Better Search Engine Rankings
SEO Made Easy to Understand
Search engine optimization involves a lot of
steps, but it doesn't have to be confusing to the neophyte.
Earning better search engine rankings involves three basic steps and
here they are. If you want to learn more after you read this page,
visit my SEO project
management process page. If you search at Google for this
phrase, you can see my ranking.
Be aware and beware, there are lots of SEO
companies who will try to sell you on buzzwords you don't understand
deals requiring a lengthy
financial commitment on your part. They may offer you ranking
guarantees. My personal opinion is that anyone who offers absolute
ranking guarantees and number one ranking guarantees in this business is
either a fool or a liar or both. If this was the case, then they
would already have all the SEO business and probably wouldn't need
Have you been there and done
that and got the tee shirt to prove it? If so, I offer you my
condolences. If not, make sure you understand every detail in plain language before you make a
commitment. Don't get snookered. To paraphrase an old
Tennessee saying about tourists, "an uninformed website owner is worth
more than a bale of cotton and is a whole lot easier to pick."
SEO 1 - 2 - 3
1. Structural Correctness
The first step in the better rankings
process starts with structural correctness. Thing like:
A website design that is
search friendly that can be easily crawled by spiders and robots, the
visitors from search engines that read your content.
This means no frames
(although frames can be optimized - not worth the trouble in my
opinion), not designed in Flash (although Flash is good for other
things), not using navigation scripts that won't allow your hyperlinks
to be read.
Including in your website
a robots text file. Visit
Including an html sitemap
Including an xml sitemap
that is registered with Google, Yahoo and Bing.
These are the most common
things missing from websites designed without SEO in mind. If you don't have a good
foundation, you cannot build a good building? Same with your
Content is king,
especially for a new website, but any website will benefit from the best
possible content. Copywriting is the hardest part of the process.
Read web copywriting basics and
home page copywriting.
If you search for those two phrases at Google, you can see my rankings.
If you want a primer about
writing content that works for Google, request my
free SEO help file. If you search
at Google for this phrase, you can see my ranking.
Write enough copy per
page, typically 450-550 words. A frequent response to this
idea is, who is going to read all that!! The answer is spiders
and robots. If you look at the copywriting basics page or the home page
copywriting page, you will see recommendations for making your
content human scan-able.
Write your pages (with
the exception of the home page) about one subject per page.
More subjects? Write as many pages as you can that are
relevant to your goals.
The reason you want
one subject per page is the search engine algorithm that analyzes
your pages is trying to determine what is this page about?
Multiple subjects dilute your message. If you need pages that
have multiple messages, that's fine, just don't expect them to earn
Your page targets (the
search phrase you for which you want better search engine rankings)
should be based on search phrase research. Read more about
this at my keyword services page.
Search for this phrase at Google to see my ranking. Also, look
at the number of competing web pages.
Write you page titles
in the <head> of your page, meta descriptions and meta keywords to
support your page target. Important words first in the title.
Have a visible page
title in text not graphics - search engine spiders and robots cannot
read words in graphics.
Use <h1> or bold and
larger font size for your visible page titles, like I have done on
When you create your
navigation structure to connect all the pages in your website, if
you can, avoid using graphic images for your links. Instead,
use keyword text to link to your pages. This website is a good
In your pages, use
keyword rich anchor text for body copy links (the most valuable
links of all) to tie your content together so that your readers will
learn more about ALL of the content in your website that might
interest them. I have done this in this page. These
links also increase your internal PageRank and help spiders and
robots find all of your content.
Keep adding content.
There is no end to adding good content. Read my
add quality content to
your website page for some good ideas, courtesy of my great
friend and web copywriting genius, Robin Nobles.
One interesting thing
that I hear often from prospective clients - I want rankings for
these keywords. Unless you have good content to support the
keywords of your choice, the idea of rankings for keywords is just
that, an idea. What you DO want is rankings for exceptional
content that supports the keywords. Organic optimization is
nothing like buying pay-per-click ads. Remember, content is
That's the basics.
Copywriting is usually the most time consuming part of earning better
search engine rankings. There is no substitute for good copy.
It informs, educates and may inspire your readers to take the action you
want them to take. The content belongs to you and becomes a
permanent and invaluable asset.
One other thing that will
make your commitment to the best possible content easier: every page in
a well written website can be a landing page. There is no
"front door" which is the only way to arrive at your website. I
have two pages in this website that get as many direct visitors from
searchers as my home page. Make every page as special as your home
page and you will be pleasantly surprised at the results.
