SEO Practice

PRACTICE: A 15 Step Process

Step 1: Choose a new hosting company that has Linux 64 bit based servers.

You’ll need a dedicated IP address, otherwise your site will end up with the same IP Address as a pornographic or gambling website that would usually deal with “black hat” SEO tactics such as SPAM, keyword stuffing, and linkfarms, the search engines may take points off your domain as well. We do not recommend 1and1. Their lead time to transfer a domain is usually 60 days.

Step 2: Unlock your current domain name (website url) and transfer it to your new hosting company.

You’ll need to sign into the admin section of the current hosting company and select an option to unlock the domain and email the authorization code. Next, log into the admin section of your new hosting company and select the option to have them email their authorization code. You’ll need to enter both codes into the transfer domain section of your new hosting company.

Step 3: Register a new domain and set up a 301 Redirect for the old one

Nine times out of ten, a business will have to change its name in the SEO process and build a new site from scratch. We always say sooner rather than later. A good idea is to include the primary type of good or service in the name, such as Set this new domain name to the primary and set the transferred domain to a parked status. Next, you’ll need to set up a 301 Redirect, especially if the old domain already has a page rank in Google.

When a search engine robot/spider requests a web page via any means, your web server checks for a {blank file name}.htaccess file. The .htaccess file contains specific instructions for certain requests, including security, redirection issues and how to handle certain errors.

The code “301″ is interpreted as “moved permanently.” After the code, the URL of the missing or renamed page is noted, followed by a space, and then followed by the new location or file name.

First of all, you’ll need to download the .htaccess file in the root directory of where all your web pages are stored. If there is no .htaccess file there, you can create one with Notepad. Make sure when you name the file that you remember to put the “.” at the beginning of the file name. This file has no actual name; it is completely blank.

If there is a .htaccess file already in existence with lines of code present, be very careful not to change any existing line unless you are familiar with the functions of the file.

Scroll down past all the existing code, leave a line space, and then create a new line that follows this example:

RewriteEngine on

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^$ [OR]

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^$

RewriteRule ^/?$ “http\:\/\/newsite\.com” [R=301,L]

It’s as easy as that. Save the file, upload it back into your web and test it out by typing in the old address to the page you’ve changed. You should be instantly and seamlessly transported to the new location.

Step 4: Competitor research and analysis

Before you begin typing any content or even developing the possible website redesign – which a business will need 9 times out of 10 as well – sign up for a Google webmaster account and test some of the businesses competitor’s keywords. This preliminary stage comes down to predicting the businesses consumers’ behavior. The organic or natural part of a search engine is based off the prices on the pay per click side.

There are three different types of keywords: research keywords, shopping keywords, and buying keywords.

Google’s keyword tool will base its prices off of what type of keywords are used. Ironically, buying keywords will usually cost around .05 cents per click while research keywords may cost up to $50 per click.

Long tail keywords usually end up being shopping keywords, while short tail keywords end up being research keywords.

Shopping keywords are somewhere in the middle.

Examples: the keyword, “marketing” may cost $50 per click. To have a sponsored link through Google Adwords on the first page you’d be competing with Wikipedia,, and De Beers for this keyword.

The keyword, “Top Interactive Marketing Company”, may cost $10 per click and you’d be competing with local jewelry stores as well as big players like

The keyword, “Interactive Advertising and Marketing Company” may cost .05 cents per click and you’d probably not be competing with anyone on the pay per click side for this keyword. The good thing about this keyword is that Google will recognize the fact that you have a couple of short tail keywords within this keyword. Eventually you’d be able to change the meta tag keywords on the site without rewriting any content. They’ll be able to pick out: interactive marketing, advertising company, marketing company, and so forth. What you have to ask yourself is whether a searcher would type in company or agency when thinking about an advertising agency. A lot of this goes back to behavioral psychology.

Find about 6-10 keywords like this.

1. Keyword Suggestion Tools:






2. Type those keywords into Google to find competitors

a. In Internet Explorer or Firefox hit the [Ctrl] key and [U] at the same time. At the top of the code, it should say something about meta keywords, description, or subject. These are going to be the keywords our competitors are optimizing for.

b. If that doesn’t work, plug in our competitors websites (In the format: into:



Step 5: In unisen, begin writing original content that incorporates these keywords and begin redesigning the site in XHTML or DHTML incorporating these keywords within hyperlinks, alt tags, title tags, h tags and long descriptions.

XHTML is the agreed upon standard by the W3C and search engines will look for this.

Look for the following in the very top of the website file:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN” “”>

<html xmlns=””>

Skip the meta tags at this point. One trick to confusing search engines is naming all the images with short tail keywords. Instead of having a file the a name like spacer.jpg or spacer.gif, you may want to try Advertising-Marketing-Spacer.jpg etc.

Save everything in a test folder.

Title tags look like this: <a href=”” title=”Long tail keyword”>

Alt tage look like this: alt=”Long tail keyword”  border=”0″ /></a>

If an image is also a hyperlink, which it should be, you could combine the two:

alt=” Long tail keyword “  border=”0″ title=” Long tail keyword ” /></a>

Notice the XHTML / to close the tag.

Note: XHTML supports both tables and div’s, although tables must be defined in percentages, and not pixels. DIV Tags are ideal for side columns.

A good idea for generating automatic content, content that you don’t actually have to type into a program like Dreamweaver, is a news ticker. The news feed would have to be fed from a subpage within your own site and would have to be coded in a advanced type of programming language, though.

On the actual content (text the people will be able to read) side, feel free to add words in between words within the keywords, as these do not count; however, be sure not to change the punctuation. Google looks at keywords in the singular and plural senses as completely different keywords; not the most sophisticated search engine. Be sure to also change all graphics that encompass text, which may have been designed in Photoshop or Illustrator, to text. A good programmer will be able to make plain text look exactly as it does in photo and drawing software through XHTML CSS. If you’re more of an aspiring SEO tech, don’t worry about the CSS too much, search engines can’t see most of what would be created in CSS.

