With a multitude of variables involved in procuring top 10 search engine placement sometimes its the slightest things that make a difference between a top 100 listing and a top 10. Since algorithms are based on mathematics, one overlooked and rather minuscule detail, oftentimes, could mean the difference between achieving a top 10 ranking or being buried in the nether regions of search engines (past the 2nd page.
How to Unleash your Website or Blog
Instead of relying strictly on (1 ) assumption or (2) SEO tools (which are great for harvesting data, but without the intuitiveness to interpret and use it, its just that data). You need to think of the SEO process holistically, so for the sake of simplicity we will refer to this as On-Page and Off-Page SEO.
What is On-Page and Off-Page SEO?
Off-Page SEO deals with things like creating a site map, signing up for Google webmaster tools, or getting an account in Yahoo Site Explorer for starters.
On Page SEO deals with things like word count, word density, word placement, SEO content creation (making sure the words are engaging, have flow & purpose to readers, but are also beneficial for befriending search engine spiders), and the HTML framework such as keeping java script off your pages, keeping your .CSS off-line (linked from the pages as opposed to in-line in the code), etc. The next thing to consider is SEO visibility.
SEO Visibility and Off-Page Promotion
Visibility is a metric in essence. If you create 10,000 references an links to your site, by comparison to a site that builds 1000 of the same quality of links, then statistically the one with the higher quantity and quality of links will prevail. This is because its not just about links, its about popularity as well. If you on-page factors are slouching and for example you use lackluster titles and descriptions for example, that is your first and possibly last impression for that query, and these are people searching for specific things with specific needs. If you can think like the person who would be seeking products or services such as your own, you can do more than empathize, you can target your audience and use link bait, or create irresistible emotional triggers designed to captivate them and encourage a high click through rate.
So many click through and visits to websites are based on the magnetic headline or the problem/solutions quick fix antics of a well written description. Social bookmark sites such that allow users to post news and stories such as Sphinn, Digg, ISEdb Scoop, Propeller and others where votes equal back links and the rewards are prolonged exposure in search engines for and title promoted by their site, as well as after a few weeks, your site get the credit and your listing will oftentimes rank highly even though the social bookmarked listings have waned from the top 10. Call it piggyback SEO or what have you, the bottom line is, it is an effective tactic, particularly for Yahoo.
Use these sites wisely and dont abuse them with run of the mill content. Reserve tour best articles and posts for promotion through such sites such as those and you will fare just fine in the search engine result pages (SERPs). It is in essence, a sophisticated form of link building that has perks from visibility as well.
So, polishing your titles an descriptions can do more than increase click through rate, it can also directly affect where you land in comparison to your competition and is one of the first suggestions for improving organic search engine placement.
5 things to increase search engine placement:
1. Concise titles and descriptions - with titles remember, less is more . There is no need for the 22 word titles made popular in the past (its only keyword stuffing at that point). Not to mention the more words you have the more diluted each word becomes. Another thing to note is, you should really only have relevant keywords in the titles for things that are located ON THAT PAGE. So, often you see webmasters trying to put their entire roster in the titles on each page. This can actually hurt your rankings as opposed to helping them as spiders are smarter now and use semantic mapping of the pages LSI (latent semantic indexing) and other forms or word grouping and on page interpretation to get to the gist of a web page. If every page is seen as the same page, then you are almost tempting duplicate content filters to suppress some of the pages that may have similar titles, descriptions and on page content.
2. Revision to internal links and pages with authority in your own site - Finding the pages with the strongest on page / off page rank in search engines provides you with the ability to funnel the focus of those pages to new pages in your site or sub folders that may require a boost in the SERPs. Most websites strongest page is the home page, for obvious reasons, it has the most internal links pointing at it as well as external links from other sources as most directories or pages that link to you always use your homepage as a default. Find your strongest pages for specific keywords through using this simple command:
site:www.yourwebsite.com [keyword] you do not need the brackets, just put the keyword after the website with a space. Then the search engine will return the page with the strongest On-Page and Off-Page SEO factors, in sequential order based on the term you use. You can also use this in Yahoo without the keyword and Yahoo has a tendency to return the pages based on the internal linking strength by default such as site:www.yourwebsite.com hit return and now you know.
