Do you ever wander how some sites get top rankings in the main search engines and others do not? Well of course you do. The reason being is that these sites adhere to a system that the search engines love and in return give these websites higher and better rankings in their listings. There are 7 key ingredients that if implemented properly will produce the desired results for you and your website marketing. They are:
Step 1: Advantages of a keyword rich domain name Does your domain name affect your search engine ranking? In my experience, the domain name has an enormous impact. However, this is certainly important if you are creating a new site and attacking a competitive market. However many of you will already have sites up and running that do not contain a keyword rich domain name so do not worry as it is more than possible to rank highly without a keyword rich domain name.
One variable that modern search engines consider when determining which of the thousands – or millions – of results should be presented in the top slots is definitely the domain name of the site. The main advantages of having keywords in your domain name are that you can legitimately include them in contact details and links to other sections of your site and the title of your site. What someone may consider a good domain name and what in reality is in most instances 2 different things. Now I will give you an example of this:
Mr. Smith is creating a site that is going to sell vacuum cleaners. His business name might be Smiths machines and logically he may have that specific domain. However it would be more advantages to have a domain name containing the term vacuum cleaners. For example vacuumcleaners4u or vacuumcleanersstore depending on what is available.
Finally I would like to add please take into consideration where you host your site. If you have a site selling predominantly to the UK or US market you should make sure that the site is hosted in that country. So if a have a site hosted in the US but you are targeting the UK it is not in your interests to have it this way as the search engines will perceive it as a US site.
Step 2: Importance of the Title & Meta Description Tags
Every page title and Meta description on your site is enormously important, from the point of view of both the search engines and your readers. Always use your top keywords in each one of your web pages – it signals to the search engines as well as your readers what that page are about.
Firstly in the title tags of your page you should use your top 2 or 3 keywords or phrases. If you are unsure what a title tag is, it is clearly visible at the top of the browser window. The title tags are incredibly important. As I said before it signals to the search engines what the page is about. In my opinion the title tags should not exceed 75-80 characters.
Secondly the Meta description tag tends to get overlooked far too much. It’s one of those SEO things that usually get left to the last minute. Like the title tag a descriptive Meta tag signals to the search engines and your readers what that page is about. When someone does a search on Google they’ll scan through the page titles and descriptions. Search engines, especially Google, will display the description you wrote in the Meta description if the search term being used can be found exactly in the Meta description you wrote.
If you do not do this Google will crawl your site and just take the first bit of content it finds and place it there. By thinking out the outlay and terminology you use in the Meta description tag you can boost your rankings. With regards to length I would not exceed 200 characters.
And thirdly the Meta keywords. Personally I do not believe that search engines give this area the credence it once did. In the past people would just cram this area with as many keywords that they could find related to their site but this just does not work anymore. However, this area should still not be avoided. My recommendation would be to place your keywords in this area but do not exceed 250 characters in length.
Step 3: Keyword Density, Content & Blogs
In simple words, keyword density is the ratio of the word that is being searched for against the total number of words appearing on a given web page. If your keyword occurs only 2-3 times in a page of 500 or more words, obviously it has a lower keyword density than a keyword that would occur 8-10 times in a page of similar length.
As far as search engines are concerned, if a particular keyword has a higher density on a particular web page, then the chances of that page obtaining a much better search engine ranking increases almost exponentially. Not all search engines compute or evaluate keyword density in the same way and most have their own proprietary algorithm for calculating the average density of a keyword.
The placement of keywords, in any number of locations on the page, has different results in the various search engines as well. Hence, you should try to write sentences that use your important keywords and key phrases. My recommendation if we are looking at percentages would be no more than 3% of the wording should be the same.
However in our testing this area really is not definitive as we have seen sites rank for a specific key term that only appears once on the page also sites that have a keyword far too many times on the page. What has worked for us is to keep it very much within reason and you will not go far wrong.
Secondly, Content. Content is absolutely crucial to the success of ranking and search on all search engines but especially Google. The higher quality and relevancy of the content not only will increase your rankings but also gives you a far better chance of ranking highly for what we call the “long tail search”.
