5 Simple Steps to Great Search Engine Rankings
Having your website rank well in the major search engines is crucial to a successful Internet business. However, the information on doing so, which abounds on the Internet, can be perceived as complex and contradictive. Many website owners end up overwhelmed by all the data and simply quit and move on to other areas of promotion. By following the handful of steps presented in this article you will be well on your way to solid rankings.
Each webpage is its own unit, which has its own title and theme. A theme is most commonly referred to as keywords or a keyword phrase. The theme should be based on the most dominant data for that webpage. Therefore, if you have a webpage that lists ten types of coffee cups, "coffee cups" would be the likely choice for the theme. However, if the theme is too general then you should work to compact it as there will be far too many results in the search engine to contend with. Perhaps your webpage lists ten types of coffee cups which all have American symbols on them. Two of the various possible themes would then be "American coffee cups" and "patriotic coffee cups".
To determine if a theme might be too broad, search for the theme at a popular search engine and see how many results come up. It is typical to see up to a few million results for any theme. However, one hundred million results would be extremely high and a different theme should be chosen.
The title of your webpage means a lot.A website should never have a loose and thoughtless title. The title should be clear, compact, and related directly to the main theme of the webpage. Let us look at three title examples for a webpage that sells different types of red coffee cups.
Notice how we trimmed the title down to simply the main theme. In the bad example, the title does nothing to describe the products offered on the webpage and therefore will end up hurting the search engine rankings for this webpage.
Step Two: Use the H1 tag.
On the top of your webpage put the main theme in a H1 tag. This will help establish what the webpage is about and Google will take the data enclosed in the H1 tag more seriously which helps boost the overall theme in its ranking algorithm. This should be at the very top of the webpage if possible and include only the main theme. Using our title example above, you would insert the following on top of the webpage:
Red coffee cups
Step Three: Utilize the written word properly.
The main keyword phrase (theme) must be printed on your webpage multiple times. It must appear natural in the flow of writing and not just thrown on the webpage somewhere a few times. After massaging your keyword phrase into the copy, bold one instance, underline one instance, and italicize one instance.
Again, basing this example from the one above:
By doing this you will help enforce the theme of the webpage and achieve better search rankings.
Step Four: Establish incoming links.
Before going any further, I recommend you visit google.com and install the Google toolbar. This will allow you to see what is called PR (page rank). Knowing a website's PR is extremely helpful, and basically mandatory, for this step. It is more important to have links today than ever. To rank high in the search engines, you must have people linking to you. Failure to acquire incoming links results in low or non-existing rankings. Here are some techniques to build up incoming links:
Step Five: Work to ensure anchor text from incoming links contains your main theme.
When other websites link to you, try to get them to use the keyword phrase for the webpage they are linking to as the anchor text. This is not always possible and that is ok. You simply want to try and get as many links on target as possible. Not all links need to go to your homepage because having incoming links to a webpage within the website is beneficial also.
It is possible, I believe, to go certifiably insane trying to deal with the all the information out there on search engine positioning. Everyday the game changes as search engines alter the way they rank listings. Can you do more to improve your rankings? Yes, but I have listed the more powerful items. Following the above, especially the link steps, will help you build a solid foundation that will withstand the changes-and keep you out of trouble.
Getting listed in the search engines and some directories takes time. Changes and new listings can take weeks to a few months to appear. The best way to get your website in a search engine is to let the search engine find you. Do not waste your valuable time trying to submit to search engines or paying someone to do so. By gaining incoming links, the search engines will find your website and rank it accordingly.
For more information on marketing and all the aspects of running a business on the Internet, please visit Internet Business Entrepreneur-a website I setup to aid those doing business on the Net.
This article is copyright Jason Andrew Martin LLC.
Jason A. Martin has been conducting business on the Internet for 11 years. He is a free-lance writer on many topics and is currently working on obtaining a degree in Journalism and Law. His official blog can be viewed at: Jason A. Martin
Diary of a Google Gazumpee
Back in November, when the Google Dance began, Barry Lloyd of makemetop.co.uk wrote an article entitled "Been Gazumped by Google?" GAZUMPED! What a wonderfully descriptive term. In fact, it succinctly describes what happened to us when our website went from #1 to oblivion a few months ago.
