SEO

Improve SEO Rankings With Keyword Research

The best way to achieve search engine dominance is by focusing on keyword research. As a search engine optimization consultant, I’ve worked with hundreds of companies that miss this very important step. Achieving top search engine rankings is largely based on the competitiveness of the keyword phrase you are trying to optimize for. If your competitor is in the top spot with a well entrenched web site, then your chances of out ranking him may be limited.

In addition to focusing on a keyword phrase that doesn’t have strong competition, you need to find terms that are frequently searched on. I recently finished a consulting assignment for a foundation trying to optimize their website. They had top rankings for a keyword term that seemed to be somewhat desirable. However, keyword research proved that the term received less than 100 searches per month. As a result, top rankings for this keyword phrase were nearly meaningless.

Once you have found a keyword phrase that isn’t too competitive and receives an adequate number of monthly searches, the next step is to thoroughly check out your competition. Google the keyword phrases you want to optimize for a run a back link check on the top three ranked web sites. This indicates the strength of those web sites relative to their search engine ranking. The more links, the more difficult it will be to rank higher than they do without some type of sustained link building campaign.

After doing your keyword research and confirming your choice of keywords and keyword phrases, it’s time to focus on improving your web pages around the keywords you’ve selected. Enhance your meta tags, titles, and web copy to include your keyword phrases. This helps to tell the search engines what your web site is about so it can rank your site appropriately. In addition to the on page factors, Google weighs off page factors to determine web site ranking.

Off page optimization requires a sustained effort that uses new content and additional links from third party websites. The most effective strategies are the most basic. Begin with a link building plan. Focus on article directories, web site directories, blogs, social bookmarking sites, and other resources where you can establish in bound links.

Your plan should include daily, weekly and monthly tasks that can attract links from authority websites consistently over time. Your goal should not be to generate thousands of inbound links quickly because Google will penalize your website. Rather, focus on steady link building.

If you want to improve your organic search engine ranking, begin with keyword research. By selecting the right keywords, you’ll be able to optimize your website more quickly than your competitors. After choosing the right keywords, focus on integrating your chosen keywords into your web site. Then you’re ready for link building and other off page optimization tactics that significantly improve rankings.

SEO

Website Ranking Tips

If you want to rank on top for Google, Yahoo!, and other major search engines, you’ll need more than a basic knowledge of search engine optimization. Those who rank high on natural search results do so because they’ve been able to effectively manage their on-page and off-page optimization factors.

On-page Optimization

What you do on your web pages can have a positive or negative impact on your search results. However, as we’ll discuss later in this article, off-page optimization is even more powerful when it comes to increasing your natural search engine placement.

Some of the most important on-page optimization techniques begin with choosing a key word to optimize your page for. There are a number of free tools available on the Internet that can help you find a keyword that is popular but not overly competitive. Keywords that are highly competitive are often very difficult to place well for.

Once you’ve selected a keyword, you can take advantage of:

Secret #1: Don’t optimize for a single keyword, optimize for a keyword phrase. When you optimize for a single keyword, more often than not, that word is highly competitive and your chances of coming out on top are minimal. Where you gain a significant advantage is by focusing on a keyword phrase. This actually increases your chances of ranking well and ultimately helps you towards ranking well for the single word you originally chose.

Secret #2: Place your keyword phrase within the first 25 words of text, and the last 25 words of the page. The h1 tag can be used for developing a headline on your page and emphasizing your keyword phrase within the beginning of your page text (search engines love h1 tags). Another suggestion is to use your keyword phrase just after your copyright notice on the bottom of your webpage. This ensures that it is present within the last 25 words of your page.

Secret #3: Place your keyword phrase in your page title and description. Additionally, place the keyword phrase throughout your page – being sure to bold the phrase once, italicize the phrase once, and underline the phrase once. Mention your keyword phrase every paragraph or so. Just make sure that it appears natural. If you stuff the page with your keywords, you’ll potentially turn off browsers who would otherwise find your page valuable.

Off-page Optimization
Now that you’ve learned about on-page optimization, it’s important that you focus your attention on off-page optimization. Of all the techniques that have been developed for SEO, it still comes down to the popularity of your site.

The ranking of your website in a natural search engine result list is directly correlated to the popularity of your website.

So what do I mean by popularity? Popularity is the number and quality of links to your website. Although I’ve simplified the explanation here, you should know that links essentially count as votes. If everyone is “voting” for a particular website then the website becomes popular.

Secret #4: Get other sites to link to you. There are a number of ways to improve link popularity. Although I won’t recommend a specific link building tool, I will say that there have been a number of good products developed that simplify the process. It still takes time and hard work, but over time, increasing the number of sites linking to your website can pay huge dividends.

Secret #5: Make sure that incoming links are of high quality (sites with a high Google page rank). It’s not only important to have other sites link to you, it’s also important to have quality sites link to you.

Secret #6: Anchor text must include your keyword phrase. When other sites link to you, make sure the link includes your keyword phrase. Sites that link to your domain can help with overall page rank and popularity, but websites who link to you using your keyword phrase (in the anchor text) are what get you to the top of search engine result lists.

Secret #7: Give people a reason to link to your website. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways, white papers, free content or tools, etc., but ultimately it comes down to offering something of value. If you do, other websites will give you their “vote”, increasing your link popularity and your search engine results.

Increasing your rank on major search engines isn’t complex. But it does take time and effort. If you want to increase your website ranking, begin by implementing what you’ve learned in this article and stay the course.