SEO Tips: What It Really Takes To Get Page #1 Search Rankings
You may be wondering what SEO tips is all about. First, we should define exactly what SEO really is, and what it can mean for your website and your profits if it is done effectively. SEO is an acronym for search engine optimization, and the goal of SEO optimization is really simple; to rank as high as possible in the search engine results. There is no charge for this organic ranking, as these are free search results that are generated by Google, Yahoo, and MSN for your selected keywords. By simply following these SEO tips and applying them to your website and its pages, you can advance to the #1 position, or at the very least get much closer to it.
Your position in the search engines has major impact on the traffic your page will receive, and accordingly, the profit you may earn by doing business with your site visitors. If you have not had any personal experience analyzing the click-through rates on your website pages, you may find the difference in traffic from position to position to be quite a surprise. Although the numbers I have seen vary from source to source, this data was originally leaked in 2010 for AOL search results, and it is accepted to be a general indication of what you might expect to see on other major search platforms. The following list will give you some indication of how quickly the traffic drops off as you move down page 1 of the search results:
- Position #1 = 42% of all clicks
- Position #2 = 12% of all clicks
- Position #3 = 9% of all clicks
- Position #4 = 6% of all clicks
- Position #5 = 5% of all clicks
- Position #6 = 4% of all clicks
- Position #7 = 3% of all clicks
- Position #8 = 3% of all clicks
- Position #9 = 3% of all clicks
- Position #10 = 3% of all clicks
Keep in mind that this is for page 1 results. On page 2 and beyond you can plan on traffic counts that fall somewhere between few and none. Now with this understanding, you can see why a high page 1 ranking is more than just desirable, it’s critical to your success. Of course, you can always turn to paid traffic sources if free search rankings are not possible for your keywords and budget, but there is nothing like getting free traffic, so this is a great place to start even if you can add some paid traffic into the mix.
Getting free organic traffic a simple process in theory, but can be a difficult and somewhat complicated result to achieve. While each step in the SEO process is relatively easy to implement by itself, there are many small steps in the process, and each step is important and has its own set of variables to consider. The easiest way to integrate all these SEO tips into your site is to make them a part of the website creation process by getting all your website organizational settings correct, then applying the SEO tips optimizations to all your content as it is published. It may be far more difficult to optimize an existing site that has been set-up improperly than to create a new site that is built with SEO principals in mind.
First the good news …
The good news is that these SEO tips to rank well are not a mystery. They are known ranking factors that have been used for years to index and rank web pages, and these same factors are likely to continue to have major influence for the foreseeable future. Get them all right, and you vastly increase your chances for a top-tier ranking.
Now for the bad news…
You knew there would be some bad news, didn’t you? The real drawback for the webmaster is that just following all the steps in the SEO tips list is not enough. The process is ongoing and is never really completed. If you are fortunate enough to achieve your goal of ranking #1 or among the top results for your keyword phrase, it may take a continuous effort to keep your top ranking. This is due to the competitive nature of the internet marketplace.
Think about it logically for a minute. There are billions of website pages on the internet, and perhaps thousands or even millions focusing on a specific keyword. Every one of them would prefer to be in the #1 position for their keyword phrase so they can benefit from all that free traffic. Everyone in the search results is using the #1 position as their goal and their target, and if you are in a top position, that target is you. There is only one top position available, and only about 9 more on the first page, so this is a small elite group considering the number of competing pages, and every webmaster wants to be a member of this elite club.
The top page #1 positions will be awarded to the pages with the best quality content, the best on-page SEO optimization, and the greatest number of high-quality backlinks. It’s really that simple. Depending upon your market, consistent ongoing SEO activity including adding fresh new content and building links may be necessary to initially advance to a good position, and once you are there, the same ongoing effort may be needed to maintain that top position in the search results.
Over the last few years I have observed many changes in the search engine ranking system. The changes are most pronounced in Google, but there have also been changes to Yahoo and MSN, as well as subtle changes in the smaller second-tier search engines.
