The 3 Essential Components of a Search Engine Optimization Campaign

Everyday, the Search Engines average 300 MILLION searches. In a recent Forrester Research report 81% of consumers on the Internet find products and services by using the Search Engines. Search Engine Optimization allows you to achieve top search engine placement and a tap into a new source of qualified visitors who are actively searching for products and services on the Internet.

Unfortunately, only 7% of all websites are visible by the search engines according to a recent StatMarket.com study. The reason for this phenomenon is because most web sites are not properly optimized and promoted to achieve high search engine rankings.

The Top 3 Components Of Optimizing Your Web Site for Top Search Engine Rankings:

To achieve the best overall, long-term search engine positioning, three components must be present on your web site:

1. Content component (Your web page text.)

2. Link component (How you link your pages together.)

3. Link Popularity component (The in-bound links to your site.)

1) The Content Component

The most important part of the content component (of a search engine algorithm) is keyword selection and where you place keywords on your web pages. In order for your target audience to find your site on the search engines, your web pages must contain keyword phrases that match the phrases your target audience is typing into search queries. Finding these keywords that your target audience uses to find your product is accomplished by conducting keyword research.

2) The Link Component - Internal Linking

The strategy of placing keyword-rich text on your web pages is useless if the search engine spiders have no way of finding that text. The way your web pages are linked to each other has huge impact on your site's search engine positioning. Be sure to link your pages together with your keywords within your links.

3) The Link Popularity Component - Acquiring In-Bound Links

The "Link Popularity" or Google "Page Rank" (PR) component of a search engine algorithm analyzes how many web sites link to your website.

95% of the battle of getting high rankings at the search engine is acquiring quality and relevant links pointing to your web site. Ever since Google entered the search engine market, all the major Search Engines have started using links as the primary way they rank web sites. This is known as your web site's "Link Popularity" or in Google's case it's called "PageRank" or "PR."

For example, the heart of Google's algorithm is PageRank, a system for ranking web pages developed by Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin at Stanford University. Here is what Google says about their "PageRank" web site ranking algorithm at their web site http://www.google.com/technology/...

"PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page's value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves "important" weigh more heavily and help to make other pages "important."

As Google explains, Links and PageRank are critical to ranking high in the search engines. In fact, inbound links and the text within those inbound links account for 95% of effective search engine optimization.

Relevant Links: But, attaining optimal link popularity is not as easy as simply obtaining as many links as possible to your website. The quality and relevancy of the sites linking to your site holds more "weight" than the quantity of sites linking to your site. Since Yahoo is the most frequently visited site on the web, a link from Yahoo to your website carries far more "weight" than a link from a smaller, less visited site.

Here's what Google Developer Matt Cutts has to say about links...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Thematic incoming links from authority sites
carry more weight than on-page optimization."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Top 4 Strategies for Acquiring Links to Your Web Site:

Below are the four critical steps for achieving high rankings by acquiring text links to your web site...

1) Get a higher Google PageRank score than your competition For any given keyword, there is a minimum PageRank required to rank at Google. In order to see what this minimum PageRank number is, search Google for your keyword and look at the PageRank of your competition's web sites that are ranked in the top 10 of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). An easy way to view the PageRank scores of your competition is to use Google Toolbar http://toolbar.google.com or the SEOChat PageRank Search tool. http://www.seochat.com/seo-tools/pagerank-search/

2) Get more relevant links than your competition All links are not created equal. The best links are "relevant" links from web pages related to your keyword.

3) Get more links on more different web sites than your competition Getting links on a variety of different web sites on different networks is crucial for high rankings.

4) Use the keywords you want to high rankings in the search engines as the anchor text of your in-bound links. "Anchor text" is the visible text within a hyperlink. Text links and anchor text are the two most important criteria for how Google and other top Search Engines rank web sites.

Here is an example of a link containing the keyword phrase "ERP Software" within the anchor text...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
F*R*E*E [ERP Software] white paper shows how
to increase profitability and reduce inventory.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Relevant Links and PageRank are critical to achieving high search engine rankings. Want proof? Do a search at Google for the highly competitive keyword "computers" and you'll find Apple and Dell computers rank numbers 1 and 2 in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Now, click through to the Apple and Dell web pages and look for the word "computers" in their web page text. What did you find? Neither www.apple.com or www.dell.com have the word "computers" in their text, yet they're ranking #1 and #2 at Google.

Relevant Links and PageRank Win!

The sites with the most relevant links and highest Google PageRank win every time and rank the highest at the top search engines. There are many methods you can use to acquire text links including buying links from a broker, Internet directories, reciprocal linking, Internet publicity, and others.

Matt Hockin is President of Interactive Marketing, Inc., an Internet marketing consulting company providing web site optimization and search engine marketing services that "tune up" web sites for increased conversion rates, traffic, qualified leads, and profitability. For more information, visit http://www.interactivemarketinginc.com

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