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Fine Tuning

It's not enough to submit your site to search engines, you must also OPTIMIZE it before you do that. In other words, you must change the structure and content in such a way that would bring your listing to the upper level (and it's good to do that before the search engine checks your website. You may have to wait for another indexation for several months, so it's better to have a good rating from the very start).

Imagine this: the biggest search engine Google has indexed SEVERAL BILLION WEB PAGES. Of all these, several million pages contain the words "calling card". If you simply add your website to Google's directory without optimizing it, will anyone find it among millions of pages? Not very likely. So what is behind the process of search engine ratings that position one page higher than they do another? There are two main criteria – link popularity (more about that later), and the web page content itself: the amount of keywords, letter casing, font size, positioning of keywords, keywords succession and so on. Generally, a lot of factors matter here, and search algorithms vary from one search engine to another. However, a few rules apply to all search engines.

An important factor for all search engines is you webpages' choice of words. At the same time it is wrong to think that keywords are only important within the META keywords tag. On the contrary, what matters is the choice of ALL KEYWORDS on a particular page!

Here is an approximate rating of keyword importance depending on where they are placed within a web page:

  1. Text within the <TITLE> tags
  2. Text within the <H1>... <H6> tags (heading)
  3. Regular text on the page
  4. Hyperlinked text (as well as hyperlinked words leading to your website from other websites!)
  5. Text within <META> tags (keywords and description)
  6. ALT text for images placed on a web page (<IMG SRC="FILE.GIF" ALT="Your Message">)
  7. Bold <B> text

So, how can you strategically distribute keywords on a web page? For that, you must compose sentences (within the <TITLE> tags, in the page's content, in hyperlinked text) in such a way that they would include as many of your keywords as possible without changing the meaning of the phrase. So, if you have picked the "phone", "prepaid" and "calls" as your keywords, then a sentence like "You can save big on the telephone service using our calling cards" can be successfully replaced by "You can save big on the phone calls using our prepaid calling cards". The meaning of the phrase remains the same, although now it contains your keywords! If you want to have success with search engine indexation, the whole website should be subjected to such procedure. Keep in mind that the most important (to your mind) keywords should be placed where they will be of the greatest importance – in the title text and the heading.

Remember – the TITLE tag is the one that counts most with search engines! For that very reason try not to use unnecessary words like "Hello" or "Welcome to...". The TITLE tag should include information that describes the content of your website, aims at your target audience, etc. That is, a title that reads "Cheap prepaid calling cards for USA" is much better than "Welcome to our website!".

Another important note: make sure that your Title, Keywords and Description key phrases match those found in the regular text of your web page. Otherwise, they will be simply ignored by the search engine and will not be of any use to your business.

Statistics show that the majority of search queries are submitted in lower-case letters, therefore you should try either to vary ways you spell a certain word or write your basic keywords only in lower-case letters! Try not to overload your Keywords tag with key phrases – the more words you enter there, the less significant is each keyword in particular. Some search engines consider only first 75 characters within the Keywords tag, and Google search engine ignores the Keywords and Description tags completely, it searches mainly within the page's text content. The most important keywords are the first four (4) within the Keywords tag and a few words within the Title tag. Therefore, you must try to choose the most significant keywords for these positions.

Some search results are displayed as a quote of Description tag, while other search engines will display the first paragraph of your web page. You therefore should try to avoid unnecessary and vague phrases within your page's content – a potential customer should have a clear idea of what he/she will see on your website. It is quite acceptable to repeat one of the keywords several times within the Keywords tag (just make sure they do not follow one after the other), but as we mentioned before – do not overdo it, because if you repeat a word more than 4 times, your page may be taken as SPAM and be deleted from the database. Keywords within the Keywords tag can be separated by commas as well as spaces, as this point is not critical. If you omit commas it may cause a search engine to consider a string of words as a search phrase, which may greatly increase your website's chances to be found. In addition, you could add the "s" ending to most nouns within your Keywords tag – this forms a word's plural form and will suit two kinds of search queries: for example, the word "cards" will come up in search results for the word "card". Do not make your Description tag longer than 200 characters – most search engines simply cut the rest.

Next thing you should do is saturate the beginning third part of your page with keywords. It is also a good idea to use synonymous phrases of your keywords throughout the rest of your website. Again, it is important not to overload your pages with keywords: the recommended percentage of keywords per one page ranges from 5% to 20% (average is 7%). If you go over the recommended amount, your page may be taken as SPAM with all ensuing consequences.

Study those search queries which you want to bid on – matching the order of keywords in a search query with word sequence in a web document is very important for many search engines (Google, for instance). There are no content limits for web pages, but the optimum text size for a web document is from 300 to 600 words.

Such are our brief recommendations for helping you with your page optimization. Are you still willing to work with search engines after what you have read? If yes, read on!

Another important moment is the choice of keywords engaged in your website optimization. Of course, you can employ a standard set of words: calling, cards, phone, cheap, service, USA, worldwide, etc., but it would almost always work AGAINST YOU (unless you are a website promotion genius!). Imagine – every month there are about 60000 search queries for "calling cards", and every time 10 million pages come up in the results. Even if you optimize your website for this phrase, you will not be able to get a decent rank without high link popularity, and link popularity is something a website doesn't acquire in a day. The solution? You need to choose the golden mean: let a part of your keywords be popular (most searched), while the rest of your content contains less popular search keywords. Here is why. Imagine: a certain rarely used keyword is submitted only 350 times a month and returns 25 pages of results. If you optimize your web page for this keyword, there is a chance that all 350 visitors will be yours!

We wish you success in "fine tuning" of your website! Remember, in this business you won't get immediate results, and you must have a lot of patience in reserve to continue working before your efforts are rewarded with high customer traffic!