Day 1 of the Search Engine Strategies Expo in San Jose got off to a really fruitful start with Danny Sullivan giving us a lottery tip. His session, Introduction to Search Marketing, gave us good examples on how to buy tickets and win big in the search engine lottery.
Emphasizing the importance of title tags, meta tags, meta keywords, Danny explains many ways to optimize a site to be found more easily by all visitors, human or otherwise. He discussed how to research the best keywords to place in the content for your site, stating that if you don’t have enough time to do a huge amount of keyword research, “go with your gut”. You know your users. You know your site. What would you search for to get to your site?
Also noted was the importance of the link analysis conducted by the search engines. If they see a link to your site, the search engines want to get to your site to place it in their own directories. The more links to your site, the more times the search engine sees your site, and the more likely they are to believe that your site is important. This will increase rankings for your site in a search.
Also, paid links and PPC ads are a way to guarantee your site will be seen. It may not be on page one of Google, but if you need that guarantee, Danny says to buy a couple of these links. The Yahoo Slurp Crawler crawls the web like other search engines, but guarantees the inclusion of paid submission sites along with the natural results.
Other factors which are your extra lottery tickets in the search engine lottery are having quality content (written in HTML format) on your site, and having a user-friendly design which can be read by web crawlers easily. Crawlers like “big dumb websites”, because it is easy for them to read. They are just like us and want the information given to them without going through the search headache when the information you need is buried in the middle of a website underneath piles and piles of unnecessary content pages.
These factors are all your tickets to winning the search engine lottery. The more tickets you have, the more likely you are to be a winner, and while you may not win the $300 million prize, you may win a $100,000 prize a few times, to increase your site ranking and traffic through Search Engine Optimization.