Since I previously wrote about how to optimize for Yahoo!, I thought it appropriate to write about how to optimize for MSN.
While some of the tactics can be applied to all Search Engine Algorithms, like Keyword Density, Site Structure and Back Links, MSN also recommends that you focus on the following SEO tactics:
The Number of Pages and Their Relevancy:
One of MSN's main goals is to "please their visitors". For that reason, they place a large importance on insuring that a searcher will find what they need once they get to your site. If your site is larger and contains unified content, MSN will rank you higher than a smaller site or a site that contains varying content.
I know I sound like a broken record, but when optimizing your site, make sure your take your time and develop "Quality Content".
Titles, Heading Tags & Special Formats:
According to MSN, "Titles are the single most important piece of code on your entire web page." This is for two reasons. The first being, it holds a high level of weight in MSN's Algorithm. The second is that it is your "window to the world." When MSN returns their SERP (Search Engine Results Page), your page title is what appears as the first line for each result. This means that not only must your title be keyword rich, but it also must be enticing to the human searcher who will need to be drawn in by it.
Heading Tags are vital in seperating significant sections within your content. A Heading Tag is given a fair amount of weight withing MSN's Algorithm, providing that they are not abused or overused. You should keep your Heading Tags short and to the point.
Special Formats are basically text formatting that sets your words or characters apart from the rest of the content on your page. For example, bold, italics, font color, etc, are all considered Special Formats and will be caught by the MSN spider. By highlighting certain keyword phrases within your text, you are drawing attention to those keywords, stating that "Hey, these are important. Pay Attention!". Additionally, another great way to make your keyword phrases stand out within your content is to make them links to other pages within your site. This not only makes that keyword phrase stand out, but it pushes both end users and the MSN spider deeper within your site.
MSN search requires that your page size not be more than 150K for two reasons. The first being, once the spider reaches 150K, they will just stop spidering your page. But the second is most concerning in that, the spider may determine the size of the page before they begin and ignore the page (or worse yet, the site) completely!
One of the best things about MSN is that while Google and Yahoo! have aging delays, when you change your content on your site, MSN will show those changes as soon as your page is reindexed.