3. Get Links In to
Your Website from Other Websites
When you have written the
best possible content and earned the best rankings you can achieve, the
only thing that typically influences rankings among the top pages in
the Google index for any given highly competitive search target is links
in from other web sites, also called inbound links or inlinks.
I don’t recommend linking before content improvements because the way
the links should be constructed and the anchor text for the links should
compliment and support each page that is linked to. If you link
and then improve your content, the links are likely to be of much less
value to your rankings than they could be because they may not support
your improved content.
The other thing to
consider is that establishing good inbound links takes a lot of work at
a considerable expense, and if you change your page targets, getting the
links changed to match could be a monumental job, perhaps unachievable.
There will be many, many SEO companies who want to sell you linking
programs right off the bat, even before they ever look at your website.
Why? Easy sales commissions. Anyone who is competent at SEO
doesn't have the time to cold call you for your business. Chances
are the people who are doing the calling don't know much of anything
about anything other than sales. Chances are they are reading a
prepared sales script.
Most linking services are outsourced, mainly to India, so taking an
order for a linking program requires little overhead other than
administration. Repeat after me: I won't do this. I won't do
this. I won't do this. I am glad you have taken the pledge.
When you get the sales pitch about linking programs, the first question
I recommend you ask is, "what's your commission if I buy your
Linking is a
complex subject. I have a 100 page document from one of my
optimization research expert resources which is just about linking.
So, I am not going to give you a lot of how to details about linking.
Here is part of what
Google says about linking:
Make sure that other
sites link to yours
Links help our crawlers find your site and can give
your site greater visibility in our search results.
When returning results for a search, Google combines
PageRank (our measure of a page's importance) with
sophisticated text-matching techniques to display
pages that are both important and relevant to each
search. Google counts the number of votes a page
receives to determine its PageRank, interpreting a
link from page A to page B as a vote by page A for
page B. Votes cast by pages that are themselves
"important" weigh more heavily and help to make
other pages "important." Please note that ranking of
sites in our search results is completely automated,
and we don't manually assign keywords to sites.
Keep in mind that our algorithms can
distinguish natural links from unnatural links. Natural links
to your site develop as part of the dynamic nature
of the web when other sites find your content
valuable and think it would be helpful for their
visitors. Unnatural links to your site are placed
there specifically to make your site look more
popular to search engines. Some of these types of
links (such as link schemes and doorway pages) are
covered in our webmaster guidelines.
Only natural links are useful for
the indexing and ranking of your site.
Here is the source for
How can I create a Google-friendly site?
Google doesn't expect a brand new website
to have any links in, but getting one or two links from your external blog
or from a friend's website will help you get your content into the
Google index more quickly. See my page about
best website submission
service for information about a few easy ways to get some links,
along with why you SHOULD NOT submit your website to search engines.
can have good search engine rankings for niche targets without any links
in to your website. But, for highly competitive targets, and, as
your website ages online, Google expects you will have more links into
your website over time.
growth in terms of numbers of links should be about at the same rate as
your website visitation. A cautious guideline that is often
is 1 to 2 percent of your website unique visitor volume (this is one of
the reasons why you need good web statistics with your hosting account)
should be your maximum number of new inlinks per day, if you were
undertaking a serious "all you can do" linking program. So, if you
are getting 100 unique visitors per day, 1-2 links a day is a good
We have a
link building program for
our clients. The minimum order is 20 links.
Summing It Up
SEO 1 - 2 - 3: structurally correct, exceptional content, and links.
There are lots of little details not mentioned here.
SEO well done is both a science and an art, and as you might realize
from reading this far, good content is really important. Writing web
pages is not a science. There are some analytical tools you can
use to make sure your pages are not out of bounds in some way that might
hurt your opportunity for better search engine rankings. We use
the two best programs we know about. But good copywriting can be
done without analysis. Writing to some formula is a sure way to
create uninteresting copy. Good writing comes from the heart and
Most website owners whose business is not totally
Internet related don't know much of anything about SEO other than
they think they need it.
That's why I wrote this page, because explaining this subject takes a lot of time
to help a prospect decide if they want our help with their website.
Let me know if you find this page
helpful. I have a lot of educational material in this website
because educated prospects make good decisions and even better clients.
Thanks for reading.
contact me for a free consultation
about you web marketing goals.
Castle is SEO certified
by Search Engine Workshops.
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