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Search Engine Ranking - does the spider love you?

Search engine ranking is the make or break factor for any business web site. It doesn't matter how much money you save with cheap web site hosting. It doesn't matter how cool your pages look. Search engine ranking is very simply a factor of how highly regarded your web site is by the major search engines. A high search engine ranking is the result of a good search engine optimization campaign (SEO for short). SEO is an entire industry onto itself, one which never existed more than a decade or so ago.

Your search engine ranking is the result of several main factors. One part is in your on-page content. For example, the title of your page, your use of search engine spider-friendly things like "alt" tags for your images. Your use of the main keywords that your page is focused on is important, as is, to a certain extent, the keyword density (how often the keyword appears per 100 words). These items are directly within your control, as long as you know what you need to do. This is a skill which can be learned.

It's also important to remember that each page of your web site has its own search engine ranking. If you try to make one fantastic page that covers every thing you can talk about for your topic, chances are it won't do as well as it could.

A better tactic would be to break down your topic into all the important keyword phrases you can think of, and create a separate page focusing on that one sub-topic. You might end up with 100 pages (or more) in your site, and some of the pages might not do well at all because of content or competition. But if you have 100 pages working for you, all found and ranked by the search engines, each one has a chance to capture visitors into its web. If a visitor gets to one of your pages, hopefully you've linked all your pages together so that they can navigate your site and find the other pages also.

Think of this approach as similar as going out on a fishing boat. If you take a fishing rod, bait the hook, and drop it in the water, it may or may not attract a fish. If it does, you've got a single fish. But if you put a huge fishing net into the water, you can catch a whole lot of fish with very little effort. Multiple pages, each optimized for a separate keyword phrase, is an important part of achieving highly targeted traffic and good search engine rankings.

Even more important to your search engine ranking, and one which you lose a bit of control of, is your off-page factors. One of the main off-page factors is how many sites link to your site, what the anchor text that they use happens to be, and how many links they have coming to their site. Some of that is within your control. For example, you can submit your site to directories that are important to your topic, or to general directories. You can engage in (or have someone do it for you) a reciprocal linking campaign, asking other web sites to link to you, in exchange for your link to them. You can even purchase links to your site, something I've never personally done, but I've been told it can be one of the quickest ways to get good rankings (at a price of course).

Search engine ranking can mean the difference between a hugely profitable business web site, and one which does no sales at all. It's that important. If your pages don't get ranked within the first couple pages when a potential visitor searches for your main term, chances are he or she will never find you, and will purchase from a competitor that did a better job of search engine optimization.

The Internet is full of webmaster forums, and full of sites selling eBooks on search engine optimization hints, and you can find thousands of so-called experts that offer, for a fee of course, to get your pages to the top of the search engines (if they tell you they'll submit your site to thousands of search engines, beware, a good SEO firm will focus mainly on Google and Yahoo at the present time).

If you want to save money, have the time and inclination to optimize your own site, and want the essential information, I can recommend a comprehensive guide to improve your search engine rankings, you can check it out here (make sure you download the audio clip first before you make your purchase, it will give you some great motivation without being a sales pitch). Visit SEO Expert for more information.

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