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Sept. 1,  ISSUE #158
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Smart internet marketing should include lots of different marketing methods but it should start with good search engine optimization strategies.

What are the best SEO strategies?

First of all, keep in mind that search engine optimization is a process. You won't achieve it overnight. Search engine algorithms are all different and can be quite complex comprising many different elements.

While it's not feasible to delve into the bowels of search engine algorithms, there are two basic optimization factors that play key roles in optimizing your site. They are typically referred to as on-page optimization and off-page optimization

On-page optimization refers to the elements of your web page that you can optimize yourself. Off-page optimization refers to the elements of linking and how your link partner sites link to you.

Let's discuss each of them

On-page optimization (website strategies):
- Each page of your site should have its own descriptive title tag, description tag and keywords. The keywords tag is seldom used nowadays, however each page should be optimized for a maximum of 3 per page, preferably one keyword per page.

- Be sure your title tag contains your best keyword or keyword phrase.

- Use header tags (h1, h2...) in the body of your page text.
Search engines look for structure and organization. Using header tags indicates good outline form.

- Bold your keyword or keyword phrase once. It's also a good idea to italicize and underline them once as well.

- Use keyword alt tags to describe an image used on your page. Since search engines don't index images, alt tags allow the search engines to recognize all your content. Be sure not to stuff them with lots of useless information. Use your best keyword or keyword phrase and keep it short.

- Include quality, informative content on each page and keep your content fresh and updated.

- Pepper each page of your site with your keywords Use your keywords in the first paragraph, the last paragraph and sprinkle them in between. Keep your keyword saturation at about 1-2%.

- Cross link each of your site pages by placing a navigation bar on each page. Be sure the title of each page contains what the page is about.
For example, if a page is about "jewelry beads," the page name should be "jewery-beads.html" or "jewelry_beads.html" and all the links to that page should be named 'jewelry beads' and set up as:

<a href="jewelry-beads.html">jewelry beads</a>
<a href="jewelry_beads.html">jewelry beads</a>

- Create a site map. Site maps act like a table of contents. Site maps can help search engines find, crawl and index all the pages in a website ensuring that no page is left behind.

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Off page optimization (linking strategies):
Linking plays a large part in the optimization of your site so don't just link to any site. You should adopt a methodology in obtaining useful, quality links. Here's a few tips:

- Keep the majority of your links to sites that have a similar theme as your site. Be sure the site complements your site. It should be one that you would use and recommend.

- Links should be slow and gradual. A sudden burst of links could indicate spam to a search engine.

- The higher the page rank of the page your link is on, the better. This doesn't mean you shouldn't link to pages with a low page rank, however the higher the
page rank the better it is for you.

- The title of the page your link is on should be something other than 'links.html'. If possible try to ensure it has some relevance in meaning to your site.

- When exchanging links, be sure to submit your best keyword in the anchor text.

Good Luck!

About the Author: Elizabeth McGee has spent 20 years in the service and support industry. She has moved her expertise to the world wide web helping businesses find trusted Marketing Tools, enhance customer service, build confidence and increase sales. Get her Free Tips newsletter at: http://www.pro-marketing-online.com

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