Search engines are the #1 tool people use when shopping for products, services or information online. Optimize your website with the proper keywords or keyword phrases for your content and watch your traffic explode. If you gain an understanding of how to properly promote your website your efforts will reach it's full potential. To rank relevantly within search engine results, each website must be considered relevant to a particular search algorithm for a given keyword or keyword phrase. Keyword selection can be a challenge to both experts and neophytes. While anyone can come up with various words that may be used when searching for their product or service, these words may not be the ideal mix for search engine ranking. Why? If a marketer chooses popular keyword phrases, he or she and a million other businesses compete for top placement. Top search engine ranking page (SERP) placement is dense, searchers typically giving up after the first three pages. To succeed, one must use relevant keywords or keyword phrases that are not being used by everyone else and that are searched for quite often. This may include misspellings and other alternative data. After finding relevant keywords and phrases, the results must encourage conversion or success based on each business’ criteria. For example, while it may be possible for a DVD rental firm to get top listings under the search criteria “free DVD rentals”, the person who visits is looking for free merchandise and will leave if its not found. For optimal search engine rankings, a page will be optimized for only one to two popular but non-competitive keywords or keyword phrases. Keyword Coding HTML coding are two words most people never want to hear, especially in a learning environment. But it’s important to understand the basic web page header structure and where the search engines look to find key words for search engine ranking pages (SERP). Sites rank highest when each page is optimized separately. For instance, a business may have one website with unlimited interlinking pages. The top page must be named “index.HTML.” While each sub-page may be named according to the designer or programmer’s preference. Ideally sub-pages are named according to the strongest keywords or keyword phrases for each business. Both the domain name and the URL or complete web address string, are important factors in determining search engine relevancy Three important META tags are on each individual HTML page located between the “head” tags: description, keywords and title. The webpage description is the short sentence that displays after the listing name is the SERP’s. The keywords are not viewed by the casual surfer, but offer a clear-cut description of what is found on the website or who’s behind it. The title is the most condensed of all metatags. The title should repeat the top 1-2 keywords and describe what the site is about. We can take the keyword theme as far as necessary, yet success through search engine optimization is not a 100% guaranteed way to gain top rankings and can often dilute the site and information quality by becoming a string of repetitive keywords, not value-added information. Some of these tactics include adding pages of keyword-rich articles solely to rank high. Another is developing a mini-empire of interrelated sites not for expert information, but solely to make the sites appear more important and relevant to the main site focus. To ensure a small 30-page website is optimized, it must first renew keyword use each month to find the most popular terms for the three major search engines, Yahoo!, Google and MSN. Each page must be optimized for different but interdependent terms to strengthen the site as a whole. This involves new keyword research and website content for each page every month. An example of a good ecommerce site using paid advertising instead of keyword optimization is buy automotive.com. Notice the content is relevant to the visitor entering and seeking the product. In contract, auto anything.com, a competitor site, relies heavily on keyword content, uses text that has no purpose and confuses the visitor with too many navigation links and useless words meant for search engines alone. Though this may gain rankings with work and keyword saturation, it can also damage a business reputation and ultimately lead to less sales. Needless to say there are far more aspects to choosing the right keywords than I can cover in this article but the information provided here should give you a good insight into understanding how important it is to design a website that is keyword friendly. Let’s face it, there is no magic bullet when it comes to successfully promoting your online business. There are pros and cons to almost everything you do. If you never develop a plan and put that plan into motion, you’ll never know if that’s the plan that will ultimately be the “magic bullet” that launches your online business to new found success.