Search engine rankings for beginners
Better to leave search engine optimization in the mystical land of the internet marketing guru, right? Good search engine rankings are hard to come by. Understanding search engine marketing takes years of study and only people with true insider knowledge and secret tools rank well on Google, right? INCORRECT. Pure shit indeed.
Ranking well in search engines is not difficult. In fact, search engine optimization is relatively easy. What keeps most people from ranking well in search engines is misinformation. Every week there is another quick fix to ranking well in search engines and people jump from one quick fix to the next in hopes of reaching the Top 10 position on Google and never making it.
There are 6 key areas of search engine optimization that you need to know about. These are the basics. Doing them right will help you achieve the Google ranking you’ve always wanted.
Domain Name – The jury is still out on the relevance of a keyword-rich domain name. What I mean by keyword-rich domain name is to say, for example, that your site was going to be about money-making ideas, so a domain name idea could be [http://www.moneymakingideas.com] or http://www.money-making-ideas.com. My personal preference is the hyphenated approach, eg http://www.money-making-ideas.com simply because I think search engines can read it more easily. To register your domain name, I suggest you use 000Domains.com or GoDaddy.com
Content: useful content. No pages full of keywords, spam. Write something useful for your visitors. If you can’t write, you will have to learn. Converting Words Into Traffic is a great resource for learning how to write content and it is a resource that I use personally. Turn Words Into Traffic gives you an AZ on article writing, from the writers perspective. If you don’t want to learn how to write content, you can always use Create Quick Website Content to help you speed up the process.
Keywords: Keywords are the words or phrases that you expect people to search for your site / service / content. There are two different factors to consider when choosing keywords for your site.
1. You must target your ads to specific keywords. For example, if you have a dating website, it will probably be quite difficult for you to rank high in search engines initially on that single term. However, if you had to refine an area of your site to target, say Gay & Lesbian Dating which is more specific. You can also regionalize your keywords or keyphrases, for example Toronto gay and lesbian dating. This refinement process is often referred to as niche marketing (pronounced neech).
2. You need to choose the keywords that you want people to find your site with. Put yourself in the shoes of your visitors: think about what they might use to find you in search engines. What keywords or key phrases would you type into a search engine to find your site? What keywords or key phrases would your potential visitor use to search for you? Always, always think like a typical websurfer.
If you’re interested in seeing what people are searching for on the web and how profitable it could be for you, I’d recommend checking out Good Keywords. It’s free and does a wonderful job of helping you find good keywords 🙂
I also suggest you try Wordtracker as well. It is a brilliant service for tracking specific and popular keywords.
Keyword Density – This is how often your keyword is used on the page. For example, if you have 100 words of text on a single page and you mention your keyword 5 times, then you have a 5% keyword density.
Opinions vary on this, but between 1% and 7% is considered ideal. If this doesn’t make sense to you, then that’s fine. The simple rule is this: less is more. Don’t edit the text on your web pages to include your keyword over and over again because … well … it looks stupid, it won’t instill any confidence in your potential customer, and it could also get you penalized or removed from search engines.
Page Title – Your tag is critical for your page to rank well. There is no point stuffing your tag with keywords in the hopes of getting a good ranking. Your tag, once properly constructed, will see you quickly climb the search engine rankings. Keep this simple fact in mind when creating your websites and it will come in handy for you.
Links: having good links pointing to your site and good links within your site (an aspect that is often overlooked in search engine optimization) is quite important when it comes to search engine ranking . Having other sites linked to yours shows how important your site is to search engines, meaning if the content on your site is so valuable that other site owners want to link to it, then it must be important.
META tags: Meta tags are dead. Well, not quite dead, but they are only used as a benchmark for search engines. It’s a shame to see websites that still have their META tags packed with keywords. Meaningless. Put your main keywords in the Meta Keyword part of your web page, but other than that, don’t lose sleep or waste energy on them.
There is not enough space in this article to explain all of the above in detail that I would love to. Also, I’m not a search engine expert so it’s best to leave some of the explanation for those I learned from (Sean Burns and Jay Stockwell bow, please 🙂
Having learned the basics of search engine optimization and presentation, I have achieved the top 10 rankings for all of my websites. It is not difficult to do this. It just takes work, a little patience, and a little common sense.