What is the Google Dance?
As with any good web developer, the ability to time the changes Google will update your website and refresh the content for better SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is in your favor. Welcome to the world of "Google Dance". The Google Dance is simply that the predetermination of when the actual update will commence.
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Tread Towards A Successful ?Internet Research?
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Do Search Engines Scare You?
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Playing in Googlebots Sandbox with Slurp, Teoma, & MSNbot - Spiders Display Differing Personalities
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How Do I Improve My Web Site Conversion Rate? Part 2
5 Things to Keep an Eye on in the SEO World in 2005...
After the latest PR update at Google and MSN's beta search going live, there is one thing for certain in 2005: the world of search is in for some major changes. There has been growing speculation around the SEO world that reciprocal linking is a thing of the past. Rumors are abound that PR means less and less, if anything. Bill Gates came out of his cave to say that "Today's search is nothing" and that it won't be that way for long. There are quiet rumblings in the SEO back alleys of a new, state-of-the-art search engine currently indexing the internet. Websites are dropping off the face of the planet. And we're all left to sit here and put together the pieces. So what is in store for 2005?
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Search Engine Optimization Strategies Guaranteed to Skyrocket your Rankings
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Forget SEO ? It?s All About Conversion!
Which SEO hat do you wear? Is it white or black? Or perhaps it's a subtle shade of gray. Well, wherever you are on this spectrum, if you are like 99% of the SEO-fixated webmasters out there, you are doing all you can to get visitors to your site. Where you used to optimize your keywords meta tags, you now worry about anchor text and XML site maps.So, you finesse your site, schmooze the algorithm du jour and begin to climb the slippery search engine rankings pole. But this is where you have to leave your SEO tricks behind and start thinking conversion.Whoa there! Conversion? That's all about making sales on shopping sites. My site's a forum! I don't sell anything. What has conversion got to do with me?Everything, my friend. Everything?.SERP ConversionYou want visitors to come your site, right? That's why you climb greasy SERP pole, after all. (And why you lay awake at night wondering when the next Florida, Hilltop or Bourbon algorithm earthquake is going to hit.) But what does it matter if you reach the peak, but no one clicks through to your site anyway?The fact is that you have to convert prospective visitors even before they arrive. You have to pique their interest, tweak their curiosity and make sure they click your link and not the other guy's. And all you have to use are words. No technical tricks will help you now ? your only tools are plain ol' words.The SERPs will show words from two of three places. Two of these you can control and one you can't:1.Your title tag.2.Your meta description tag.3.A directory description.(For example, Google is known to use DMOZ descriptions in their SERPs, and Yahoo uses their directory descriptions in theirs.)Now, there's not much you can do about how Yahoo or DMOZ editors describe your site, so don't worry about number 3. But do what you can do: Place your value propositions clearly in 1 and 2, and use them to lure searchers into your website.So you have to convert people before they even get to your site. But that's not all?. You want them to stay, right?Flash ConversionNo, this has nothing to do with being blinded by bright lights on the road to Damascus. Nor am I telling you to go and make a 100% animated website.This "flash" is that split second, that tiny window of opportunity that opens up when a searcher arrives at your site and decides whether they have actually found what they are looking for? or not.Typically, you'll have a couple of seconds to persuade the new visitor to stay and hang out. That's all you get. It's the ultimate in speed-dating. So, how do you wow your "date"? Do you show him a page of scraped "content" interspersed with Adsense ads? Not if you want this to be a lasting relationship.Follow these tips and be sure to impress your "date":1. Have a clear themeRanking high for "blue widgets"? Then be sure your visible title, copy and images are clearly focused on them.2. Have a clean designImagine you are taking a first date to a movie. Do you pick her up wearing your pajamas in a dirty, trash-filled car? Or do you clean the car, wash your face and dress to impress? Of course you want to impress her, so you make sure you look (and smell) good. It's the same with your site: Clean design, a nice text size and pages that don't scroll from here to eternity are going to float your first-time visitor-date's boat.3. Write