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Optimizing your webpages for search engines

Their are many things you can do to optimize your website for search engines. Most of the changes are very simple things to do as well. A lot of people try to overcomplicate their websites thinking it will make their site different or unique. However, in reality, people and search engines like simplicity.

Use good titles and metatags

This is the easiest and most obvious thing to do. Look at the title of this page. It is "Dominic Acito.com - Optimizing Your Pages for search engines". This title is simple, yet it gets to the point of the page. You want to set up your titles the same way. They need to be simple and short if possible, but the title still needs to get the point of the page across. One more thing with the titles, if you have a messageboard or blog that has multiple pages dealing with the same title, make sure you put a "(page 1)" in the title so all pages on your site have unique titles. Using a good meta description can also help your rankings in the search engines and can help you get more clicks as well since your meta description is what will show up under the link to your page on google, yahoo, or msn. Also, I would also suggest filling in the meta keywords, even though many people aren't sure if these really do much for your site. However, it can't hurt to spend the 30 seconds to set these keywords.

Write good content

I will write an article that deals specifically with writing good content, but I will give a few easy tips here. The first thing you should do is make sure your content is original. Search engines don't like it when they find two of the same exact articles in different places. The second thing you need to do is make sure your spelling and grammar are correct. Most search engines penalize you for bad spelling or grammar. One last tip is to use h1, h2, h3 html tags for headings. The search engines recognize these tags and give more importance to the words in these header tags.

Use good text links and good navigation

When you are setting up internal links from one page to another page on your site, make sure to use good html text links. Make the text of the link very descriptive and helpful. Also, try to use text links over image links when you can as well. If you do have to use an image link, make sure to set the alt tag of the image link with good, decriptive text of the page it is linking to. Last, try to avoid javascript links when you can as well. Search engines CANNOT follow javascript links, so any pages on your site that can only be gotten to by javascript links may not be indexed.

Use bulleted lists when applicable

If you have a list of items, use the html UL and LI tags for a bulleted list instead of just using an image and a line break. Search engines really like bulleted lists and using them when it makes sense to use one will help your site out.

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