Ranking High on a Search Engine

These tips on ranking high on a search engine are essential, if you don’t have 100’s of affiliates sending you traffic, or want to avoid spending lots of money on PPCAround 85% of people searching for information, goods, and services on the Internet find websites through the 3 major search engines, Google, Yahoo, and MSN.

Optimizing your web pages and your website to rank high on a search engine for the right keywords, means you’ll increase your webpage traffic of targeted visitors who are more likely to become your customers.

The more web pages you have ranking high on a search engine’s results, the greater the traffic that’s directed to your website. That’s the simple explanation of what ranking high on a search engine is about. Of course, SEO is a huge topic and you can spend a lot of time figuring out how to optimize your web pages to rank high on a search engine. The alternative is to look at a few basic items in your pages and make some adjustments.

Given time you will see increased traffic to your optimized web pages, but don’t expect it to happen overnight.

To be ranking high on a search engine there are some basic things you can do to all your web pages. Each search engine determines the ranking of your pages differently, so a page that ranks well in Google may not rank as well in Yahoo or MSN and visa versa.

Each search engine determines the ranking of a web page by a very complex set of rules and assigns a weighting (mathematical term) that says what importance, it will assign to a certain factor on the page.


There are 100+ ranking factors that some search engines use

Factors like page title, page description, keyword phrases in the title and description, keyword density in the page, link text of links to and from a page, number of links to a page, etc. etc.

It would make life a lot simpler if webmasters and designers knew what weighting (importance) each search engine gave to different aspects of a web page but search engines don’t make that public.

However, a lot of work has been done by many people in the SEO community to figure out through tests, what the factors are. However, SEO doesn’t always know exactly how important these factors are and besides, the search engines keep changing the importance of them.


We know many factors and the first is the title on a web page

The page title appears in the top bar of your web browser when you access a web page. The title is also often used by search engines when listing your page in any search results, so it’s important to get it right.

Getting the right page title can be crucial if you are to gain the attention of people looking at search results listing. It should include your most important keyword phrase for the search engine’s benefit and say something meaningful to a human searcher.

The title should be no more than 65 characters for most search engines, more than that and it won’t appear in the search results.


The next important factor for search listing is the description

The description appears under the main title of the search results. This description can be taken from the META description in the header of your web page or from the first few lines at the top of your visible web page.

The description should be no more than 150 characters if you want all of it to appear in the search results for the major search engines.


Important keywords

The text on your site must contain your most important keywords – the words people will be typing into a search engine to find your site.

Each page should be optimized for one or two keyword phrases at the most.

Listing dozens of keywords in the page META keyword tag means nothing to the major search engines. They analyze the words on your page for themselves.

The number of words you have on a page is not critical, but it must be enough for the search engine to rank your page for your chosen keyword phrase, say around 100. To be ranking high the search engine must be able to read the text, so it must be in plain HTML text and not embedded in a graphic image.

Search engines can’t read the text in graphics and for that reason, you should also NOT use pages with a lot of Flash animations and menus.


To find out if your text is in HTML format, take your cursor and try to highlight a word or two. If you are able to do this, the text is HTML.

If the text doesn’t show in highlight, it’s probably in graphic form or the page is protected. If the highlighting shows the text to be in a graphic image, change the text into HTML format in order to improve your search engine rankings.

I have already mentioned meta tags. This may sound confusing, but it’s just a simple code that exists at the top of the HTML code in a web page.


Two important tags are the TITLE tag and the Meta Description

If you don’t have an HTML editor to view the code in your web pages, click the “view” button on the browser menu bar, and select “source.” This will pull up a window revealing the underlying code that created the page.

The meta tags should be at the top of the page. You can read more about meta tags here at Robot Meta Tag and can create your own using my Meta tag optimization tool


The importance of keyword density, or put another way the percentage your keyword phrase appears on a page compared to the rest of the text can be safely 3 to 5%, but in some cases can go much higher.

While still an important factor, it is less important than it used to be.

The best way to determine the percentage of keywords on your pages is by using a keyword density analyzer.

You can read about keyword density at :
Keyword Density – Getting the Right Result

One factor that is certainly more important now is the links within your site and links to and from your site to other websites. A term you will read frequently is link popularity which in part measures the number of links to your site.


But links are not about quantity, they care about quality

A quality link is one from a site related (themed) to your own from a web page that is ranking high on a search engine.

Gaining such quality links is part of a linking campaign which is a whole new topic outside the scope of this discussion. Essentially, it entails contacting quality sites and requesting they exchange links with your site.

Of course, this requires checking out the rankings of the websites you want to link to. Linking to popular, quality sites not only boosts your search engine ranking, it also directs more quality traffic to your website.

Before you go out and hire an SEO company, try taking some of the simple steps listed above, and see if you can get to be ranking high on a search engine by doing it yourself.

One important thing to remember when optimizing pages for a search engine is that it all starts with choosing the right keyword phrases.


Choose the wrong keywords and you may never get ranked

Or you may rank well, but for keywords that no one uses to search for. So they will bring you little or no traffic.

It’s easy to be ranking high on a search engine for a keyword phrase or search term that no one uses, but that’s absolutely pointless!

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