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***The Newbie Trail***

The Importance Of SEO.
by: Ed Bellamy

Whole books have been written on it, and great authors
constantly write articles. But still, the importance of
SEO (Search Engine Optimization), optimizing your web
pages for the search engines that is, cannot be stressed

Search engines have developed their own system of algorithms
to determine the relevancy of the page content and match
it to the search data (keywords or key phrases) people place
to browse for information. To make life even worse, each
Search Engine may have its own set of algorithms.

Having a fabulous looking web site is great for your
visitors, great for you as a web site owner and great for
your bank balance if you're making high ROI's (Returns on

However, you can't enjoy any of it without the visitors.
So this article is for those of us who know very little, almost
zilch, nada, about any of it. In other words:
Welcome to dotBASiCWorld - <http://www.dotbasicworld.com/>
SEO Newbie Trail.

There are many ways to attract good quality traffic to
your web site. One way is to write good quality articles
and submit them to other ezines, newsletters or web site
owners for publishing. Another excellent and long term
strategy is attaining high placements in search engines,
ideally pages one or two for best results.

In this article there are two areas we are going to
discuss; Linking and keywords.

LINKING: is the process of finding as many similar or
complementary web sites to place a link to you. Either
a reciprocal link or a link in exchange for a service
or product.

The highest quality links are one way links direct to
your site. One way links can be attained by entering
discussion threads in forums, and leaving your signature
file. Find affiliates to sell your products or services for you.
Or as said earlier, write articles and submit to other
publishers, making sure you leave your sig file.

A sig file or resource box is a short note you write at
the end of your email, article or discussion, with your
name and web site address.
e.g. Ed Bellamy is a boring old twit (very nice man), and
will teach you how to suck egg's (make a Spanish omelette).
Visit his web site at: <http://www.dotbasicworld.com/>

Now, when the search engine spiders the forum or
webmasters site with your article on it, the search engine
will see your link. Using its very clever algorithms, it
will rank your site and give it a PR (Page Rank). The more
links from similar/complementary sites, the higher the PR.
(WARNING, do not use link farms. SE's hate them)

KEYWORDS: although they may not seem as effective as
links, they are never the less crucial to attaining top ranking.
And/or more importantly, getting the right traffic to your site.
Generally known as 'Targeted Traffic'.

First of all, you need to know what keywords or key phrases,
your potential customers are already using, that are
appropriate to your web site. Sounds a bit backwards doesn't
it. But you see, you can't tell people what words to use to
find you, because you don't know them and they conversely,
don't know you, at least, not until they've landed on your
site. So, you have to use the keywords or key phrases that
are already out there and being used.

Just to demystify that a little further; If you have a
niche site about selling 'carved beach pebbles', the
chances of someone using the key phrase, 'carved beach
pebbles' is pretty rare. However, they might use key
phrases such as: 'stone carvings' 'unusual carvings',
'beach decorations' etc.

If your company was named Google, guess what top keyword
you'd be using? Yes, you guessed it, 'google'. And the next
biggy would be 'search engine'. Don't rush into using just any-
old keywords. Do the research and pick the most suitable for
your site and products. Try, <http://www.wordtracker.com> or
<http://www.inventory.overture.com> these are excellent sites
that will help you find the right keywords.

Now, just when you thought you were beginning to understand,
here's a little twister. If your web site sold 'dogs', then every
man and his dog would be using the keywords: dog, dogs,
pet dog, pets etc. Those are some of the most popular words.
So, look for keywords that aren't so popular but still getting
click-thru's. It's pointless trying to compete with the big dogs,
when little puppies may give you all the traffic you need - if you
see what I mean.

If HTML is not your forte, you don't have to be a genius or a
rocket scientist to learn the basic structure and make-up of a
web page. However, if you already have an expert to do it for
you, then make sure he applies the following.

When you find the best keywords and key phrases, there will
be many places on your web page that you need to optimize
for best results. These are:

META NAMES: Keywords,Description

TITLE: If your web site was about selling musical
instruments, try to place a keyword/phrase in your title.
e.g. <title>Big Bob's Top Musical Instruments Web Site
For Guitars, Strings, Drums and Wood Instruments</title>
but no more than about 100 characters. The key phrase here is:
'musical instruments' and keywords: Guitars, Strings, Drums.
A key phrase is two or more meaningful keywords.
Note: words such as; and, of, a, on, etc, are ignored by the SE's.

META NAME: Now, your meta name keywords are going to be of
course the first one, musical instruments, but there'll
be plenty more.
e.g. <meta name="keywords" content="musical instruments,
guitar shop, guitars, strings, drums"> etc.
Again, research to get the most suitable and highest value
keywords. Aim for no more than *500 characters but just 3 or 4
perfect key phrases would suffice.
Note: *this also includes the spaces between the words.

