By Michael Fleischner
The best way to achieve search engine dominance is by focusing on keyword research. As a search engine optimization consultant, I’ve worked with hundreds of companies that miss this very important step. Achieving top search engine rankings is largely based on the competitiveness of the keyword phrase you are trying to optimize for. If your competitor is in the top spot with a well entrenched web site, then your chances of out ranking him may be limited.
In addition to focusing on a keyword phrase that doesn’t have strong competition, you need to find terms that are frequently searched on. I recently finished a consulting assignment for a foundation trying to optimize their website. They had top rankings for a keyword term that seemed to be somewhat desirable. However, keyword research proved that the term received less than 100 searches per month. As a result, top rankings for this keyword phrase were nearly meaningless.
Once you have found a keyword phrase that isn’t too competitive and receives an adequate number of monthly searches, the next step is to thoroughly check out your competition. Google the keyword phrases you want to optimize for a run a back link check on the top three ranked web sites. This indicates the strength of those web sites relative to their search engine ranking. The more links, the more difficult it will be to rank higher than they do without some type of sustained link building campaign.
After doing your keyword research and confirming your choice of keywords and keyword phrases, it’s time to focus on improving your web pages around the keywords you’ve selected. Enhance your meta tags, titles, and web copy to include your keyword phrases. This helps to tell the search engines what your web site is about so it can rank your site appropriately. In addition to the on page factors, Google weighs off page factors to determine web site ranking.
Off page optimization requires a sustained effort that uses new content and additional links from third party websites. The most effective strategies are the most basic. Begin with a link building plan. Focus on article directories, web site directories, blogs, social bookmarking sites, and other resources where you can establish in bound links.
Your plan should include daily, weekly and monthly tasks that can attract links from authority websites consistently over time. Your goal should not be to generate thousands of inbound links quickly because Google will penalize your website. Rather, focus on steady link building.
If you want to improve your organic search engine ranking, begin with keyword research. By selecting the right keywords, you’ll be able to optimize your website more quickly than your competitors. After choosing the right keywords, focus on integrating your chosen keywords into your web site. Then you’re ready for link building and other off page optimization tactics that significantly improve rankings.
Michael Fleischner is an SEO consultant and author of SEO Made Simple, revealing strategies guaranteed to improve search engine rankings. Learn more about Michael's hands-on SEO training program, Internet Marketing Forum, and SEO consulting at MarketingScoop.com or contact him via the Marketing Blog at http://marketing-expert.blogspot.com.