If you are an internet marketing novice, you are probably facing the seemingly impossible and somewhat daunting task of trying to get your site listed on the first page of the search engines. You probably have no idea how to improve your ranking. For the purposes of this discussion, we will outline the procedures you should follow to climb steadily to the top of the search engines, while still making sure that you attract qualified traffic that will actually be receptive to the products or services that your website offers.
The first thing you need to understand is that your search engine ranking will not improve overnight. There are quite a few charlatans in cyberspace who work as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) consultants. They will charge you an arm and a leg for their services, sometimes as much as $2,000 per month or more. They often make dubious claims that they can get you ranked on the first page of the search engines within a few months, and if not, they will kindly refund your money.
However, there is a catch. Once you pay the initial deposit and the SEO company begins working on your website, they will often optimize your website in such a manner so that you will be able to quickly rise to the top of the rankings for a keyword that is either not significant or will not attract any real traffic to your website.
For example, if your website provides auto insurance quotes, any SEO consultant knows that it will be impossible to expediently get your website ranked on the first page of Google for a highly competitive phrase such as AUTO INSURANCE QUOTES. So, instead, they will pick a variation of that phrase, such as AUTO INSURANCE QUOTES FAST, for which there is no competition, and you will quickly rise to the top. The only problem is no one will ever actually use that precise phrase when searching for auto insurance quotes, so even though the SEO company delivered on its promise to improve your ranking, you will still not get any visitors to your website because you will be ranked high for a keyword that no one will ever use when searching for auto insurance quotes.
So, you need to use a different approach if you want to not only improve your ranking, but also attract qualified traffic to your website. The first thing you need to do is optimize your website for the keywords or phrases that people actually use when searching for products or services related to what you offer. For example, if you sell vitamins, you would want to improve your ranking for the phrases BUY VITAMINS or BUY VITAMINS ONLINE. To optimize your website for your chosen keywords, you should either hire a web designer that has experience optimizing websites, or you should purchase search engine optimization software that will show you how to tweak your website and how to change your HTML code so that your site is properly optimized. You should also try to have a decent amount of free content on your website that relates to the keywords or phrases for which you want to be ranked higher.
The next step is to submit your site to the search engines, if you have not already done so. It seems silly to mention this considering that we are talking about search engines anyway, but some people actually forget to submit their website to the engines, or only submit their site to a couple of search engines and then quit. There are hundreds of legitimate search engines and directories in cyberspace, and you should submit to all them. I recommend that you look for search engine submission companies on Google and pick one that charges a small monthly fee to submit your site to the search engines once per month.
The last step, and probably the most important component of getting ranked higher on the search engines, is increasing your link popularity. The more websites that are linking to your site, the higher your ranking will be. To increase your link popularity, you will need to submit your website to link exchange directories so that you can swap links with other websites (they will link to you if you agree to link to them). Also, you can write articles and submit them to article submission directories. At the bottom of each article you write, you are allowed to include a link to your website. As the articles you write are put into circulation and are published on other websites, your link popularity will increase.
If you employ each of the strategies outlined in this article, you should be able to improve your search engine ranking while at the same time garnering the kind of traffic that you want. No website can improve its ranking overnight, but if you are persistent, your efforts will be rewarded in the long run.
About the Author:
Jim Pretin is the owner of http://www.forms4free.com, a service that helps programmers make free HTML forms.
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