Knowing this, you can cap the number of outbound text links leaving your home page (10 - 20 links) to make each link more potent. Each link flows page rank and ranking authority to the next based on the internal linking structure, so where ever they go, if the links anchor text this is anchor text, has text that matches the title of the topic of the page it points at, it will boost its internal and external ranking.
Google webmaster tools has an section that allows you to see which of your pages are internal and external link champions or to determine what pages are starved for links. Just look under the links tab, after you login and then choose Pages with external links to see who links to you or Pages with internal links to see which pages of your site have pages pointing at them internally.
If you see a major discrepancy, then you know where to start during your next link building campaign or internal link audit. Try to spread the links out so that you have and 80 /20 ratio to the homepage or the index page for a sub folder. So if you have 100 links pointing at your homepage in that folder, you should have at least 20 links per page for the other pages. Each website it unique, so I will leave the preferences for the ratios in your hands, the point is spread them out so they are natural and not all loaded up on a select number of pages.
3. Social Website Promotion - Even though this was touched briefly on above, try to find a social network, make some friends by voting on they work. Posting relevant comments and truly being present, then publish your work or have one of your friends get the word out, (theres something to be said about not going for the shameless self promotion tactic in social media) typically you will see 1-3 votes unless the topic is phenomenal or others have seen or read your work before. MyBlogLog (great for yahoo rankings as well) is an excellent easy to use example of a social media tool to encourage readership as well as get the word out for your blog. Then you have Stubble upon, Reddit, Blinklist and others to start promoting your posts and RSS feeds.
4. SEO content creation - Dont be afraid of changing your content. After you look at what the page strength is for your website, try putting some fresh links, titles and descriptions together for a few of your pages, point to them using the most logical anchor text from pages with juice in your site (make a backup of the old page) and then try tweaking it with a tighter (on topic) title, beefing up the text to reinforce the message and uploading your new and improved page. Wait until its indexed and see if you received a boost in search engines for the strongest keywords on that page.
You can use Google Rankings Ultimate Seo Tool if you dont have access to your own SEO Tools, to determine the keyword density of your pages. You can then compare your page to the top 3 pages for that keyword in search engines to determine if your keyword density is too high, to low or if you rankings are sagging as a result of being starved for links. If you On-Page Keyword Density (the number of times your keywords appear divided by the total number of word on that page) are close enough to the leading sites in that category, then chances are you need to build links.
Here is another tidbit of information that may interest you. Did you know you can rank for things that are no longer on your pages? Google for example has a cache of every revision you have every made to your titles, descriptions and pages. Based upon the query someone uses, search engines will pool together snippets of information to produce the ideal search result. You will notice the text in the descriptions mostly take on the form of the search query, and even though that information may have long since passed from the page in question, it can still work on your behalf to produce a higher click through rate. So, by changing your titles and descriptions (during a link audit) you can essentially dictate to search engines new or unique terms you want to be found under. This is why it is important to revise your content, so when you do make changes like this, that the spiders dig deep enough to update the titles and tags for your entire site (in its newly optimized form).
5. Back links and Search Engine Visibility - If your On-Page SEO looks good, then its time to consider Off-Page search engine visibility and links through directories, Articles and back links.
Finding places to publish content like I-Snare, GoArticles or Ezinearticles for example, in addition to building links from authority sites to create inroads to your website.
Just remember, people typically find your site through 3 methods
1. Off-line word of mouth referrals, marketing or advertising
2. Search engines or
3. Links from other websites
So, to cover your bases, you should at least have the search engine and link building strategies necessary in order to manage the development and growth of your online presence.
So with this in mind, the only thing truly holding you or your website back from hitting the top 10, is the investment in time it takes to create word class content that is link worthy, relevant and useful, revisions to pages that didnt make the grade and promotion of your website to get the word out through links or positioning in search engines. Master this trifecta and traffic, popularity and search engine visibility are all by products or the mathematical equation.