If you want to get high search engine positions for a certain keyword, there are various strategies that you can take. The ultimate test will be to create a site that compels others to link to it. Therefore, although SEO practices are important, you must give importance to making the site attractive for visitors and readers.
These are the most Important Factors for Keyword ranking
1. Choose Good domain name.
- If you want to dominate the rankings for a keyword such as “cycling”. It is helpful to have cycling in the domain name. e.g. cyclinginfo.com, cyclingtips.com
- However, it is not essential; people can still have high rankings for “computers” without having computers in the title. (Googling cycling in the UK gives only 3 results out of top 10 with cycling in domain name)
- The advantage of choosing a domain name “cycling info” is that when you get someone linking to your site, the anchor text will invariably have “cycling info” in it.
- If you wanted to have multiple domains to try and dominate a key search phrase like “mortgage quotes”. I would suggest choosing 50% of domains with mortgages in and 50% of domains without mortgages.
2. In Bound Links
Links from Other Websites to your Site is, in my opinion, the single most important factor. However, it is not the number, but, the quality and variety of links that is important
The importance of Links increases if
- They are from sites on related themes
- If the site is trusted by Google. i.e well established, high PR, lots of links to that site, has been around for a long time.
- The link contains a high % the anchor text of the keyword.
- They are naturally generated over time. – Google will try to spot link manipulation schemes.
- The links are from a variety of sources and different IP addresses.
Don’t bother with:
- Buying links
- Links from Link farms
- Reciprocal links from unrelated sites.
- Links from a page with 100s of links, unless the site is very good.
- It depends on the keyword niche. If the keyword is not particularly competitive, you may need only a small number of links, so don’t be put off by worrying how to get loads of links.
3. Unique Content
Generating unique content should be viewed as the highest priority for any new site. It is the backbone of the site; without the content there is not much you can do. A high % of your site should be unique to your site; if necessary employ some writers. If the content is really good it will attract people to link to it later. However, don’t be put off if you don’t consider yourself a sophisticated writer, the best writing is often simple.
4. Keywords in Titles
If you want to rank highly for “cycling” it is important to have “cycling” in your titles. The more pages you have related to your keyword the better. Choosing the right keywords in titles can also be a good way to get related traffic. The more traffic you get the higher chance you have of getting links.
Good Subtitles Also Help
For example, if you wanted to get related keywords, use good subtitles. This enables you to rank for more than just the titles.
5. Keyword Density
I don’t think this is specifically significant. The optimum keyword density is maybe between 2-5%. But, I think it is better to concentrate on writing naturally, rather than trying to work out optimum keyword density. I never give keyword density a second thought.
6. External Links
The ranking of your page can be increased if you link to authoritative sites related to the page. External links are like references, if you provide these external links, you increase the usefulness of your page, and google will give the page a higher value. It may seem strange, but linking to your other sites can be helpful, even if they don’t link back. E.g. on a page about cycling, try to link out to a variety of the key authorities on cycling. But, this is not essential.
A certain amount of patience is needed. Don’t expect results overnight. It takes time to improve get links and improve rankings. Also some keywords are very difficult to break into. It is said it is virtually impossible to break into the top 30 for “gambling”
9. Multiple Sites
This is an option if you are really keen to do well for a keyword. This strategy is obviously more time consuming but it can definitely be helpful for very competitive keywords. This strategy will be more successful if:
- The sites are on different IP addresses and hosted on different servers.
- Each site needs to be a genuine site. I.e. don’t fill it up with duplicated content.
- Don’t link every site to each other like a link factory. For example, you could have all 5 linking at a target site. But, the target site doesn’t have to link back to the others.
- Keep a variety in content, links, e.t.c. between the site.
- It is difficult to fool google, but if you can create several genuine websites on related themes, then it can help you do well for your target keyword.
A blog can be a powerful way to boost your keyword search.
- For example, suppose you have a domain “exercisetoday.com” and you wanted to rank highly for the term “cycling clothes”
- What I would suggest is adding a blog to your domain exercisetoday.com/blog
- Call this blog something like “cycling tips”. Then write lots of articles about cycling, cycling clothes and cycling related products. Promote your articles and blog to get links to your blog with the anchor text “cycling tips”. This will definitely help improve your rankings for “cycling clothes”
11. Meta Tags
There was a time when inserting meta tags into a page was all the rage. I don’t think Google even look at keywords. I never bother.