You may have all your main keywords and terms figured out but ultimately we have no idea what phrase someone will actually search under using these keywords. It could be for example if they are searching for “health insurance” they may well just type in “health insurance” or they may type in “health insurance in the uk for a family”. If your content contains these words or phrases that are identical or related you have a much better chance of ranking highly and thus getting more qualified traffic to your site. I would say that on a new site that content should start off at no more than 10 – 20 pages and grow slowly. Google will take note of a site that appears with hundreds of pages out of nowhere and initially view at as “unnatural” so grow your content slowly and make it unique and original.
Thirdly we need to look at “blogs”. This is a massively overlooked area by most people marketing on the net. The two main places you can go to set up with a blog are either at blogger or WordPress. Personally I would recommend WordPress. Here you can create a blog that has so much Flexibility. The choice of alternative plugins that can be placed on a wordpress blog is amazing and all designed to be SEO friendly. Also it can hosted on your own server so it becomes integrated with your own site. Search engines love blogs because of new original content being added on a regular basis. This area really is a whole topic on its own but I highly recommend that you research this and utilize it.
Step 4: Headings
The heading tags will make your headline bolder so it will stand out and will be recognized as important by the search engines. When writing your headings, include your main keywords in the headings. Be as specific as possible to increase your chances of being listed in a reasonable spot in the search engines. For Example. You have a site selling Plasma TV’s. You want to explain to your reader about different brands of Plasma TV’s so in the heading you could put PLASMAS TV BRANDS. This will be in bold and larger font size this signaling its importance.
Suggestions:Use keywords that relate to the page content in your heading tags Have your keywords occur early in the tags Use multiple H2 and H3 tags where appropriate
Step 5: Filenames
One of the simplest methods to improve your search engine optimization is to look at the way you name your files. Google give lots of importance to file names. You should think what are you going to put in your web page and then give it a relevant file name. How important is your filename? When you do a search in the search engines, most of them will highlight keyword(s) in your filename or your directory path. In other words Google is signaling the importance of filenames by highlighting it. For example if you have a site that sells electrical goods called electricalappliances the page that promotes washing machines should read in the file name electricalappliances/washingmachines.htm This is telling the search engine exactly what that file contains. This area is missed so many times but is a simple thing to do and helps your rankings. So please take this into serious consideration.
Step 6: Anchor text
Very simply Anchor text is the text (title) that appears within your hyperlink. Anchor text tells the search engines about the content of your web pages – what the page is about and how others perceive it. In essence, the anchor text is about the relevancy of your webpage based on a keyword. Therefore your anchor text should always be completely relevant to the landing page (destination page) and should contain your keyword or keyword phrase. For example. On a site electricalappliances the link that takes you to the washing machine page should read “washing machines”. Also on the plasma TV site the link that would take you too SONY plasma TV’s should have the anchor text SONY PLASMA TV.
Step 7: Quality incoming links
Inbound links are links from other web sites that point to your web site. The number and the quality of inbound links has become one of the most important ranking factors in Google, Yahoo and MSN Search. It’s a simple principle: if Site a links to Site B then it is seen by the search engines as a recommendation; that Site A is ‘recommending’ Site B. The text that is used to link to your website is also very important (especially to Google). Try to include your keywords or phrases into the text that is linking to your site.
Now comes the most important part. Google ranks all pages on the internet by a system of page rank, commonly called PR. This ranges from 0 – 10. An incoming link from a page with higher PR counts several times more than a link from a lesser PR page. So the more links you have from higher PR pages the better is the chance of ranking highly in Google and other search engines. You build links gradually over a period of time.
This is more prevalent with a new site rather than an aged site. This is because Google prefers to see steady natural growth. Of course how quickly you can rank because of this is really down to the market and competition you are up against.
Finally SEO is crucial to the success of any business online. The great thing about the internet is that it really is a level playing field. So there is nothing stopping you from ranking highly for a given keyword or phrase against even the biggest of companies.