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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. Your Website's content and main theme.
  2. Number of keywords on each page.
  3. Keyword placement.
  4. Click popularity.
  5. Link popularity.

#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".

  • Title and meta tags: As already mentioned in the meta tags page, your title tag is the most important tag on your page. It is crucial that you put your keywords in the title. Some  search engines also pay extra attention to words in description and keyword meta tags.
  • Headings: The <H1>-<H6> heading tags give your visitors  (search engines included) a good idea about what is the main subject of your page. Headings are text on a Web page within tags like: <H1>This is your  heading text. Include keywords here</H1> It is crucial for your search engine¬ optimization strategy success to include keywords in these tags.
  • Hyperlink text: It is natural to assume that the pages you are linking to will be related to the subject of your own page. This is why keywords  in hyperlink text are considered very important with some search engines.  Hyperlink text refers to the part of the URL that is seen on the page, the  visible text that a user clicks on (many search engines will also index the hidden URL text in the link).
  • URL text: Including keywords in your domain name and page names can  have a big influence on your rank in both regular search engines and  directories. Such keywords are called "URL text". When you are using keywords in the URL, links to your site from other sites will carry more weight toward a  higher search engine placement.
  • Top: The words on top of your page, in the beginning of your tags, first in paragraphs and at the start of your sentences are generally speaking regarded as more important. Make sure the keywords are among the first words on  your page. Making your keywords underlined, bold or otherwise highlighted also  help to emphasize the importance.

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:

  1. Make a great Web site. If people find it to be a high quality site with  valuable content, they will link to it.

  2. Make it easy to link. Put HTML code and link buttons on your site. Ask visitors for links to your site. Consider using a free service like or make your own "how to link to us" page.

  3. Offer rewards for those linking to you. Reciprocal links, free text or banner advertising etc. Ready made link swap scripts like Links Manager can help you manage your own reciprocal link page without any hassle.

  4. Conduct a search for web sites that are similar to yours in one of the major search engines. Find out who is linking to your competitors and suggest they put  up a link to you too. Reciprocal links from sites related to your site will  benefit both parties. To help finding link partner for this site have used Arelis. This is an excellent tool to help you find and get in touch with potential link partners without spending to much time. Or you can use  a link  directory.

  5. Pay for getting text links placed on important sites related to yours (just  like you usually do with banner ads). Or, if you rater would not spend any time at all on linking strategies,¬  you can always hire someone to do it for you. Use  a professional link bureau to seek out top sites in your market  niche and request links from each of them individually.  I will recommend LinkageXpress for this. This company has a very good track record, and will GUARANTEE you targeted link partners.

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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