The Interface
Quick Start Guide
Creating Pages
Opening and Editing Pages
Uploading and Managing Files
Menu Display System
Site Templates
Shopping Cart & eCommerce
Event Calendar
eNewsletter Module
Database Table Manager
Secure Users
Site Data Tables
Photo Album
Site Statistics
Blog Manager
Webmaster Menu
Custom Web Forms
Custom PHP Includes
Search Engine Optimization
Appendix A: Search Engine Optimization
Useful Web Resources
Default Style Sheet File
Built-In Javascript Functions
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Online Users Manual Search Manual for:  
Search Engine Optimization
Appendix A: Search Engine Optimization

The subject of search engine optimization is a vast one. Many people have many ways and theories on how to get better placement in search engines across the Internet. The Soholaunch Pro Edition has incorporated some of the most popular and respected ways to allow you to manage the way your site gets placed in search engines.

The first thing that you want to do is set-up your site to be search engine friendly. In some ways this is already being accomplished for you automatically by the Soholaunch Pro Edition. Because the essence of how the Pro Edition operates is to generate dynamic pages through PHP interaction with database tables, there is really only one program file that “runs” your entire website. To make matters worse for SEO, it’s a PHP file which most search engines do not recognize. Therefore, each time a page is created and saved within the Pro Edition, an HTML version of that page is also created and saved to your document root directory. This way search engine “spiders” can find each and every page within your web site for inclusion. These HTML pages are known as “Gateway Pages” and in case you didn’t know, “spiders” are programs that automatically “view” your site by search engines.

Gateway pages contain all of the content data that you have placed within the page editor for that page without your site template. Within the Gateway Page, is embedded meta tags that contain keywords, title, description and instructions for search engine “spiders”. Along with these are also plain text links that link to your other html gateway pages (See “Why the Menu Display system is important with custom templates”). Some search engine spiders have the ability to “follow” these links within an HTML page and log more pages within your site. Every gateway page however is identified as such and has a prominent link to your “real” dynamic PHP site.

How to control keywords for each page of your site

Through the “Webmaster” button on the top navigation bar, you can set the default description and keyword meta tags that will be placed within all of the automatic gateway pages. This should be set regardless of whether or not you wish to detail specific pages. Otherwise, your Gateway Pages are created with no keywords in the header and the search engine spiders will have to rely on content wording only to place your site page.

Next, you may wish to detail and change keywords on a page by page basis. Obviously, content from page to page is different, therefore the keywords used to “locate” the content on this page should be different as well.

When editing a specific page you can access the “Page Properties” button at the top of the page editor. This will display a dialog box that allows you to enter specific keywords that pertain ONLY to the current page you are editing. Enter each keyword separated by commas and click the OK button. When you save this page, the keywords you entered will be written to the Gateway HTML page for this page. It’s that simple.

Customizing the Gateway Page HTML

In some instances, it has been recommended that the Gateway Page content, actually consist of mostly text with very few images. The images that are used should contain specific text content that acts as more keywords in the “ALT” tag of the image.

You probably noticed in the last exercise that there is also a place for “Gateway HTML” in the “Page Properties” section of the page editor. This allows you to create custom HTML and place it into this area to customize your Gateway Page. However it is not required that you include page links with your custom HTML because the Pro Edition will automatically append links to pages that exist on your Menu Display system.

Why the Menu Display system is Important with Custom Templates

For proper search engine optimization, the Gateway Pages that are created by the Pro Edition automatically create plain text HTML links to other Gateway HTML pages at the bottom of each page. Therefore, the only way the system “knows” what pages are publicly visible is by referencing the Menu Display system. Even though you may be utilizing a custom template with “hard-coded” HTML links to the pages within your site, you will need to add all pages that you wish to show up on the Gateway Page links to the Menu Display system. That insures proper linking when people enter your web site through a Gateway page.

SEO is an ever-changing landscape

One of the most misunderstood concepts behind Search Engine Optimization is how to get placed at the top of the search results by all the search engines. In our experienced opinion, that is the first problem. Web sites are better off (on average) getting placed within the top 20 search results based on a very large variety of “search topics” than getting placed in the number one spot based on a few topics. You could spend a lot of time narrowing down your keywords and your page content so that your site becomes number one on the search results list for any given search engine. But guess what? It only works that way because you are searching and optimizing for a single search topic. For example, let’s say you sell garden tools. You can spend months optimizing your site to be number one when someone searches Yahoo!™ for “garden tools”. That’s great right? Wrong! What if someone searches for “gardening advice” or “shovel”. Where do you show up in that search? Probably not at all.

Check your site statistics and keep an eye on your “referring sites”. How are people reaching your site? From what search engines? What did they type in to the search engine to reach your site? Are those keywords listed in your site pages? Does it give you more ideas for keywords that don’t appear in your keywords now?

Make sure you optimize your site to cover as many topics related to your site content as possible.

Helpful SEO web sites

http://www.spider-food.net
http://www.aim-pro.com/helpfiles/index.html
http://www.searchengineworld.com/