services work so well is because they usually include many high page rank sites in their distribution list. Imagine having sites like CNET, EIN News, InboxRobot, AmericanChronicle, etc. linking back to you.

These are all well established sites that have been around for years. No wonder the search engines pay so much attention to these sites!

Press release traffic.

Having all that link juice means nothing if you are not getting any traffic. When you publish a press release, traffic will come to you in four sources.

1) Direct traffic - Once your press release has been published, it will be syndicated across a wide network of news related sites. Readers who find your headline interesting will read your story and click through to visit your website.

2) News subscribers - A press release service will also submit your news story to news wire sites such as Google News, EIN News, Topix, NewsBlaze Daily News, and more. These wire sites already have an existing database of news subscribers. When you publish a press release, these subscribers will see your news article in their news reader. They will then visit your site to learn more about what you have to offer. By the way, these News wire sites combine to offer millions of visits each month.

3) Search engines - Of course, the most valuable source of traffic comes from the search engines. This is a long term traffic source because your news article remains online indefinitely. After the initial traffic surge from the news wire sites taper off (usually after 3 weeks), you will then be able to depend on the search engines for a consistent stream of long term traffic.

4) Your own search rankings - Because you are actually performing SEO as you issue press releases, your search rankings will improve. As a result, you get more organic search traffic. In time to become, because of all those quality back links pointing to your site, you will become the owner of an authority site as well.

Preparing a press release for publication.

Publishing a press release on the Internet is easier than what most people thought. In other words, it's not difficult to get a press release approved and distributed to sites all over the Internet.

If you are planning to write your own press release, keep these tips in mind.

1. Always write in third person.
2. Come up with a compelling headline to attract eyeballs.
3. Include one or two quotations from a person with authority in the industry.
4. State facts, features and benefits clearly.
5. Choose an interesting angle to write about to ensure that you publish an interesting story.
6. Don't overstuff your news article with the same keywords. Use synonyms whenever possible to ensure that the content looks natural.
7. Remember to include your contact information at the end of the press release.

One final tip - if you are writing your own press release, make sure that you write in a clear and concise manner. Don't beat about the bush. Usually, you should be able to include all key points in your press release in about 500 words.

On the Internet, a lengthy press release may not always be a good idea. That's because it's easier to lose a reader if your article is too long. Keep it short, interesting, and clear. Interested visitors can always click on your links and visit your website if they want to find out more.

About the Author: Darren Chow http://www.epressdistribution.com is a full time article marketer. He founded a successful press release distribution service, and has been offering high quality press release writing and submission services to hundreds of Internet Marketers worldwide.

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Search Engine Optimisation and Your Business

Written by Adrian McLean
Monday, 07 April 2008

Search Engine Optimisation is one of the most effective tools that online marketers use today. Novices to the world of Internet marketing often come across phrases such as SEO and wondered what it's all about. In a nutshell, Search Engine Optimisation is a practice that helps your Web site increase its number of visitors and, ultimately, helps your business succeed.

Here's an overview of the basic concepts of Search Engine Optimisation to help you determine for yourself just how valuable it can be for you.

1. Virtually everyone uses search engines

According to some estimates, more than 60 million searches have been conducted over the Internet since it first came into vogue. These days, virtually a billion people use the Internet every day and the great majority of them rely on search engines to find what they want. Search Engine Optimisation is a way to make your site visible on these search engines, especially on companies like Google, Yahoo! and MSN, which are the leading search engines in the world. Ranking high on these search engine results is an incredible advantage for your Web site. And, through Search Engine Optimisation, you can achieve just that. Just imagine, ranking high on search engines means getting more visitors, which in turn means getting more potential customers, which in turn means more sales. Therefore, for any business, big or small, Search Engine Optimisation can translate into more sales. Isn't it about time you jumped on that bandwagon.

2. Play with the big boys

If you're going to engage in Search Engine Optimisation, you might as well play ball with the largest search engine around. In this arena, Google, Yahoo!, MSN, My Way, Ask.com and AOL are king. Using Search Engine Optimisation to get high rankings in any or all of these household names will do wonders for your Web site.

3. Bank on the power of keywords

As its name suggests, keywords are the key to unlocking the treasures Search Engine Optimisation holds. Learn to use keywords and you have taken a giant step in SEO. Basically, keywords are those words and phrases that people type into search engines when they're looking for information. There are ways to make keywords work for your Web site. First, determine what keywords users are likely to search for when looking for content on your site. Second, position these keywords or key phrases in strategic points throughout your site, including at the start and the end of the document as well as within your copy. Depending on the number of words in your content, keywords or phrases should be repeated throughout the text, with a density of around 2-5%. For example, 12 repetitions in 400 words.

4. Determine your niche

With millions of sites littering the Internet, most sites have to compete with countless other sites to capture attention. You will have to fight your way to gain the recognition of users. To avoid fighting endless battles, try to to find your niche market. Search Engine Optimisation can do wonders, especially if you know the market you are catering to.

Last Updated ( Monday, 07 April 2008 )

The History of Search Engine Optimisation

Written by Adrian McLean
Monday, 07 April 2008

Search Engine Optimisation is one of the most effective ways to improve the volume and quality of traffic to your Web site. Through the use of keywords, Search Engine Optimisation increases traffic by improving the way a site ranks in search results every time someone does a search for those particular keywords. In theory, the higher a site ranks among search results, meaning, the earlier the site is mentioned among these results, the more Web users will visit that site. Hence, a higher rank leads to higher traffic.

Search Engine Optimisation traces its roots back to the mid-1990s at a time when the first search engines began cataloging the Internet. In the beginning, webmasters simply submitted their URL or their pages to the search engines and a spider from the search engine would crawl the URL or page looking for links to other pages. Once these links were tracked, the search engine would then index the information and store it in the server of the search engine. Once there, an indexer program would extract words, links and other information from the page and give weights to specific words and links.

It wasn't long when site owners realized the power of having search engines rank and display their pages. They quickly concluded that, the higher their Web sites were ranked, the more valuable these sites became when it came to attracting visitors. By July 26, 1997, the phrase "Search Engine Optimisation" was first recorded. It appeared on a Usenet message on that day.

During the early days of Search Engine Optimisation, search engines depended on algorithms that webmasters provided, including, meta tags and index files in engines. But webmasters often provided unreliable data on keywords the keywords in meta tags were often inconsistent, incomplete or inaccurate ' which led to irrelevant sites constantly appearing in searches.

Since search engines depended on webmasters, they also often suffered from manipulation and abuse, especially since many webmasters stuffed their content with keywords to improve Search Engine Optimisation. In response, search engines created more intricate ranking algorithms that assessed other factors that webmaters could no longer manipulate. One of the factors measured was "prominence," as measured by a program called Backrub, which was developed by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, graduate students from Standford University. Search engines also began measuring the quantity and "strength" of outbound links through the PageRank program using a complex formula.

In 1998, Page and Brin, creators of Backrub, founded Google and Search Engine Optimisation was never the same again. Google combined Backrub, Pagerank and off-page factors such as hyperlink analysis to overcome manipulation and create reliable search rankings.

Today, search engines assess a broad range of factors, which they refuse to divulge, in ranking algorithms. According to spokesmen, Google measures no less than 200 different signals. Meanwhile, the two other leading search engines, Yahoo and Microsoft's Live Search, have their own ranking algorithms which they likewise refuse to disclose.

Search Engine Optimisation is still a evolving science and new techniques are emerging every day. What remains constant, however, is the effectiveness of Search Engine Optimisation in helping Web sites flourish.