SEO Strategies Introduction
There’s no doubt about it. Optimizing pages to satisfy search engines can be a tedious and demanding task. Not just initially, but throughout the duration of any website being live on the web.
Basically, your search engine optimization never ends.
You strive for high page rank. That can mean an actual score like the one Google assigns to individual web pages or merely a conceptual rating that provides your website with more search engine recognition and stature than other sites in your area of interest.
Either way, the goal is to make your website more popular, more visible, more important than all the competition.
You might not reach the top of the heap, but that’s where you have to aim in order to land anywhere near the top.
Not that you can’t reach the very top. You can. It’s just not necessary in order to reap all the benefits – at least, from a strictly search engine perspective.
Let’s face it. If you land in the top three positions (or even on the first page) of search results, you’ll most likely capture the same amount of traffic that the number one website enjoys. Maybe even more.
It all depends on your description. Or should we say, the description that a search engine displays in your listing – since meta description tags are rarely used anymore.
If your description more closely matches what a viewer is searching for, they’ll go to your website first. Regardless of what results position you happen to be in.
And even if they don’t go there first, they’ll most likely get there eventually. Unless, of course, one of the other websites has totally and completely satisfied their needs and they don’t feel compelled to continue their search.
The point is, it’s not entirely about what position you gain in search engine results. It’s about targeting a specific keyword (search term) and then making certain you accomplish these two things…
1. Your website ranks high for that keyword.
2. Your website can deliver viewer expectation for that keyword.
Of course, delivering the viewer’s expectation is fairly straightforward.
If the search term is “improve golf swing”, it’s a pretty safe bet the viewer is looking for something to improve their golf swing. As long as you provide information or a product (or both) that can satisfy that need, you’re in excellent striking distance.
Covering the first accomplishment – getting a high rank for your website – is a whole lot more involved.
It’s not just about satisfying a specific viewer need. Instead, it’s all about convincing a search engine that your website is superior with regard to satisfying a specific viewer need. For example…
There are over two million web pages associated with improving one’s golf swing. Some contain information, some contain products. Some contain nothing more valuable than a brief mention of the search term.
Regardless, there are millions of pages that show up in the search results total when a viewer types in “improve golf swing” (approximately 50,000 results if you put quotes around it, which the majority of searchers don‘t include).
All you have to do is dive into that vast ocean of search results and somehow manage to dog-paddle your web page past all the other possibilities and onto the sandy beach. Where only a few top ranked pages are currently basking in the sun.
The only question is, how do you accomplish that? How do you wind up in front of all those other web pages?
You start by analyzing each of those top ranked pages. You sift through their source code, their web content, their design techniques. Whatever it takes to find out exactly what they’re doing that placed them in the top results positions.
And then you do the same thing. Only better. And you keep doing it until you reach your ultimate goal.
That goal might just be the number one position. Or maybe it’s getting listed in the top three. Or maybe you’re willing to settle for any position on the first page of search results.
It doesn’t really matter.
Whatever goal you’ve set, whatever position you’re shooting for, you level your sights on the top ranked web pages and then do everything they’re doing and more.
Of course, if you’re targeting a less sought-after search term, you won’t have to work nearly as hard. And that’s why so many savvy webmasters do just that…
They deliberately seek out search terms that are valuable to their particular niche, but don’t have nearly the amount of competition associated with them.
That way, simply implementing the basic optimization techniques will most often ensure them a top position in search results for any one of those keywords.
Of course, you have to know which optimization techniques work for which search engines or directories. They’re all different. They all set their own criteria for what elements are most important.
Some put the greatest emphasis on link popularity. Others place a good deal more value on the count and density of a specific keyword on individual web pages. Still others are more interested in seeing a basic theme or topic carried throughout the entire website.
Fortunately, if you limit your optimization efforts to satisfying the top players – Google, Yahoo, MSN, and Open Directory (DMOZ) – you can cover the most important SEO bases simultaneously.
For example, even though having the keyword in your page title might not carry a great deal of weight with Yahoo, it’s an absolute must when it comes to satisfying Google. So put your keyword in the title.
Although DMOZ doesn’t care so much about links pointing to your page from other websites, Google, Yahoo, and MSN do place a considerable amount of value in how “popular” your page is.
And all of them want to see a fair amount of quality keyword-rich content and a solid topic or niche theme throughout.
By incorporating all of the most important optimization techniques – the ones that are unilaterally perceived as most valuable – you’ll find that you have automatically satisfied the top players.
And speaking of top players, Google is the one that you need to aim most of your time and energy toward. And to assist you in that regard, the majority of this particular report contains Google specific information.
Concentrate on rising to the top of Google’s results and everything else will naturally fall into place. It’s just that simple.