clearly and focus on your "date"Waffle on about yourself and your date will get bored. She wants you to be interested in her. And in terms of your site, that means giving her what she wants to know as quickly and succinctly as possible. This comes down to your ability to write and communicate. So, if you are like Steve Martin in "Roxanne", make sure you get a someone else (a copywriter) to compose the lines to wow your "date" for you.OK, so let's say you have successfully wooed your first-time visitor date. He's here and he has decided to stick around. You're going steady, getting to know each other a little more. That's all you want, isn't it?No, it isn't! You want to pop the question, of course!Getting hitchedYou've made all this effort and spent money on getting your "date" this far, so you want to get the most out of your investment, right? You want to hear those sweet words, "I do":I do? want to click your Adsense ads. I do? want to become a forum member. I do? want to buy that cool digital thingy.So how do you turn a whirlwind romance into a successful proposal? Try these ideas for size:Have clear navigationYou want to make your date dizzy with excitement, not frustration! Make sure you have clear, consistent, well-labeled navigation and make your visitor-date's time with you a pleasure, and not a reason to reach for the Advil.Have a clear propositionWhat do you want your visitor to do? Buy something? Sign up for something? Join something? Whatever the point of your site is, it does have a point, right? So don't beat about the bush, and don't hold back waiting for the right moment: Make your "proposal", and make it clear and direct.Happily Ever After?You thought that was the end of the story? Wait a minute, it's not over yet! I thought you were in this for a long-term relationship, not a one night stand? I know, you were thinking that having made all that effort while you were dating, you could ease off now that you're "married". But don't you know that the real rewards start here?So what are the secrets of a long, blissful relationship with your visitors?1. Feed them!You convinced him to come visit once. But how often will he come back if all you give him are the same old leftovers? Cook him up something juicy and delicious, and have him salivating for more:Enliven your content with new, relevant pages and, not only will you set the search engine robots drooling, but you will also find you have a hoard of visitors coming back for seconds. And in this age of fast-(visitor)-food creation tools called blogs, there's really no excuse anymore.2. Shower them with giftsEveryone likes a gift - and not just on birthdays, anniversaries and at Christmas:Money talks, and if you are selling anything through your site, then discounts and other offers to previous visitors and customers will draw them back like magnets. Throw in tempting freebies as well and you will have a potent marketing mix.3. Send them "love" lettersAnyone who has been in a long-distance relationship (like my wife and I were for a year and a half), knows that if you can't be together, the next best thing is a letter or email. For your website, this means an interesting ezine that is light on sales pitch and rich in information.4. Start a family!Not literally! But you can create a "family" atmosphere by adding a forum where your visitors can interact with each other ? not just with you and your site. People are social animals, so use a forum to keep them coming back.OK, so perhaps I overstated it a little in my title. SEO is not dead, so don't forget about it quite yet. Just remember that it will only get you so far: If you want to actually achieve anything with your site, then you need to focus on conversion like a laser.
Keyword Demand Isnt Enough
I get half of the world traffic for the term "dirtbagging," on one page of my backpacking site, but that only means ten visitors a month. Without decent keyword demand you can't ever get much traffic. Total demand is just one factor to consider, though. Here are some others.
SEO, the Simplified Version
Lets get things straight. SEO is a very competitive market. If you have the time to promote your site and have the energy to work hard to get a good PR then this is for you. I have read many books on SEO and tried to get the best tactics to use. If you have already built a website there are two things you need to do. First is ON PAGE optimizing and the second is OFF Page optimizing. On page is basically getting your meta tags and description tags similar to the pages that you have built. One key thing to remember is try to use tags with the keywords in your content. For example: if you have keywords like "SEO consultant" in you content you should bold it and put alt tags around it. Try to do this to each keyword per paragraph, don't over do it then google will think you're a spammer. Build pages according to you keywords and description tags.
Pay Per Click Versus ?Organic? Search Engine Listings - The Pros and Cons and Best Uses for Each
What's the difference?
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