There is something to be said about keeping things simple. So, instead of going into a theory on how to increase your deep link percentage, what threshold benchmarks are the new rave of the search algorithm or break apart yet another fragment of SEO. Let’s just take one step back and look and the reason why any of this matters.
Why do you need SEO?
You need SEO because people are searching for information and can either find it on your website or your competitors. Call it human nature, call it curiosity, emotional impulse or whatever you want, but since people are searching (into the billions each month), it is important to understand the need for marketing and positioning tactics.
- You need SEO because traffic equates to visibility, sales and conversion.
- You need SEO because there is competition for your business.
- But once visitors have found your site, it must have appeal.
Sites that lack appeal are sites that lack visitors (or are just there to provide spring-boards to their competition who have a more compelling offer). So, make sure the marketing part of the site (the part that actually encourages people to purchase or take action) is just as strong as the SEO that put it there otherwise, you have missed the boat in your optimization efforts.
The fact is, the competition never sleeps, and what are they competing for? They are competing for the attention and engagement of potential searchers by the thousands each day seeking related products and services (such as yours). Now that the base is established, what you do from there determines how effective your understanding of search engines and how they rank criteria.
Despite our ability to grasp or quantify it, the market place is just a numbers game. It is easy to make a subject more complex with definitions, but what it more important, understanding the subject or just having a broader vocabulary to “talk about it”. Personally, I would rather be doing it and learning from my triumphs as well as mistakes to refine more stable tactics to produce even more consistent high ranking results.
Since it is a numbers game, the goal is to be #1, to do that, you have to prove why your site should sit at the helm of a search.
There are a few factors for consideration.
Analysis of the site architecture (to determine) strong internal links, no internal links, strong external links (sites linking to it) an average quantity of external links (what is in the anchor text and which page it links to). An authority site can rank on a title alone, a smaller site make take months to achieve a high ranking for the same keywords. It all depends on your approach.
Each page has a threshold that essentially determines where it ranks. If you have a strong site with authority in a niche (as a result of building up enough related content) then it will take less external links to elevate such content (due to the content and internal links reinforcing the theme).
If you have a smaller site with less content on a subject, you will have to work that much harder to appease search engines to show them why you should outrank a competitor who (a) frequently adds more content on the subject as well as (b) has impeccable site architecture to support the topic.
If you have a smaller site, then you can think about SEO from the level of the page the LPP Ratio or links per page ratio. For most searches, you will note, the top position if it leads to a page and not the homepage of the site (represents that it was the most relevance result from that site for the query).
If the top result for a search is a homepage, then this implies that the site has enough topical information on the subject that the page rank (link weight) has migrated upwards and become buoyant and now instead of seeing a sub page, the home page (which is linked to the page) now takes its place.
The point is, it really breaks down to:
1) Website age and authority (the trust factor).
2) How many links the homepage has (this is your base)
3) How many deep links the site has (this determines how fluid the site is)
4) How many links to the page (and what anchor text was used, as well as how strong the page is internally linked with related phrases).
When you combine or rather assess these rudimentary aspects, it is not difficult to see why a page ranks the way it does. I have seen many pages that hold down national phrases with less than 20 back links from other sites. Local searches can be dominated with a few links from the right source (to the homepage and to the specific page that comprises the most relevant result for the topic).
Knowing how many links (are supporting the highest ranking page) and what types of links to use to elevate a page is important, but at least by starting at the top (the #1 result) you can look for indicators in your analysis when constructing an optimization strategy.
So, getting the page to move up the ranks is not as complicated as it may seem.
The premise is:
1) add quality content with a related theme (that supports other semantically related phrases)
2) make sure the sites strongest internal pages are linking to it (preferably with the anchor text you want to rank for).
3) build enough links to the page to overcome the relevance score of the sites between yours and the site occupying the top position.
This does not always happen overnight, but it can happen rather quickly, depending on the keywords. Some links are quarantined until they age, or just don’t pass value, others do. So, finding the right mixture of link weight to aid the process is a major contributing factor. The idea is, you want quality one way links that pass value and are permanent to give each page a competitive advantage.
For a very competitive phrase it may take hundreds or thousands of links to the right page with the right anchor text, before your site reaches the threshold / relevance / benchmark for those phrases. Just chart your progress and be mindful that it is better to climb the ladder one rung at a time and not to accelerate link velocity past what is considered “natural” to avoid being penalized. In addition, there are other considerations for building link velocity, diversity and volume that you may wish to review.
So, now that you see the movement, the page is climbing to the top of the respective field, then what?
It’s time to go back to basics.
Do you want to send your rankings into the space like a rocket? then write great, consistently released content. Blogging or adding fresh content always has and always will be a key metric in search relevance. The more relevant information you have on your site about a topic, the more information the algorithm can cross reference to increase your relevance score (But none of that matters unless your pages have appeal).
Does the site template matter as much as the content? or is the content what keeps the reader intact?
Here is where many of us can miss the boat, SEO web design. The primary function of a website is to convey information. Depending on how fluid the delivery is both visually and intellectually. The main thing is, can the reader instantly grasp the context of the site, the theme, navigate easily within 3 seconds from being exposed to a page? If so, then your landing page is a hit.
Think about how Google has one of the most visited landing pages online (aside from the Main Search Box there are roughly a dozen links on the page) this is a triumph of appeal, design and simplicity.
Why do you think so many users just keep going back to Google time and time again to conduct a search? (1) because it is easy to use (2) it produces by far the most relevant results and (3) its abundant use of white space and simple layout is frictionless when you are there.
If you can apply a percentage of that to your own design and functional aspects of your website, don’t be surprised when your bounce rates lower and people start to spend more time looking for other useful content.
How Appealing is your content?
Is it appealing? This alone is the source of the online experience. No need for 5 word adjectives that need translation such as (click through to user engagement ratio), the simple fact remains.
Getting the traffic is half the battle, making it stick is where the real marketing starts. So, before you start thinking about how many keywords you want to rank for, make sure the pages are appealing enough to serve the purpose of optimization. Being found is great, but it is more important to offer something worth sharing, which is the basis of true relevance.