Placement in the search engines is really very simple. The people at the top are deemed by the search engine to be the most relevant for that particular search query. You have to make your site as good as or better than those currently in the organic rankings in order to obtain their placement.
If you want to promote many products and/or services, you need to optimize more pages to effectively accomplish this. You cannot target everything you do on one page. You should use the guideline of promoting a maximum of 10 phrases per page. Think of each page of your site as a billboard you see going down the highway; too much information on it will not be effective.
HTML Formatting for Better Organic Rankings:
Your HTML formatting is also called your coding, META name content or header information. It is important to be formatted correctly so that the search engines see you, see what you do and see where you do it.
To see your HTML coding, go to your site and place your cursor over highlight-able text (not an image) and right-click your mouse. In the menu that pops up, select “view source” or “view source code”. That information is your HTML coding and what the search engines see. They are machines and see everything in written form.
HTML SEO Terminology:
- Robots.txt – Search engines will look in your root directory for a file named “robots.txt”. The file will tell the “bot” (or ‘spider’), which files it may spider (download), index and/or categorize you for. This is the “Traffic cop”.
- Multiple Homepage Versions – You only want to have one index file or version of your homepage. Quite often sites will have a file called domain.com/index.html, domain.com/index.asp, etc. This is not good as each trip by the search engine spider could try to index the wrong or empty index file. This would result in a wasted trip. My commonly there are http https or www and non-www versions that are “live”.
- HTML Tag – It’s important to have opening and closing html tags. This ensures the page itself is formatted correctly.
- Head Tag – The head tag is where all of the META name or META tag information is located. It starts withand ends with.
- Title Tag – Your title is your storefront. It should be filled with keywords of what you do and where you do it. It should not be longer than 75 characters.
- Description Tag – Your description is what is shown in the search engines just below your title, describing what you do. Says something “catchy” that a customer would like to see; such as “free shipping” or “100% money back guarantee”.
- Keyword Tag – In today’s SEO landscape this is not used anymore by search engines.
- Robots Tag – This is a mechanism that tells the “bots” if a page should be indexed and if the links on the page should be followed.
- Alt Tag – The alt tag is an alternate text path for an image. Rather than having an image named “DSC_001.jpg”, it should say in words what the image is – such as “fresh baked poppy seed muffin”. Search engines see text only, they can’t see images. It is necessary to describe it in order for them to know what the image is.
- Body Tag – Separates the body of the page from the header and the footer.
Your on-page content is more important now than ever before! Google especially is looking very hard at content. Not just on-page text, but overall content as well. If your site has a lot of content, it helps you tremendously in their eyes.
a. Keyword Spamming – It is very important to say everything you do or sell in logical, readable sentences. You do not want to be obvious when you are writing your content by saying, “We do SEO work in New York, St. Louis, Chicago, Miami, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Seattle.” Google Bot is now smart enough to know when you are trying to stuff your words where they shouldn’t be stuffed.
If you want to target clients in each of those cities, your first move is to build pages for each of those cities so you can target them properly.
- Keyword Placement – The first of the content (the text at the top of the page) is the most important! If there is one product or one service that is your main focus, describe it well, right at the top of the page.
You may see sites that have keywords placed at the bottom of the page that are nearly invisible. Some sites even have words that are completely invisible until you highlight them with your cursor. This is not a recommended practice and can lead to a site getting “black listed” (removed) by a search engine.
This is the amount of quality, inbound links to your site. When someone links a site to yours, it’s very much like a positive vote for your site. This vote is just like a vote in an election – get the most votes and you win the popularity contest. It’s important to note that these links are graded based on whether or not they are related to your industry/profession and the quality of the site linking to you.
The latter refers to the traffic rank of the site, plus their Google Page Rank (PR). For example, a site with a lot of traffic and a Google PR of 3, will count more than one with very little traffic and a PR of 0.
- Inbound Links – Having an inbound link from a quality site is your best link. Having this link established on their home page, buried within the text (anchor tag) is even better.
- Reciprocal Links – When you can’t get an associate to just link to your site, then offer to exchange links. It’s better than not having a link at all, if that is what you must do to get them to link their site to yours.
