Basic Search Engine Optimization Strategy
There are reasons why some sites make it to the top of search engines while others are nowhere to be found. So, what are the secrets to a sound search engine optimization strategy?
As this free search engine optimization guide will show, there are five main search engine optimization factors to keep in mind:
#1. Search engine optimization strategy: Website content
The actual content on your site is the most important factor in your search engine optimization strategy. If you really want your Web site to achieve a good search engine placement and be found in the search results, you will need to have some real content on your site.
Search engine spiders are basically "blind". They can only read the text in your page, and are unable to view pictures, flash and other clever presentations. Having sufficient text in all pages for the search engines to index is a basic requirement for your search engine optimization to succeed.
It is easy to understand why a site with little text can't achieve a high search engine position: People looking for information would rather find a Web site containing plenty of useful information. It's only natural: Sites with much high quality content should rank ahead of sites with less content. Everyone working on a search engine optimization strategy for their site should keep this in mind. Don't forget about updating your pages either. Both people and search engines do prefer up to date content.
What does this mean to you? Creating an informative site with lots of original content focused on one central theme should be the foundation for your search engine optimization strategy.
#2. Search engine optimization strategy: Keyword density
There are usually hundreds of words on a Web page. How are the search engines able to determine which words are the most important for describing the actual content on your site?
It's done by counting the number of words on your page. Words or phrases frequently used are considered more important. Search engines use mathematical algorithms to calculate the importance of each word in your pages. The total number of words on your page divided by the number of times your keyword appears are called "keyword density" or "keyword weight". This is one of the most important factors to keep in mind when planning your search engine optimization strategy.
By watering down your keywords, you are reducing the possibility to rank well. Your keywords must be present in your page a certain number of times to rank well and achieve a favorable search engine placement.
How are you supposed to know exactly how many times you need to repeat your keywords to get a top ranking? You will have to look at the optimized Web sites already listed in the top positions for that particular keyword. This will give you an overall idea of the keyword density needed to get a top search engine position.
#3. Search engine optimization strategy: Keyword prominence
Put your keywords where it counts! You have figured out how many times you need to use your keywords in the text of the page, now it is time to consider where to place your keywords.
Keyword prominence is one of the most important factors to be aware of in search engine optimization. The search engines will pay more attention to certain parts of your site. Words in those sections are seen as more important compared to other words.
This is called "keyword prominence".
In search engine optimization work it is very important that you not only count the total number of keywords, but also consider where the keywords are found. Then compare the stats of your pages with those who already have achieved high search engine positions.
#4. Search engine optimization strategy: Click popularity
Another factor influencing search engine placement in some search engines is click popularity. The number of users clicking on links to your page from the search results is counted. Pages that are frequently clicked will get a popularity boost.
Your site is awarded a certain number of points each time someone clicks your link from the search results. If your Web site already has a high ranking you will get fewer points compared to a low ranking site. This way all sites have an equal chance to get click through points awarded.
Don't be tempted to click your own link over and over again. Repeated clicks from the same IP will be detected. Clicking on your link and quickly returning to the search engine again might actually hurt your rank. The search engines will believe you did not find anything interesting at the page. That is not a good search engine optimization strategy.
How can you influence click popularity then? By putting some work into your page title and description meta tag. These are the main factors influencing people's decision to click your link. High quality content will make visitors stay at your search engine optimized web site, and will stop them from quickly returning to the search engine.
#5. Search engine optimization strategy: Link popularity
One major factor to consider in your search engine optimization strategy is link popularity. Search engines will regard sites with many links pointing to them as more important. It's only natural to expect that popular sites with many links pointing to them will be high quality sites.
Not all links are equal. Links from popular sites will give your site a higher boost. Sites linking to you should also be on the same subject as your own site and contain the keywords in the hyperlinks text.
Linking your Web site to other popular sites on the same subject as your own site, will also improve your search engine placement.
Link popularity is nothing you have direct control over (apart from setting up several sites on similar subjects and linking them to one another), but there are a few things you can do:
And of course.... get listed in all the main directories like Yahoo, ODP and Looksmart. Don't forget about yellow pages, business directories, award sites and the minor directories either. Do you have a free Ezine? Get listed in Ezine directories. Do you offer a free ebook? Get listed in ebook directories. Offer any freeware/shareware? Get your site listed in the appropriate software directories. Every little link helps.
How can you know how many Web pages are linking to yours? Apart from analyzing the referrer information in your web log files, you turn to OptiLink. This search engine optimization and link analysis software let you reverse engineer the linking strategy of any top 10 site and make your site out-rank it!
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