Meta name description: needs to combine as many keywords as
possible, but within a sensible sentence.
e.g. <meta name="description" content="Visit Big Bob's
musical instruments online shop for drums, guitars, strings,
woodwind, sheet music, and all your musical instruments
needs"> Remember, it is often the 'meta description' you
see in the SE's listings, so keep it short, making sense
and keyword rich.

The 'IMAGE' and 'ALT' tags: although not so important,
will still give you browny points if done properly.
e.g. <img src="fender_guitar.gif" alt="A Fender Guitar from
our musical instruments selection"> Try to make sure that
the word fender is also one of your keywords.

COPY: Ok, there are many schools of thought on how best to
arrange keywords in copy. All search engines are not equal.
Consequently, their algorithms are different, and the
percentage of keyword saturation is also different, too.

My humble advice is this: Write about 500 words, more is
better. Place the keywords and key phrases at the top,
middle and bottom. Aim for between 25% - 35% saturation,
repeating the keywords no more than three times to avoid
spa*mm*ing. It isn't easy, but it will be worth it in the

And finally, a couple of tips to avoid disaster.

Submit each page to the search engines once a month until
listed. Much more than that and some engines may consider
that spa*mm*ing, too. However, you should submit different
pages on different days through out the month.

Avoid FFA's. Use link farms at your peril.
There are only about 50 - 100 important search engines and not
800,000 as some would like you to believe, but look for any small
specialist one's that may be in your field.

Optimize all your pages, making sure you link thru to every one of
them. But no other page is more important than your home page,
so make that one your main priority.

Ed Bellamy. For more tips and tricks visit dotBASiCWorld or
send a blank email to - mailto:dotbasic@freeautobot.com
http://www.dotbasicworld.com Copyright(c)2004.

You are most welcome to reprint this article. Please
include the Resource Box.

>>>>>>>>>Titbit of The Week<<<<<<<<<

What's a URL anyway?

It stands for Universal Resource Locater. In order for your web
browser to fetch a page for you, it has to know the address
(the URL) of the page it's fetching.

There are different URLs for different resources. When we use a
URL to specify an address, we say that the URL 'points' to that

When you point your browser to dotBASiCWorld at the following
address <http://www.dotbasicworld.com> you're pointing to
the home page of the web site (index.html).

You don't actually see the name of the page in that URL, but it's
there all the same. By the way, "dotbasicworld.com" is not a page
name. It's a domain name... but that's another titbit.

>>>>>>>>Featured Article<<<<<<<<

Will Google's Gmail spell trouble for Email Marketing.
by: Ed Bellamy.

We wait with baited breath for the anticipated launch of
Google's Gmail - a fre*e email account, capable of storing
50,000 short, text only messages. That was not a misprint.
Your inbox would be a full gigabyte (1000mb's) of emails.

Hot on the heels are Google's rivals: Yahoo www.yahoo.com
and Hotmail www.hotmail.com

Yahoo has increased the size of its fre*e email support to
100mb's. Or, for $19.99 a year, your inbox can be 2 GB's,
twice the size of Gmail.

Hotmail has increased its fre*e email to 250mb's. And you'll
soon be able to have 2 GB's from them for $19.95 a year.

Now, on the one hand that's great news for web-email users.
Loads of space for cramming trillions of little emails or a good
number of emails with massive attachments. Also, web-email
users won't have to check their inboxes every five minutes,
and it will reduce the bounces, too.

Right, that's good news then! But on the other hand, and this
is merely my opinion of course; if most of the other web-mail
suppliers follow suit, to capture or hold onto their corner of
the market, there will be a gazillion more megabytes of inbox
space for the spa*mm*ers. There will be thousands of emails
waiting to be read, with filters filtering the filtered.

Mixed-in with all those emails consisting of: private, friendly
and spa*mm*ers, will be the genuine marketer, entrepreneur,
small and large businesses, all vying for attention.

With all those emails waiting to be read, the likely outcome
is... they won't be. Our emails will be deleted along with the
rest. That will of course do wonders for our business.

One question that needs to be answered is: how are service
suppliers, ISP's etc, going to increase the anticipated
bandwidth that this upgrade will create. Especially when they
already claim their wires are bulging to the limits now?

My crystal ball tells me; increase the cost of bandwidth,
charge legitimate businesses to send emails. Result - demand
will drop and everyone's a winner. Uh! That is, except you and

Twelve months ago somebody told me it wouldn't be long in his
opinion before email marketers were a dying breed, unless radical
new technology was introduced. I laughed - I'm not laughing now!

Ed Bellamy. No riddle or diddle, no wiffle or waffle, no dis or dat.
Just plain old every day english. Visit his web site or send a blank
email to - mailto:dotbasic@freeautobot.com
http://www.dotbasicworld.com Copyright(c)2004.

You are most welcome to reprint this article. Please
include the Resource Box.

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