10 Steps To Higher Search Engine Positioning
Posted on 28 Feb 2005
by Dave Davies (DaveDavies)
Rated 3.95 (Ratings: 5)
- More articles in Site Development
There is perhaps no more level playing field in business than theInternet. It is this fact that has created millionaires from paupers. The amount of money that can be made depends of course on your industry and your products and/or services but to be sure, if it can be sold at all, it can be sold online.
While there are many methods out there for building a profitablewebsite, from banner ads to email campaigns, by far the most cost effective over time has proven repeatedly to be search engine positioning. That major advantage search engine positioning has over other methods of producing revenue online is that once high rankings are attained and provided that the tactics used were ethical and that continued efforts are made to keep them, they can essentially hold and provide targeted traffic indefinitely. Your site will rise and your site may sometimes fall in the rankings but a solid and complete optimization of your site will insure that through algorithm changes you may fluctuate but you will not disappear.
I have been ranking websites highly on the Internet for quite afew years now and there are some essential rules that, if followed, will insure that over time your website does well and holds solid and profitable positions on the major search engines.
Here are the 10 steps to higher search engine positioning:
Step One - Choosing Keywords
The last in the list is the most important. Look through the potentialkeyword phrases and think, "Who would be searching using that phrase?" If the answer is, "a student looking for information" then chances are it won't result in a sale. If the answer is "Someone who is looking specifically for a product I offer," then obviously this is a prime candidate as a targeted keyword phrase.
Step Two - Site Content
Step Three - Site Structure
Priority must be given then, to what you place near the top ofyour page.
Step Four - Optimization
As noted above, a spider places importance on what it reads higheston the page and so beginning with a sentence that includes your targeted phrase only makes sense. That said, stuffing in keywords in hopes that it will add weight to your page generally doesn't work. The term "keyword density" refers to the percentage of your content that is made up of your targeted keywords. There are optimum densities according to many reputable SEO's though exactly what they are is debatable. Estimates seem to range anywhere from 4 or 5% to 10% to 12% (quite a gap isn't it).
Personally, when it comes to keyword density I prescribe to onerule: put your keywords in the content as much as you can while keeping it comfortably readable to a human visitor.
Some do it first, I do it last. Regardless of when you do it youmust choose your heading. At the beginning of your content you have the opportunity to use the <h1> tag to specify the heading of your content. This tag is given extra weight and is also an indicator to the search engine of where your actual content starts. Make sure to use your keywords in the heading but don't shy away from also adding additional words (though not too many).
Step Five - Internal Linking
There are two main ways to insure that your site gets well spideredAND that the relevancy is added. The first is to place text links on the bottom of your homepage to your main internal pages (not EVERY page, that just looks odd). The second is to create a sitemap to all your internal pages and link to it from your homepage. Both methods have advantages and disadvantages but that's a whole article unto itself.
Step Six - Human Testing
Ask them to find specific information and see how long it takes.Ask someone else to just surf your site and watch which links they click and ask them why they chose those ones.
Most importantly, find out how the content reads to them. You'vespent hours working through the content at this point and are probably not the least biased on its readers. Find out how it reads to someone who has no invested interest in the site and correct any issues they may bring up.
Step Seven - Submissions
When I have spent time submitting my sites I have found they getpicked up in about a week. When I have simply skipped this step and sought out reputable directories and other sites to get links from I have found that at least the homepage of the site gets indexed in as little as two days.
Neither will hurt your rankings but simply to make the best useof your time, seek our directories and other websites to get links from and leave the spiders to find you on their own.
Step Eight - Link Building
The first place to seek links is with general and topic-specificdirectories. After that you may want to move into reciprocal link building. Reciprocal link building is the exchange of links between two websites. Some webmasters will simply link to any website that links back to them. I highly recommend being more particular than that.
Find websites that you believe your site visitors would genuinelybe interested in and you've probably found a good link partner. You want to find links from sites that are related to yours.
There are obviously many more methods to building links than directoriesand reciprocal link building. Again though, this is a whole article (or more) in itself.
Step Nine - Monitoring
If a month passes and you don't see any changes then more workneeds to be done. I'm certainly not stating that you should take a month off, a solid search engine positioning strategy involves constantly adding content, building links, and insuring that your visitors are getting the information they want to have and finding it as easily as possible.
Step Ten - Reward Yourself
Now it's time to turn off your computer, take your partner out(you haven't had much time for them lately) and have a great week(end). You've got a lot of work to do to maintain and build on these rankings but the hardest part is over. Congratulations!