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Search Engine Optimization Doesn't Have to Be Complicated


by Alice Seba

Do you feel search engines are beyond your comprehension? Do your eyes glaze over when you hear about algorithms and Google dances?

Good news! You don't need to know these things to receive a steady stream of search engine traffic. If you have a quality, well-written site with descriptive information, you can't help but do well on the search engines.

To help you along, here's a checklist to make sure that your site is ready for the search engines:

1. Did you name your file appropriately to fit the page's content? For example, if your particular page is about a baby teething remedy, make a descriptive name for your file. For example: (separate your words with a hyphen).
Please note: The effects of doing this may be very small when it comes to search engine placement, but it is certainly worth including on your checklist.

2. Do you have descriptive title tags on all your pages? Title your page that has information about teething remedies "Baby Teething Remedy". Don't call it "" because that's the name of your website. That's not descriptive.

Your title tags go in the head of your html document and look like this:
<title>Baby Teething Remedy</title>

3. Do you have descriptive description tags on all your pages? Make sure your title tag really describes what your page is all about.

Your title tags go in the head of your html document and look like this:
<meta name="description" content="Need a baby teething remedy? Try this natural teething remedy to help your baby.">

4. Have you included all those descriptive words in your keyword meta tags? Keyword meta tags have declined in their importance for search engines, but it only takes a moment to add a few in. Make sure that the meta keywords you use appear in the content of your page too.

Your keywords go in the head of your html document and look like this:
<meta name="keywords" content="baby teething remedy">

Please note: You may target more than just one "keyword" phrase (in this case, "baby teething remedy") in each page, but for the sake of simplicity, these examples will only cover one phrase.

5. Have you written informative content based on your title and description? Again, if your page is about baby teething remedies, you will use the words baby + teething + remedy throughout your content, right? Good writing demands that you say what you are talking about, so I hope you have this covered!

6. Do you use informative headlines throughout your document? These headlines will help your visitors scan the document for useful information and may help search engines determine how relevant your content is.

Your headlines go in the body of your HTML document and look like this:
<H2>Baby Teething Remedy</H2> (with the number in the tags corresponding with size of the font)

7. Have you included ALT tags on your graphics? ALT tags are the descriptive text attached to graphics. It's the text that appears when Internet Explorer users put their mouse over the graphic. It's also the text that appears if you graphic hasn't been uploaded to the server or a visitor has graphics turned off on her browser.

For more information on how and why to use ALT tags, go to

8. Is your website easy to navigate for your visitors? Can they find each major section of your website from every page? Do you have a Site Map where visitors can go to learn about the various areas of your website? If your visitors can find their way around, search engine spiders should be able to as well.

9. Do you have quality links coming into your website? There's no need to go bonkers over exchanging links, but do build quality links that include the keywords that you are targeting on that particular page.

For example: If your website is about parenting babies, make sure your link text includes a keyword phrase like "Baby Parenting Advice". The keywords should be in the actual hyperlink, not in the description.

Again, building links goes back to the quality of your website. The higher quality your content, the more likely people will want to link to you. For more tips on building incoming links, visit

But don't sweat over this one. Building descriptive and informative content will serve you much better than exchanging links with a thousand websites.

10. If you need help finding the right keyword phrases in your various pages, try an excellent keyword tool like Word Tracker ~ . This tool will help you determine which keywords are being entered into search engines and which potentially have the least amount of competition.

And that's it! It really can be that simple. Being descriptive and having great content goes a long way for securing top search engine rankings.


Alice Seba is the editor of and author of An Internet Based Mom's Guide to Marketing Your Website ~ ~ an essential guide for any mom with a cyber business.

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