I'll be perfectly honest with you Peter,
I've been doing nothing but top 20 placement
for a year now, I have close to 1000 pages in
the top 20 of every major search engine (except
Yahoo of course) for over 200 clients. You would
think that if anyone could give you all the answers I
could. But I can't. The search engines are so
fickle and especially now are all very likely
to change their policies and their ranking
criteria almost daily. So even I can't give
you specific yes or no answers to your questions.
I will tell you what basic procedures we follow
to attain top placement on most engines.
#1. We set up the title, description and keywords
very close to what you have here. It works.
#2. You will be okay by putting keywords in
your alt tags if you don't just repeat keywords.
Put them into a sensible phrase and you should be
fine. Don't do "ball bats, ball bats, ball bats
25 times. Instead put ball bat catalogs and ball bat
information. This you could put several times
but I would recommend changing the phrase to fit
the graphic. Keep in mind the whole idea of
alt tags is to give info to the person viewing
your page without graphics displayed. If you
try to see your alt tags as a viewer and they make
sense to you, then you should be all right.
#3. Comment tags AND meta tags aren't really
going to help much as far as relevancy. I don't
use them very often. However, they are supposed
to be there so that if a search engine doesn't read
meta tags, the comment tags are supposed to help
determine what the page is about. I know that
you can find pages with keyword intensive comment
tags repeated 10 or 15 times. I've never found
that to be very helpful, however it doesn't appear
that any of the majors are deleting pages yet
even though it is an obvious attempt at spam.
I would recommend 1 comment tag and let it go at that.
My advice would be to focus on only 1 or 2 keyword
phrases (single word keywords are very difficult to
place with because the word is usually too broad
for the engine to determine any real relevance)
that will actually describe your site. Then make sure
your keyphrases are in the title. Make sure they are in
your description at least once, make sure the
keyphrases are in your meta keywords tags, make sure
your keyphrases are in your heading and
make sure your keyphrases are at the top of
your text, make sure your keyphrase density
is about 10% to 15% and you should do fine.
Keep in mind, if you think you're going to
get everybody, you won't. So don't start out
trying to get as many people as possible, your
goal should be to get as many people as it
takes to make money. I've found that most of
my clients are much happier with 100 sales
than with 1000 hits.