Saturday, December 25, 2010

How to Get Great Search Engine Rankings

1. Chose your Keywords Carefully

Once you've chosen your business and purchased a domain name the next step is to find useful and relevant keywords. Without this step your Web site will get lost among the many Web sites that compete for your business.
To begin keyword research you need to utilize some useful tools. The first Web site you should look at is Google Keywords which is a free tool that displays the amount of searches and competition for specific keywords. It also allows you to find more specific keywords that can better describe your site.
A better tool would be to purchase some type of software or service such as WordTracker which offers detailed information about keywords. Unfortunately it's not free, but there are other services that are.

2. Find a Niche Market

This cannot be stressed enough as it's much harder to receive top search engine rankings for a new site than an established site. A new site will have to compete with Web sites that have established high search engine rankings.
To compete with these Web sites is unwise. You first need to find a niche market, and then build up your Web site to a position as to where it can compete with these generic terms. For example let’s say you have a Web site geared towards weight loss. You would not use the keyword "weight loss" because there's too much competition. You can use one of the keyword tools to find suggestions of related keywords that you will be able to compete against. You may find the keyword “weight loss surgery” or “weight loss techniques.” These phrases are much better keywords than generic terms like “weight loss.”
Use the list of a few keywords, check out the competition that word/ phrase has on Google. Look at the number of competitors. If this exceeds a few million, then you need look for a more specific keyword. The next step is to observe the top listed pages and see how well they are optimized. You can download the Google Toolbar and add Page Rank to your browser for free.
A low Page Rank between 0 – 3 means that you can easily compete with these Web pages. A Web site with a Page Rank of 4 – 6 is a bit tougher to compete with, but is manageable using my guided steps and expertise. You don't want to compete with Web sites that have a Page Rank above 7. Check the domains homepage, not a sub-page to get an accurate Page Rank!

3. View Competitors Source Code

It's important to view potential competitor’s source code to see if they have efficiently performed on page search engine optimization. To do this on your Brower click “view” and then click on the “source” option as displayed.”
This will bring up a page with all the html code on it. You don't need to be an expert with html to understand what we're looking for. We need to see if our competitor’s Web site is properly optimized. We look to see if they are using their keywords in the header tags, the title tags, and the image alt tags. These should all be located near the top of the source code.
If you cannot find these then go to the toolbar and chose “edit” and select “find” and type in h1 or title, etc. to see if there are being used for the keywords. If these don't exist or aren't being used to hold keywords, you have found an easily beaten page. This means that with some proper optimization you will be able to outrank this page. The last thing you want to look at is the body content and to see if the keyword is used a few times in the body content. A site lacking in keywords in the body context is a poorly optimized page. You should always make sure your Web page is keyword rich with relevant content.

4. Keyword Placement

After you've selected a few keywords to use we want to combine the ones that have like terms. For example, if you've selected three keywords such as: weight loss story; weight loss picture; safe weight loss, you see that all three keywords contain the words “weight loss.” We can combine the words to better optimize your page.
For the title tag the fewer the keywords used, the better the search engines will rank your page.
When we create the page it should NEVER have “Welcome to our Web site!” in the Title Tags.
It should NEVER have “weight loss story, weight loss picture, safe weight loss” in the Title Tags either.
The way the title tags should look is: “Weight Loss Story | Safe Weight Loss Picture” (Note: You can add this character | by holding the shift key on your keyboard and pressing the backslash key above the enter key.)
You should always remove prepositions such as “and” as this will only hurt your search engine optimization. The fewer, more relevant the words, the higher your search engine ranking will be.
Header 1 tags should be placed above your body content. This should contain your most relevant keyword in this tag. i.e. “Weight Loss Story” This main keyword placed in the H1 tag will substantially increase your page ranking! The Header 2 tag should contain your second most important keyword. The header 3 tag will have your least important keyword placed in it. These header tags are often overlooked, but make a significant difference in your on page search engine optimization.
The body content of your Web page should be rich with keywords and relevant content. You should have each keyword appear at least once for every 1-2 paragraphs. Do not stuff your body with keywords. You want to give your body a clean natural look, meaning do not over or under use keywords!
Image tags alt tags should also be keyword rich. Search engines often look at the alt tags of images on your Web site. If the alt tags don't make use of your keywords then you will be ranked lower than if you had keywords in your alt tags.

5. Homepage Organization

We want the search engines to notice your keywords and index you accordingly. In order to do this you should start and end your body tags with your keywords. This gives the search engine spider information that your page is highly relevant to your keywords.
When the spider looks through your Web site it reads through your content from top left to bottom right. Below is an example of how the search engine reads your page starting with 1 then 2 then 3.
Rather than creating a table that looks like this:
navigational links
Your body text...
You should create a table that looks like this:
Your body text...
navigational links
Now, search engines will view your body content before it views your navigational menu. The search engine will see the top of your page then see a blank area and skip to your body content then move onto your navigational menu

6. Search Engine Submission

The best way to achieve high search engine rankings for new Web sites may not be what you expected. You should not submit your site directly to the search engines as this process can take weeks or even months to get your site listed. Instead you need to get listed on top ranking pages that are relevant to your Web site's content. These high ranking pages are often optimized on a weekly or even daily basis. Every time the site is indexed your link will appear and the search engines will automatically list your site in its index.
To do this you need to search for Web sites indexed by search engines and get them to link to you. The incentive you need to give them is to write some sort of article relevant to your line of business. At the bottom of the article you include your web page URL to get picked up by the search engines. You submit the article to popular article directories on the Web and you will be indexed by the search engines in a matter of days.

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