At this point the logo should, especially, be converted to an h1 tag with the business name keyword. The business name keyword is something someone might type into a search engine to find the business. For example, would someone type in a business name like phorsite or would they type in foresight marketing because they know the business sells marketing services. The domain name that was chosen in step 1 should probably be at any rate.

Step 6: Don’t make the site live, even in a test folder.

Those PHP and .NET programmers out there would be asking, “How will we know what the site looks like if we can’t make it live?” Good question… You won’t! Build it in basic XHTML first and then convert it.

Step 7: Name all the subpages with short tail keywords.

Instead of, you may want to call it: How about a section like, Google, especially will be able to see the keywords in the sub domain by using “-“’s. Underscores should not be used and all unnecessary symbols and numbers should be avoided. This becomes especially tricky in PHP.

Step 8: Tweaking.

At this point, you should now have a site in a test folder with a style.css file, all the optimized subpages in the format, .html, excluding meta tags, and an images folder. Use Photoshop to create a 16×16 pixel version of a logo or image that really sums up the corporate image. For instance if you have a picture of a microchip, resize it to 16×16 and save it as a “favicon.ico” file. Save it in the test folder. The line of code to add a favicon.ico is:

<link rel=”Shortcut Icon” href=”/favicon.ico”/>

This is the image next to the website url in a browser. Nothing special…

You’ll also need a 404 redirect file and a sitemap. Depending on the server a 404 redirect file will either be entitled, missing.html or 404.shtml. This is simply a file that states something to the effect of, the page you requested cannot be found on the server. You just want to ensure that the server’s default isn’t coming up. Google will take off a lot of points for this.

Next, you’ll need a sitemap. One in .html and one in .xml. The html Sitemap is simply a vertical list of all the pages in the Test Folder with Title’s of each. The .xml sitemap is a list the pages. It should follow the following format:

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>











And so forth with the <loc> changing per subpage.

Next, you’ll need to create a robots.txt file in the test folder. It should be in the following format:

User-agent: *

Disallow: /cgi-bin/


Step 9: Meta Tags.

Now that all the pages are perfect and the test folders all set, you’ll need to go back and add meta tags for each page. The keyword meta tag should list only those keywords that appear on each page more than twice in the content, hyperlinks or anchored/linked text, and header tags.

You may also want to go back and rewrite the title tag as well. The title tag should contain the most repeated keywords on the page; essentially, what the page is all about. It cannot exceed 65 characters including spaces.

The meta description should list the most frequently occurring keywords on the page with padding between the words.

The tags should be listed in the following format:


<title>65 characters</title>

<meta name=”Expires” content=”never” />

<meta name=”revisit-after” content=”About how many days until the content on THIS page is updates in the format: xx Days” />

<meta name=”distribution” content=”Global” />

<meta name=”coverage” content=”Global”/>

<meta name=”country” content=”USA”/>

<meta name=”identifier” content=””/>

<meta name = “robots” content = “all, index, follow”/>

<meta name=”googlebot” content=”all, index, follow” />

<meta name=”msnbot” content=”all, index, follow” />

<meta name=”yahoobot” content=”all, index, follow” />

<meta name=”Keywords” content=”6-10 long tail keywords on THIS page”/>

<meta name=”Description” content=”3-6 long tail keywords with some padding.”/>

<meta name=”author” content=”Company Name”/>

<meta name=”Copyright” content=”Company Name”/>

<meta name=”subject” content=”subject” />

<meta name=”rating” content=”General” />

<meta name=”Classification” content=”Directory listing” />

<meta name=”organization” content=”headings and such…” />

<meta name=”abstract” content=”rephrase subject.”/>

Step 10: Site Goes Live.

Log into your server’s control panel. Try to find an ftp type of interface. Open your site’s WWW folder on the right side. Open the test folder on the left side. Copy the files over and you’re done! The site should be visible within a few seconds.

Step 11: Do not submit your URL.

Step 12: Inbound Links.

Compile a list of directories, blogs, discussion boards, new sites, bulletin boards, forums, or any other site’s that allow users to post comments with a Google/Alexa page rank of 4 or higher. Bear in mind you may need to sign up for accounts with the majority of these sites. Post inbound links (hyperlinks with your site) on these sites. Inbound links can be two things; simply a keyword and your site’s url or anchored/linked text. ie. For interactive marketing and advertising check out


text text text <a href=”” title=”keywordr”>text text text

Here are the main directories:

Here are a few websites that submit urls to search engines:  – jury’s out on this one

Step 13: Google Analytics and webmaster tools

Remember that Google account you signed up for to come up with the keywords? Now you can really start using it. Begin by adding your new site. You’ll need to verify the domain by adding a meta tag to the index.html file. Once you’ve verified that you own the site you can provide Google with your sitemap.xml and add the Urchin tracker to the bottom of your index.html main page.

Step 14: Create a Dynamic Blog on the site. This section would have to be coded in PHP.

Why blog on Word press or when essentially the page you’re blogging on would have little to no page rank. All those inbound links would be spent in vain. Instead, create a content management system that your customer’s could blog on.

Step 15: Redesign the site.

Now that you have a Page Rank and you’re showing up for some of the keywords you selected, you can begin redesigning the site in the form you originally intended it to look; PHP, .NET, and so forth. A perfect example of this is a client Winnie Couture. They ranked on the first page of Google with keywords such as: “couture wedding gowns,” “designer wedding gowns,” and simply, “couture designer,” with a site that is now completely built in Flash,  a language that is basically a web-based cartoon.

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