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Search Engine Optimization Reviews - The 4 Techniques That Work

Aug 17, 2007
Despite the aura of mystery that surrounds search engine optimization, ranking high on the search engines is not nearly as hard as many SEO firms would like you to believe.

In fact, by the end of this article, you will know the four key techniques that work every time in the world of search engine optimization. This in turn will enable you to either (a) find affordable SEO services by knowing how to evaluate their services, or (b) do it yourself by knowing the secrets of how it's done.

So without further ado, here are the four steps or techniques for SEO success:

1. Choose keywords that are popular, yet specific and attainable.
2. Create site structure that preserves theme and link goodness.
3. Create original content that is keyword and latent-semantic-indexing (LSI) friendly.
4. Acquire inbound links using articles, press releases, and directory submissions.

The first step of keyword selection is fundamental to search engine success. If you choose keywords that are horribly competitive, you will have a difficult time out-ranking your competition. Stands to reason. And if you choose keywords that are horribly general, any traffic you do happen to get will be untargeted and unlikely to be interested in anything you're selling. Luckily, "general" and "competitive" tend to go hand in hand. So your best bet is to avoid them and choose specific keywords instead.

The only unfortunate thing is that very specific keywords have fewer people actively searching for them. This means that in order to ramp up the number of people who visit your website, you need to compete for more of these specific keywords.

But that's okay. That's the model that works. If you compare the website traffic that comes from one competitive keyword ranked on page 3 or 4 of the search engines to one low-competition keyword ranked on page 1 of the search engines, the low-competition one wins every time. Why? Because nobody ever sees the page 3 or 4-ranked keyword. The popularity of the keyword is irrelevant. If your rank is too low, you get no traffic. None.

So, specific keywords win every time. Your job then is to create more web pages, each of which target a specific keyword.

The second step of website structure is one that is frequently done incorrectly. It is not okay to have a "random link-anywhere" linking structure if you want to rank well on the search engines. Instead, you must have a hierarchical linking structure for the first one or two levels of pages on your website.

Your main index page should link to your "main" or "top-level" keyword pages - that is, the pages you would ultimately like to rank well for. Each of these pages can then in turn link to more specific keyword-focused pages. However they should not link to other pages on your website that are not "sub-pages" of the same top-level keyword page. The objective is to preserve the theme set by each top-level keyword page and only link to other pages within that theme.

This is not to suggest that visitors to your website have to be constrained to only click within a certain theme. You can indeed link anywhere you want as long as you use a "rel = nofollow" tag inserted into the link html. This tag instructs the search engine spiders to ignore the link, which preserves the theme and all the search engine "goodness" while still allowing your human visitors to browse your entire site unrestricted.

The third step is to create original content, focused on the keyword of each page. This content needs to be original, but the frequency (or density) with which the specific keyword appears on each page is less important now than it used to be. What matters more now is the existence of other words that are related to the theme of the keyword. In other words, if your page is about dog training, the search engines expect to see related words like obedience, treats, sit, stay, leash, collar, etc. in addition to the word "dog training."

This type of indexing is called "latent semantic indexing" or LSI, and the idea behind it is that any article about dog training is bound to make reference to certain other related keywords. If no othe related keywords are present on the web page, the search engine spider is likely to conclude that the page is a "spam page" and its ranking will suffer accordingly.

The fourth step involves acquiring one-way inbound links from authority sites to the individual pages that you want to rank well on the search engines. When it comes to inbound links, there are three elements that matter: (1) the source of the link, (2) the page that is linked-to, and (3) the anchor text of the link.

The source of the link needs to be a respected third-party site, such as an article site, a news site, a directory site, or any other web site that the search engines already respect. Links from poorly-respected sites such as link farms will do nothing to help your search engine ranking and may in fact hinder it.

The page that is linked-to and the anchor text (the text that is blue and underlined) of the link matter a lot. Broadly speaking, the more "good" links that a page has to it, the better it will do on the search engines. In addition, the more times a particular keyword appears in the anchor text of "good" links to a particular page, the greater the likelihood that page will rank high for that keyword on the search engines.

And that's all there is to it.

There is not a lot of mystery associated with good search engine ranking, regardless of what the SEO "tabloids" tell you.

So, armed with this knowledge, you can now assume a strong position to review and evaluate any search engine optimization services you consider hiring. Furthermore, with a little bit of initiative, you can take on the SEO tasks yourself and maintain complete control over your search engine marketing strategy. The choice is yours.
About the Author
Jason Jantzi has used SEO to promote over 50 digital products online. Download his free blueprint showing 130 key tools from how to create digital products in under an hour to search engine optimization reviews.
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