Statistics show that 85% of pages visited on the Internet come from people who have gotten there from a search engine. Statistically, people look first at the top of the first page of the regular search results, then the bottom, and then they go to the sponsored listings.
There is an art and science to being ranked highly on search engines. The science is formatting the pages with the right meta tags and submitting them in the right way to the search engines. The art is to make the site look and read normally despite filling it with keywords.
Here are five and a half ways to get a higher ranking and more visitors:
- Pick the right Key Words and Phrases
These are the words and phrases that people will put into search engines to try to find your product, business, or organization. Having good keywords and phrases is foundational to good optimization. This takes research using such tools as Wordtracker and Overture’s Keyword Suggestion Tool. They give you a good idea of what people are searching for and what you should focus on.
- Use Good Header Tags
Header tags are hidden in the code within your Web page. The most important one is the “title” tag, which isn’t considered a META tag. It tells what’s within your page and it’s important to have your keyphrases in it. It is also good to have keyphrases in your “description” META tag, though it doesn’t rank nearly as high as the “title” tag.
- Use Keyphrases in Your Visible Page Title
Provide a unique title for each page on your site that is chock full of keywords and phrases. Search engines like this because it means that there is a higher probability that your site is a good match for what people are looking for. This is should be placed within the H1 tag (top heading) of your page and is visible to the visitor. It also pays to have your keyphrases in subtitles on the page.
- Provide Plenty of Content on Your Site
Shoot to have at least 450 characters on your page. Concentrate on putting keywords and phrases in the first paragraph and last paragraphs.
- Secure a Lot of Related Incoming Links
The more sites linked to your site, the higher you will be ranked by the search engines. These links can be from strategic partners, vendors, directories, or other types of sites with whom you exchange links.
If you are a website developer, put in your contract that you are going to put a developer’s link at the bottom of the site, such as, “Website design by Green Chair Marketing Group,” with an active link to your site. This will help your site grow in its link popularity.
5.5 Keep Optimizing Your Site
The more content on your site, the better. I suggest adding a couple of pages a month, whether it’s case studies, more product information, testimonials, articles, press releases, etc. If you add just five new pages a month, you will have 60 new pages by the end of the year, and over 100 pages by the end of the second year.
You are bound to catch some people you would have missed because there is more content to choose from. And your site will be more highly ranked by Google because they highly weigh sites that have more content.
While you’re at it, continue to get relevant links coming to your site. Google loves incoming links. And you might have people click through to your site from these other places.
If you don’t have time to work on the optimization or would feel more comfortable having someone else do it, consider strongly hiring a professional to do your search engine optimization. That way you can focus your energies on sales or creating more and better products.
One caveat, I would stay away from companies that initiate contact with you through emails or phone calls. They often use techniques that can get you severely penalized by search engines. Ask people you know who have been successful in their search engine positioning who they use.