- Chain Links – If you have numerous associates that you can establish a linking relationship with, offer to orchestrate a chain link where site A links to site B, site B links to C, site C links to D and site D links back A. (If you are in control of this, pick the best site to be the inbound link to your site! This link strategy works very well as everyone gets inbound links only. If you find more people in the future, do the same thing again, and then again.)
Your traffic rank is a number generated by a number of third party platforms such as Alexa, SEMRush and others. These platforms formulate estimates based off there own website spiders going out and scouring organic rankings.
Traffic Rank Theories:
- If a site receives a lot of traffic, that means they are viewed by the search engines as very relevant for what they do – even though these sites may be lacking in other areas of optimization, such as formatting.
- While your traffic rank will improve when you optimize your site and you get better search engine ranking, there is a way to lower your TR in the meantime. Buy traffic from a “Pop Under” traffic provider. A pop under ad is what you see if you close all of your browser windows and you see a window advertising something. It can be a full screen view of your site.
- If you are trying to improve your placement over your competition and your site is better formatted, you have as many inbound links as they have but they have a better traffic rank than you do – buy some traffic to level the playing field!
- Sitemap: A site map is a page where every page of the site is listed and provides a direct link to those pages. It is mandatory if you want the search engines to see the other pages of your site. Each page can and will stand on its own, meaning that it can have its own great placement – but it has to get indexed first in order to be seen! Google has a site map generator tool that creates a sitemap xml for you to place in your root directory. Go to SitemapBuilder.net to build yours. Once it is built go to Google Webmaster tools to register your sitemap with Google. Each site should have a sitemap linked from their home page, typically an HTML version or ASP version; and then every site should also have an XML version as well. The XML version is what has become increasingly popular with the search engines.
Picking the right keywords to target is paramount to the success of any SEO campaign. It’s important to realize that great placement under generic phrases can actually hurt the overall success of your campaign because the traffic is not targeted enough. If you obtain placement for “Texas insurance company” but specialize in auto insurance in Austin, you are missing your target market, auto insurance in Austin and surrounding areas. Texas insurance company includes insurance for life, health, property casualty, etc. Traffic from the search engines seeking this type of insurance will not help the business succeed. Studies have shown that people are searching smarter with 72% of all searches performed are 3-7 words in length. Targeted keywords are the key to not only great placement in a highly competitive venue but also the key to the success of the campaign.
- Customer Input:
It is mandatory to get some good clear input from the client on what part of their business they want to target. You will hear, “Oh, you know what will work best, you pick my phrases”. The truth is, no one knows their business like the client knows their business. If they sell 200 products and you pick 25 to promote with 50 phrases, invariably you will pick the wrong ones. Very likely the ones they make the least profit margin on, but how could have known? That is why it is important to get the customer’s input.
2. Research Keywords:
Once you have direction from the client, your main tool will be Google’s Keyword Suggestion Tool: https://Adwords.Google.com/Select/KeywordToolExternal. This tool will provide keyword suggestions as well as traffic stats on searches performed in Google. To get the greatest number of variations, use a slightly more general phrase. When performing your research keep in mind that you are looking for two things, the most popular phrases (searched on the most) and the least competitive (fewest results when searched). Think of it this way; it is easier to better than 500,000 people than it is to be better than 1,500,000 people! Narrow your target down to a reasonable level based on the level of service the client purchased, then find the most popular phrases in that range of competition. Placement can come for highly competitive phrases, ones with 10,000,000 results or more but it takes time and a good amount of optimized pages to compete. Try to find the “best” phrase, a phrase with the most traffic and quite a bit less competition (results) in Google. Look at the traffic for a phrase, then, search it manually in Google to see the amount of competition there is for that phrase. Start building your relevance around phrases with less than 2,000,000 results for most levels of service. You have to crawl before you walk, or run. Just because a phrase isn’t listed, it doesn’t mean it’s a bad phrase. It could be below the radar but very beneficial to the client to be placed for that phrase, i.e., branding, etc.
It’s important to understand that SEO can be integrated into your overall branding strategy which includes Funnels, and Facebook, which creates leads and conversion without paid content. Using Click funnel software Facebook Groups to nurture and convert with you overall organic SEO strategy is paramount. Spencer Mecham and Russell Brunson are proponents of these methods. My digital agency Never Stop Digital, LLC located in Wilmington, NC has been using this same method for the last 5 years.