Archive for January, 2015

How to Rank Effectively on Search Engines

Today, let’s examine the effectiveness of keyword search engine rankings.  In order for you to maximise the effectiveness of keyword ranking on search engines, it’s first necessary to know just how ranking on search engines work…

Search engines use what’s termed as “bots” or “spiders” to reach out to different websites on the internet & discover how that website is structured so that they can better build their database.  These spiders/bots will go a website and collect data on it.  This data is then added to the search engine index.

When a user types in a specific search term on the search engine, it will use the data gathered within the database to provide the searcher with results which it believe best fits the term they are searching for.  As well as providing this data, it will also rank the information in accordance to how best the site fits their needs depending on what they have typed in.

One way that website builders try to help these bots to classify their sites, is through the use of Meta tags (i.e.  Meta titles & Meta descriptions).  This helps the bots identify quickly & effectively what that site is about rather than the bot having to ‘guess’ what your website is about through the general content..

This is why on-page search engine optimisation is as important now as it was many years ago (although Meta keywords are less relevant now than they were previously).  If Meta tags are structured correctly, it will allow these bots to store accurate & relevant information on your site – thus enabling easy identification & displaying when that information is requested by a web surfer.

The lifeblood of any website is traffic.  Traffic can make or break a website.  Although there are various techniques for generating traffic to a website, search engine optimization (when used effectively) will generate more traffic than Pay per click advertising.  This is why you must ensure that you use more than just a few keywords; so that multiple search queries will allow your website to rank quite well in the search results rather than relying on a single search term.

 

There are 2 ways you can find the search terms/keywords which will help you rank your website well:

  • One of the best ways to find these keywords is through having Brainstorming sessions.  Approaching your website through the eyes of a potential visitor (and thinking about what search terms those users may use to try & find your site) is a great way to find your main keyword & any related keyword search terms (just try to be unbiased & think about what potential visitors might want to look for– not what YOU think they should be looking for!).
  • Search Engine Ranking Tools are also a great way to find relevant keywords and phrases because most of them will use real search engine data to display what users have searched for in the past.  You can use this to predict what users will search for now.

 

As well as finding terms which are popular & that can get you lots of traffic, you also need to pay special to the level of competition for your desired keywords/phrases.  It’s all very well, when you find a keyword for your desired niche which has a monthly search volume of over 10,000 – however, if there is also a high level of competition for that particular keyword, then you’re unlikely to rank very well for that term (especially as many of those competitors will have been there a while and are the established authority site for that niche).  A good keyword search tool will also give you information on the level of competition. Make sure you pay attention to this!

Now a few tips for when you’re applying your chosen golden keywords:

–        Do not keyword stuff!  Google has become very good at spotting unnatural occurrences of a particular keyword within a website.  If it thinks you’ve over used on a particular keyword(s), it may penalise you for this!

–        Make your website content look natural & engage your visitors.  Make the content interesting to them.  Focus on user experience first and good keyword placement will follow naturally.

–        Never use your main keyword in the title AND URL.  Just write a really catchy & irresistible title & description. Have multiple keywords & use some of your non-main keywords for the title & URL.  You can use your main keyword once in the Meta Description.  Sprinkle multiple chosen keywords over your site – don’t just focus on a single phrase.

–        You don’t need to be concerned with the Meta keyword section.  This has become obsolete & bots no longer gather the information from this section

–        Never go over 3% keyword density on the page (1% is better) (there are keyword density checkers online which will give you this information for your website!)

 

That’s it really for getting started!  It just takes some careful research & planning on your part to ensure you’ve chosen your keywords well.  Certain tools can help reduce the time taken to get your optimization efforts off to a good start.  Just follow the tips above also, and you won’t go far wrong.

 

As usual, any questions or elaboration required?  Drop me an email.  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 Tips for Ranking on Google

Before we examine the tips for ranking on the first page of Google, it’s important to mention a few points about how Google perceives link building:

 

Natural & Unnatural links:

Google places emphasis on rewarding good user experiences.  To that end, Google wants to see organic naturally occurring links to a site.  Any links which are inorganic or look unnatural in any form will be picked up as spam by Google’s algothirm – or at least that’s how it’s supposed to work.

So what’s natural & unnatural?

Well simply put, unnatural or inorganic is any link building campaign which is designed or perceived to manipulate or fool Google into awarding a higher rank for a website than it should get.  Google doesn’t like link-building software… Software’s are designed to build mass links to a money site effortlessly and with minimum human involvement and in the shortest time possible.  Whereas natural organic links are high quality links which takes place over a much longer period of time.

 

5 Tips for Ranking on Google

Those of us who’ve been around for a while remember when Google results page were clean, white pages with 10 results of less and a couple of ads. Safe to say we’ve come a long way, and while some users find the cluttered search pages a nightmare, from a business perspective everyone needs to rank highly on Google in order to reach a wider audience. As a marketer, the opportunity to control multiple first page rankings means you’re able to rank better, appear in more searches and present a recognizable brand to the market.

Use these strategies to build traction with SEO and establish a name in your industry:

off-page seo

 

1. Local:

Local results work their way into a search result in a number of ways. If for instance a user searches for a restaurant in a specific neighbourhood, or a local store, the search engine may display maps showing the location and other relevant information. Businesses that comprise of a retail store front could use local listings as a way to pull in new visitors. Three factors determine local listings:

· Google Places Listing

· Your website

· Other factors such as structured citations or back links

2. Sitelinks:

As a marketer you need SERP space, links and as much exposure as possible, and Google allows you to do this with site links. Both standard and expanded site links are supported by Google but we can’t really tell how that algorithm works. What we do know for sure is that Google encourages people to use informative and descriptive anchor text and avoid repetition. Failure to produce quality and useful anchor text can lead to demotion by Google Webmaster Tools.

3. News:

If you operate a news website or a high quality blog, Google News might prove to be a valuable tool for when you want to gain more traffic and organic listings. Just make sure to set the bar high, because Google has set in place a few guidelines for the technical and quality aspects. Provided the website meets these requirements, you are free to submit your articles for inclusion in Google News.

4. Video:

Videos play an important part in SEO and if the video trends, it can give your brand the boost it needs. As you may have noticed, Google displays YouTube videos in the search results, which makes it all the more important to include video in your content. Luckily, embedded videos can be listed too, so work on getting more videos embedded on your website.

5. Images

Images are also included in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) and a single click on the picture leads the user to the source webpage. Image search doesn’t generate as much engagement as regular web search traffic but that doesn’t make it useless. Certain niches require significant use of images for SEO purposes; for instance travel websites and beauty magazines tie certain keywords to the images on their pages, therefore improving their rankings.

6.  On-Page SEO:

on-page SEO

Don’t underestimate the power of on-page SEO or on page optimization.  Ensure that your main keyword appears in the following areas of your site:

–  Main keyword in your Title

–  Main keyword in H1 tag

–  Main Keyword used in the alternate text field for your image.

–  Main keywords in your description field

–  (no need to place your keyword in your meta keyword section – these simply do hold as much value as it used to!)

–  A YouTube video which is connected to your content.

–  1 link pointing to an authority site which is relevant to the content.

–  Keyword to be used twice at the most – avoid excessive use of the same keyword as Google will view this as ‘keyword stuffing’.