Studies have shown that e-mail is the most popular Internet application, followed by search. With the profusion of websites that deal with the similar topic, the competition to get to the top of search engine ranking is very intense. After all, the higher your website is ranked the more traffic you are likely to get; and higher traffic ultimately translates to higher income.
The techniques used for achieving high search engine ranking are called search engine optimization, more commonly known as SEO. Because SEO is still in its infancy, there is still a lot of trial and error in finding the perfect strategy. There are however, a few techniques that are popularly used by website owners to help enhance search visibility and achieve a higher search ranking for their websites.
Here a few factors to take into consideration when deciding on a strategy to improve your search engine ranking:
1. All major search engines including Google have their own different search algorithms for ranking web pages. It is almost impossible to get to know what these secret algorithms are and even if you did, it would be impossible to satisfy them all.
2. Do a fair bit of research before choosing your keywords. Using the keywords as your major competitors may be an exercise in futility as they obviously have more resources and have already established themselves. Employ tools such as Wordtracker which is excellent for helping with keyword research.
3. Focusing on increasing your traffic is more financially rewarding than working to simply increasing your search engine rankings. You may succeed in getting a higher ranking with some ambiguous keyword, but that definitely does not guarantee traffic.
4. Don’t get taken in by SEO firms that offer to submit your site to different search engines. Search engines have their own spiders that crawl the internet, following different links that take them from one site to the next. They do not require any site to be submitted.
5. Remember that what counts with links is that they should be from related sites. Getting links from sites that are not related to yours are detrimental to your site ranking and should not be sought after.
6. Avoid seeking links from Link farms. Cottoning on to the fact that several websites were using link farms to increase the number of links to their site, major search engines now penalise those websites that get large number of links using artificial means.
7. Create your content for your users. Developing gateway pages that are crammed with keywords is sure to have a detrimental effect on the quality of your content. And content that does not meet certain standards is not going to entice your readers to come back for more.
8. Text links fare better than images, primarily because search engines are incapable of determining the contents by scanning the images. Instead, your site will be assessed by the words that are present in the source code.
9. Search engine crawlers are also incapable of indexing Flash. This means static HTML text usually fare better than sites that are flash based and should be used whenever possible.
10. It often takes time to climb to the top. A lot of patience combined with following some of the basic rules of search engine rankings is sure to pay off in the end. Don’t be deterred by rumours of Google sandbox, where new sites are barred from achieving a high ranking for several months. These are just baseless rumours and nobody has proven whether or not it really exists.