Affordable Seo: Where Do I Start To Optimize My Website?

by Merv Thompson - Date: 2007-01-21 - Word Count: 530 Share This!

The Starting point is clear. Understand what your main competitors are doing. That is Right! If you know how well your competitors have optimized their sites you will have a clear understanding of what areas you need to work on.

Without this information you could well be spending effort and money in areas that produce little results. Or worse, you could actually be over-optimizing your site and will suffer the wrath of the Search Engines.

And guess what! This information will also tell you how you can dominate your keywords by out doing your competitors. You will know exactly what they have done to reach that all elusive Top Position and by knowing this, you will be able to duplicate these things for your website.

Here is what you do. You will actually do this Right?

Let's say you have a handful (maybe 5 or 6) main keywords that revolve around your site. Take your first keyword and plug it into your favorite Search Engine and hit go. This will bring up the result of the search for your keyword. These are your main competitors as far as the search engine sees it for this keyword.

Now we need to write down the URL's of the top 4 or 5 websites. We will be recording critical data about each of these sites. You can use a simple spreadsheet to record and organize the data.

Go to the first site on your list. Visiting your competitors website is perfectly ethical and legal. Brick and Mortar businesses do it all the time. On your browsers menu bar you will click the "View" button and select "Source" or something like that. It depends on your browser.

This should bring up a window that shows the HTML code used to create the page you are viewing. In this new window you will see a menu item called 'EDIT'. Click the "edit" button and select "Find". Next you will see a search box where you will type the word and hit the "Find Next" button. The result of this search is to highlight the first occurrence of the word title in the HTML code. Do you see your keyword in the Title Tag? This is a simple Yes or No answer. [Anonymoused]

Repeat this process for all the items listed below and you will know more about your competitors than they do! Here are the critical items to search for.

Title Tag - Does it contain my keyword? Y/N
Description Tag - Does it contain my keyword? Y/N
H1 Tag - Does it contain my keyword? Y/N
H2 Tag - Does it contain my keyword? Y/N
Keyword Tag - Does it contain my keyword? Y/N
Body - How many times does my keyword show on this page? # of occurrences
Start of Page - Does my keyword show up near the start of the page? Y/N
End of Page - Does my keyword show up near the end of the page? Y/N
Alt Tags - Do the images have alt tags that contain my keyword? Y/N

Repeat this for each of the competitors. Then start over with your next keyword. Your objective is to match or slightly out do what these competitors have done. Don't go crazy on me, just do what they are doing.

Related Tags: seo, website marketing, affordable seo

Merv Thompson operates a members site designed to help mid-sized and small businesses with Search Engine Optimization. Visit today to find more useful tips on Affordable SEO. I can be reached by email at

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