Although the changes probably number in the thousands, the overall trend is very clear. The search engines are getting more selective about what kind of content ranks well, and how that content must be optimized and back-linked to compete for the top search positions. The goal of Google and other search engines is to reward sites that have high-quality unique content that offers readers valuable information, analysis, and insights into the subject matter. In short, it’s what Google webmaster guidelines calls a “good user experience”. What they do not want is re-hashed, keyword dense, over-optimized, outsourced garbage that is created with the goal of attracting high search engine rankings rather than offering value to the reader.
The search engines are getting smarter, and their processes for weeding out the trash are getting better all the time, so today it is more important than ever to think in terms of quality, rather than trying to play a fools game of trying to outsmart the search engines. You may win this game today, and you may win it tomorrow, but in the long run you will lose out, and you will find yourself working harder trying to beat the system than you would to just provide quality content for your readers and let the search engines do what they do. SEO tips will provide you with the latest details on new search engine algorithm changes that may affect how you should optimize your website and its content for the best results possible. Combine that with your high-quality content and that is a winning combination.
SEO Tips For Page Optimization
Even as the ranking process has gotten more difficult over time, and a few new twists and adjustments have been introduced, the old established basics of good search engine optimization have remained consistent. There are two important areas for effective SEO. They are:
- On-page optimization
- Off-page optimization
On-page optimization consists of all the settings and adjustments that can be made on your websites posts and pages. These are settings you have complete control over as you add content to your site, and these settings allow you to format your content and, in effect, tell the search engines how you would like them to view it as well as what information, if any, you would like them to ignore. This control provides you an opportunity to optimize your content for specific keywords and phrases, as well as eliminate potential problems from duplicate content and poor URL structure that may confuse the search engine bots and negatively affect your rankings.
Off-page optimization generally refers to links that are not directly under your control yet still play an important role to determine your search engine ranking. These external links originate on other websites and point to pages on your site using varied anchor text. These links can take many forms, including links from websites and blogs, links from directories and profiles, or links from social platforms like Facebook, YouTube videos, and web 2.0 properties.
Although Google often issues general guidelines to indicate the factors they use in their ranking algorithm, they remain intentionally vague and short on specifics to ensure that webmasters don’t take advantage of their system. All the search engines, and especially Google, make finding solid answers difficult. In addition, ranking factors are constantly adjusted as improvements are made in the system to ensure that the best quality content moves to the top, while the lower quality content moves lower. Thus, our goal for SEO tips is to provide you with the latest news on new changes along with information and techniques that you can use to improve the ranking of your website.
One question people often ask is how much weight does on-page SEO have in comparison to off-page SEO. An exact percentage has never been revealed by the search engines, but based upon my observations and experience ranking various websites I estimate that on-page SEO represents only about 20% to 30% of the total ranking score, whereas off-page SEO (backlinks) represents the bulk of the score at perhaps 70 to 80%. Even if these percentages are not entirely accurate, it is clear that external linking is the single most important factor that will determine your ranking, so this is certainly the area that deserves the bulk of your ongoing attention.
The SEO tips Checklist For New Content
The best way to insure top rankings is to be certain you address all the on-page SEO items possible. In short, this means you should write good quality unique content, then optimize your content and settings to get all the SEO correct. Once you are satisfied with the copy, you can focus on the following elements I’ve copied from the SEO tips checklist:
- Word count
- Keyword density
- Content Stickiness
- Titles and descriptions
- Heading tags
- Photos or illustrations
- Alternate text
- Internal links
- External links
- Anchor text
- Keyword text decoration
The list above are the SEO elements that the search engine bots are known to look for, so these are the elements that should receive extra scrutiny and be optimized for every piece of content on your website. Once this is complete you can concentrate your efforts on the external links that represent the bulk of your ranking score. Carefully follow the SEO tips checklist to quickly master all the on-page SEO for your site.