in Search Engine Optimization by Jeffrey_Smith

There’s nothing like that top 10 feeling! Every day, millions of individuals and businesses alike are striving for ranking in the top 10 organic search results in Google, Yahoo & MSN. You know what I mean by that feeling that one receives when conducting a search for a relative term in their industry and “presto manifesto” there you are in the top 10. No matter how many times you see it, there’s still that undescribable emotion that never ceases bring a smile to your face.

The elation one experiences and the accompanying rush of energy that for lack of better terms can be summarized as “a heightened sense of accomplishment” is truly the new high for entrepreneurs & executives from around the globe. Just as landing your pages in the top 10 search results can give bring joy, it can also trigger obsessing over it desperately, in the event that your terms slip from the spotlight. This sensation of impending disappointment should only serve one purpose other than reminiscing of it’s previously elevated stature as you long for it to return to it’s lofty state of former glory, that purpose is to let you know that it’s time to kick it up a notch.

Know that landing in the top 10 search results for a highly competitive term can do more than boost morale, it can boosts sales and lead generation to an all time high. As search engines are constantly in a state of flux, you need to continually feed them fresh content to keep them interested in your pages (through fresh content or links). By feeding the spiders link bait and changes to your content, this will send a ping for them to revisit (report to the mother ship) and re-index your pages. The more pages you have in search engines, the higher ranking potential for your website.

Results don’t just magically appear, there are various factors that influence holistic authority in search engines that elevates your site to the status of a relative expert and views your site as a reference (such as Wikipedia). Building authority is by far one of the most influential upgrades one could ever achieve and essentially is accomplished through building traffic and links from a wide array of sources.

What good is it to have a website, if no one can find it? Remember your first top 10 search result? I do, ours was “effective SEO company” (now we have over 4000, so one pales in comparison) even though it seems like a potent search term, speculation and popularity are two things. Coming to terms with trends in search and keywords that actually have traffic and words which seem logically or semantically as if they have traffic are two different things. You could essentially waste months or years of time by going after lofty search terms that are simply outside of the scope of your websites’ current link authority and popularity.

I have mentioned this in a previous article internet marketing and the rules of engagement, but this point is worth noting again.

“Identifying your true niche can be difficult enough, let alone developing a plan of action that won’t leave your spinning your wheels. It seems like just when you thought you had it all figured out, the long tail of search kicks in and you determine that the area you focused so diligently to create has the least yield and return on investment”.

Pie in the sky terms are nice as a target of a well planned and executed SEO campaign, but in all likelihood, the result of going after a term that may be too rich for your blood at this point in the game will be futile. Plan where you would like to be in a year, but be where you are now and employ strategies to effectively optimize 3-5 terms at a time, so that you can (a) track the results and (b) not get diffused from trying to bite off more than you can chew.

There is nothing wrong with planting seeds (and links) to blanket a series of terms about the web, so that when search engine spiders or humans stumble across them they point, click & enjoy. But realizing that since rankings are based on principles, once you gain insight into those principles, you know what search engines like and what to feed them (fresh on-topic content) in order to gain notoriety and respective enhanced placement.

Factors such as who you link to, who links to you, how old your site is, do you have keywords in the domain name, how your pages are linked internally, if a site map is present, are the pages SEO friendly, is the content self centered or informative, these are but a few of the criteria search engines utilize to dish out rankings. So aside from reading the thousands of SEO articles out there, just take this simple bit of advice.

Is your content link worthy?, If not it’s time to edit your content

1. If you read one of your pages, would you refer it to a friend if you thought they were looking for something related?

2. Do your pages clearly identify what they are about within 5 seconds from the time a visitor lands on the page?

3. Can you quickly find a site map, privacy policy, phone number of contact information without having to find Waldo?

4. If you had to summarize the page and it’s content, could you do so in less than a minute?

If you could not successfully accomplish all of those minor feats, chance are your pages are not going to land in the top 10 search results for a competitive term. On page is equally important as off page SEO, despite the fact that each search engine has it’s own ranking criteria. The base is essentially the same benchmark.

Ranking in the top 10 results is not so much of a guessing game as much as it is a checklist of removing the things that may be working against your pages from the onset. One thing you have to love about search engine optimization is, once you understand the fundamentals, you can experiment with different optimization strategies on different pages to determine which are the most effective for your website.

Just like no two snowflakes are alike or no two grains of sand, the same applies in SEO and one strategy that works wonders in one category may be SEO Overkill in another. Finding the right balance is essential and as many have said before, there is something to taking one small step at a time that just can’t be beat, when you are trying to determine just how effective your on page adjustments and off page link popularity holistically integrate.

So if you are making changes to your site, start small and add additional tactics over time. Sometimes the changes just need to simply percolate and that is all. Instead the very thing that could put you over the top will more than likely get churned if you don’t chart the progress and treat the procedure with the regard it deserves.

Starting with the right attitude is the key, understand that it may take months to achieve your goal and you will be much more inclined to embrace the ups and downs as they occur. Eventually you will get there and the SEO will defend itself from anyone using lesser techniques or tactics. Rest assured it is well worth the wait when someone can type in a one of two word search term and your site is present at the top out of millions of other competing pages.

Just remember, search engines appreciate quality content and by consistently providing that, eventually your website will garner the relevance you seek. It’s not always what needs to be done to your pages, but rather what needs to be undone in order to unleash your websites’ full potential, which is why sometimes it may better to stay focused on running your business and leave the SEO to an SEO company to get the job done.  

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About Jeffrey_Smith

In 2006, Jeffrey Smith founded SEO Design Solutions (An SEO Provider who now develops SEO Software for WordPress).

Jeffrey has actively been involved in internet marketing since 1995 and brings a wealth of collective experiences and marketing strategies to increase rankings, revenue and reach.

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