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ROMM - The Basics of Search Engine Optimization

ROMM - The Basics of Search Engine Optimization

The formula for webmasters looking for success with the search engines is ROMM (Research, Optimize, Monitor, and Maintain). Here are some helpful tips and details about each portion of the ROMM concept...

Research

Before you even begin your website design, give thought to the navigation, structure, graphic design, and formatting of the URLs. Webmasters should not only have experience as a graphic artist, but should also be well versed in Search Engine Optimization. SEO should not be an afterthought! Websites that are designed with SEO in mind will have more success in ranking well in the search engines.

The link depth in a website should really not exceed 3-4 levels. Any links that are deeper than that (requiring more than 5 clicks from the original domain) will be more difficult, if not impossible, for search engines to crawl.

Design the navigation so that it is intuitive to the user, and will lead them through the website. Use a navigation structure that will allow the website to expand as the content is added. Once you have the general website architecture worked out, determine how often and where new content will be added to the website.

The color scheme of the website should be designed in such a way that valuable content or keywords are not hidden or obscured from the viewer.

Optimize

Always keep in mind that each and every page on a website should have a unique page-specific title and description. The webpage title and description should always relate to the content of the page. Webmasters should make every effort to create continuity between a web landing page and the keyword or keyword phrase that the page is trying to emphasize.

If there are keywords or headings on the webpage that require specific emphasis, use "header" tags to emphasize the words.

Each page should have a different focus, and contain unique content. Redundant content, with only minor changes to emphasize specific keywords, are frowned upon by search engines.

Webmasters are encouraged to use image "alt tags" to describe the image or link that the image refers to. Keywords should be used judiciously.

When formatting URLs, use hyphens rather than underscores. Use related keywords and hyphenated keyword phrases to name sub-pages on a website. In other words, a page containing this article might be named "mydomain.com/basic-seo.htm".

Try to avoid excessively long URLs. If the webpages within a website are being dynamically created, avoid using "ID=" in the URL, as many search engines will not spider the pages -- they will often assume that the 'ID=' refers to a session ID and does not refer to unique content.

Monitor

After launching a website, it is important to evaluate the status of the site in the various search engines. Keep in mind that major search engines will often delay ranking a new website until the search engine deems the website "trustworthy". Build links to the website and monitor the site's progress in major search engines for critical keywords and phrases.

Take a look at the web logs to determine the popularity of pages within a website. Review the website logs on a regular basis to determine any trends.

Maintain

Maintain the website by optimizing webpages that are not performing well, and by adding new content on a regular basis. Websites should be constantly expanding, and should be updated regularly.

If the new content is something you wish to have spidered quickly, be sure to add it to a web page that is already spidered on a regular basis.

Successful websites require constant monitoring, maintenance and optimization.

About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for RecordForAll http://www.recordforall.com audio recording and editing software.

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This article may be used freely in opt-in publications and websites, provided that the resource box is included and the links are active. A courtesy copy of the issue or a link to any online posting would be greatly appreciated send an email to sharon@notepage.net .

Additional articles available for publication available at http://www.small-business-software.net/free-website-content.htm

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