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Higher Search Engine Ranking Means More Visitors And Sales

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How To Rank High In Search Engines

Although some web sites don't rely on search engines very much any more, search engines are still an awesome way to build traffic to your site without having to spend your hard earned dollars. If you come up on top, you get thousands of hits. If you come up in the 1,000 position, you get zilch.

Another advantage is that visitors from search engines are highly targeted. A person searching for a particular phrase which your site is related on a search engine is naturally interested in this topic and much more likely to buy.

It makes sense then, to make your site as search-engine-friendly as possible, so your rankings will improve, giving you more visitors which leads to more sales.

The difficulty in achieving top positions is the fact that many of the search engines change their ranking algorithms almost monthly. That's why many companies would rather seek for help from experienced SEO service providers.

However, the principles remain the same. Keep in mind that the ultimate goal of search engines is to provide relevant search results for their, not yours, visitors. So the number one key to getting good positions is having fresh and relevant content on your subject. It's becoming more and more important now.

The first step in successful search engine promotion is to pick the right keywords that people will be searching for. Just as when you identify your niche market, don't try to be everything to everyone. Focus on 5-8 words for each page.

Then search engine will calculate page ranking mainly based on these factors:

Keyword Density

The ratio of keywords to all the words on your page. If you have 100 words on a page and 5 of them are "promotion", then you have a keyword density of 5% for the word "promotion" at this page.

Keyword density is one of the most important factors to determine page rankings. The logic is that, the more you mention something in a page the more likely this page is related to this subject.

Put your keywords in your page so that they are used on 3-10% of the page. You can analyze your keyword density at Keyword Density.

Be careful not to overstuff keywords in your copy so that it sounds strange when visitors read it.

Besides body text, you can also put keywords in Meta tags, comment tags, ALT tags for images to increase keyword density.

Never try to trick search engines. You WILL be caught sooner or later if you do. Some tricks might work several years ago, like using invisible text (white text on white background). Search engines are getting smarter everyday. Don't you think the programmers and engineers in these giant companies are as smart as we are? :-)

Keyword Position

Search engines tend to place more emphasis on some particular positions in a HTML file:

  • The closer to the beginning of visible text, the more importance and relevance will be put
  • Domain name
  • Page file name
  • Page title
  • Keyword Meta tag
  • Description Meta tag
  • Text in heading or bold
  • Link text

Make sure you put keywords in those key places. Some search engines may not place more emphasis on all of them. For example, Google doesn't read your Description tags at all. But most of them are still working for most search engines.

It doesn't hurt to include keywords in these places, anyway.

Link Popularity

Search engines, especially Google, place high emphasis on links to your site in assigning a good ranking. Simply put, other things remaining the same, more inbound links means higher ranking.

What is important is not only the number of links to your site, but also the types of sites which are linking to you. A link from a site which is related to yours is more valuable than a link from an unrelated site.

This factor is becoming more and more important and it makes perfect sense. The quality of a site can be largely reflected by the number of webmasters who think the site is great and therefore are linking to it.

Click here to learn how to increase your link popularity.

The outlines described above are over-simplified. For detailed search engine optimization tips, read this article.

Search engines keep changing their ranking algorithms to serve their clients better (and to keep us from catching up with them as well), it becomes almost a full-time job just to figure out which techniques work on which engines today.

Since it's next to impossible for anyone to discover all the current secrets of all the search engines, my suggestion is, focus on good quality content with well-written, keyword-rich copy.

You can also make use of this useful resource for the war:

Web Position Gold: A top notch software helping you achieve top positions. You can download a free trial version here.

Additionally, there are two directories you need to submit your site to, Yahoo and Open Directory Project. Unlike the search engines, an actual human editor will evaluates your site.

Getting your site an optimum listing in Yahoo and Open Directory is perhaps the most important step in effective web site promotion.

An optimum listing in Yahoo can bring in more traffic to your site than any other search engines since Yahoo is the most trafficked site on the Internet. AOL Search, Netscape, Lycos and many other smaller or regional search engines and directories pull results from Open Directory.

However, getting listed in these two directories can be tough, especially Yahoo. Only 10% of submissions are actually included in Yahoo.

For more information on getting listed in Yahoo, read this article.

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Article by Zac Hewlett at SingaporeWebHosting.com
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