A lot has changed in way sites are optimized for search engines since last year. For one thing, Google is not only search engine worth looking into anymore; Yahoo has definitely managed to take away some of Google’s oomph over past twelve months. Another important change is that intelligence of search engine spiders and algorithms has increased dramatically. So without further ado, I will present you with a standard search engine optimizing process.
Nothing can be done until you know what your target phrases are. Keyword research must be done to find out what people are actually typing into search engines. For example, do they type in “medical insurance” or “health insurance” more often? Is it worth targeting keyword “dental insurance”? What do your competitors think its clients type?
Keyword research usually begins by asking client what they think are good keywords and by looking at your competitor’s Meta tags and text. You then have to brainstorm to find new and related keywords that were not previously thought of. The use of Wordtracker, Overture, and Google AdWords’ estimates is indispensable. If you use “KEI” offered at Wordtracker, don’t fall into trap of giving it too much worth. It is a good tool to help discover keywords that have not been exploited by competition, but really important number is amount of traffic each keyword generates. Finally, create a chart to determine relationship between keywords used. For example, there is no point promoting dental insurance if your site does not offer it. Texts
The next step is to write text. Hire a specialized writer to put text together. Ideally someone who has been trained in Internet writing, Internet marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO), or get advice from professional SEOs, marketing experts, and usability experts. Work with client to get a feel for what is needed for site. Then use all these skill to put together delicate balance needed between selling to people, selling to search engines, and making text interesting/useful to read.
Once text is written, come up with a catchy domain name for site. Try to include part of keyword in domain, and to think ahead so that domain can be expanded into title. Our site www.gloriousbahamas.com is a good example of a domain with a keyword in it that is catchy and clearly stated. The keyword for that site is “Bahamas real estate”, so having part of keyword in domain will help in long run.
Title and Meta Tags
From domain name, you can then create a title with full main keyword in it (such as Glorious Bahamas Real Estate). The title is most important text on site. The Meta tags include description tag, and keyword tag. The description is what searchers will see in many search engine results, so it must have keywords in it and, more importantly, it must sell site. Write a description that is objective, not subjective. Zeal has some good advice for titles and especially description writing at http://zeal.com/guidelines/style/site_titledesc/. The keyword tag is done just in case some engines still use it (though very few still do), so don’t pull your hair out over it. Just list 10-15 keyphrases and try not to repeat any single word more than three times.