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.
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 keyword 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 at 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.
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, but 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.