Although Search Engine Optimization is not the easy answer that it
used to be, there are still plenty of things you can do to increase
your traffic from Google and other search engines.
I'll start with where you are currently at, then dispel the meta tag
myth, and finish with some ways to improve your ranking.
INDEXED BY GOOGLE
This might surprise you, but Google has actually visited your site,
and it is in the Google index. This can be demonstrated in two ways:
1) You are receiving a few visitors from Google - look at your Extreme
Tracking statistics, under Last 20 Searchengine Queries:
2) If you search for an unusual or rare phrase from your home page,
you can see your site in the results:
"Mark Stratton Enterprises"
(click on the "cached" link to see what your site looked like when
Google last visited.)
I use Crawler Alert to let me know when search engines have visited my site:
For many years it has been normal to include the META keyword and
description tags in the HTML code of web pages. But not any more. I
suggest the following:
Description - write a short sentence or two that describes your site.
Use keywords only if it reads well. When you submit your site to
directories they sometimes look at this to help them write a
description. When Google finds a site with lots of links to it, but
with content Google cannot read (such as Flash), they will show your
description in the search results. Write a different description for
each page if you can.
Keywords - due to abuse by webmasters they are no longer a factor.
These days it is common to not use the META Keyword tag. If you do use
it, no harm will come from doing so. Google say that they read it, but
it is accepted that it will not help your ranking in the search engine
result pages (SERPS). Some minor search engines might still use it. It
is a good place to put common spelling mistakes of words appearing on
IMPROVING YOUR RANKING
First of all, appreciate that when reselling products like those on
your site, you will have a lot of competition. Do the following search
on one of the products to see how many competitors you have (over
"How to create Killer Mini Sites that sell like crazy"
Not only are they your direct competition, but they are most likely
using the same advertising copy as yourself (almost 1000), because
that's what comes with it:
"A deep down dissection of the most successful mini sites"
All those sites have the same as you, and are (pricing aside, and I
appreciate you are selling a bundle of products), equal in the eyes of
the search engine - except for basic SEO techniques....
1. Choose a Keyphrase
Choose one set keyphrase per page on your web site, and target a
different keyphrase for each page. When you have a lot of competition,
it might be best to target less popular keyphrases and get on the
first page, than being on the 10th page for a popular keyphrase.
By keyphrase I mean something like "make money on the internet". Don't
target that keyphrase, because there is too much competition - 158,000
web pages contain that exact phrase.
Targeting "ultimate toolbox" will also be difficult, because there is
a piece of commercial software with that name, and I would expect
pages about that software to rank higher than yours, no matter what
A great tool to use is the Overture Search Term Suggestion Tool:
The above link shows the top searches made last month at Overture that
include the word "home-based". For the following examples I have
chosen the keyphrase "profitable home based business". I have chosen
a) it is not the most common, therefore less competition
b) it fits well into a sentence
c) few sites seem to have optimized a page for it
2. Put the Keyphrase in the best spots
These are how I would do it. The basic rule of thumb is to keep it
readable for your visitor, and keep it as natural as possible, with
everything in moderation (for example, don't repeat the keyphrase in
Title: Profitable Home Based Business
META Description: Powerful e-books that teach you how to start your
own profitable home based business
H1 Tag: Start a profitable home based business
(only use the keyphrase in a heading tag once per page, preferably
near the top, above a body of text)
In the text:
There are all sorts of percentages being suggested by SEOs online. The
easy answer is that if the reader thinks "gee, he keeps repeating that
phrase", then it's too much. I suggest having the keyphrase averaging
once per short paragraph.
In the URL or file name:
I think that having more than one hyphen in your domain name will have
negative consquences in the future - as 99% of the time it is being
used to influence ranking in an un-natural manner. For file names it
should be okay. So, for a page other than your index page, call it
In links to the page:
Google gives higher ranking to a page if links to it include the
search keywords. WARNING: Overdoing this has resulted in many
profitable websites to lose their top rankings. This is new this
month. It primarily occurs when a large number of links to a page use
exactly the same link text. Often these are reciprocal links, which
are against Google guidelines. More about this below.
Ultimately, if your site has a gazillion other sites linking to it, it
will do very well in Google results. There is only so much optimizing
of a web page you can do, and if another page has also been optimized
well, the one with the most links pointing to it will win. Google has
been successful because of the value it gives to link popularity.
Having said that, getting other sites to link to a site like yours
(commercial, not especially unique), is extremely difficult. Getting
links from quality sites (the higher the quality, the higher the
benefit), is even harder still. If anyone had an easy answer they'd be
doing it, and not sharing their secret.
Some people swap links with other sites. This is okay if it is done
discreetly. Being discreet takes a huge amount of effort. It involves:
- using a large number of sites
- having great variety in the link text
- using an irregular linking pattern
If Site A links to Site B, and in return Site B links to Site A,
Google will know. If it happens a lot, it would seem to be a way of
artificially influencing Google's ranking, and your site will risk
being penalized. To get around it you would need dozens of sites, all
registered under different names, hosted on different servers, with no
shared content, with some sites linking to some others, but not
There was a major Google update a couple of weeks ago (known as the
"Florida Update"). Multitudes of sites that had been using some SEO
trickery suddenly lost their high ranking. The before and after
results can be seen by doing a search at http://scroogle.org - try
searching for "make money on the internet" (without the quotes).
Seventy-one sites in the Top 100 lost their ranking. Three of the top
four had the same content, and they definitely did not deserve to be
there. This is the new-improved Google at work.
OTHER FORMS OF MARKETING
It is quite likely that selling your product via search engine visits
is too difficult. With so many competitors, pay-per-click ads are
probably priced at a break-even level.
Consider looking for un-tapped markets. Look for the latest fads, and
market your products alongside them. Get them to your site to learn
about the latest sales technique or product, then offer your product
alongside the information.
Look overseas. With Google Adwords you can target specific countries
and languages. Is anyone trying to sell your product to Nigerians?
Newsletters are a great way of marketing your product, if you can find
the right audience.
ARE YOU IN THE RIGHT BUSINESS?
Very few people make money easily on the internet. Even less do so
ethically. If they do, they probably have a special skill. To make a
commercial website successful tends to require long hours and lots of
My main website took two years of well over 40 hours a week working on
it before it made a profit, and now things are doing okay, but still
not the fortune I was after.
As always, if there is any thing else on this general topic that you
wish to know, just ask for a clarification and I'll do my best to help