Search engines deliver most websites anywhere from 50% up to 90% of their overall traffic, and for many companies search engines deliver 75-90% of their online revenues. But if you want to get this kind of traffic and revenues from search engines, you need to rank on the first page, and probably in the top 3 positions.
But search engines in 2012 are getting more competitive than ever. Niches that once had next to no competition are now dominated by companies spending hundreds and even thousands of dollars on SEO packages each month.
There are, however, some easy things you can do to your website and blog to help improve your chances of ranking on the first page of search results. These tips could bring you to the first page if you’re in a lower competition niche, and they will certainly help in medium to high competition but in some cases there’s no substitute for SEO work.
Whenever you post a link to your website, take a mental note or keep track of the anchor text and where it links to. So many people get caught up in online linking to one page or online linking with one anchor text, and search engines are catching on to this. A natural link profile is critical to ranking on the first page of results for any keyword.
Never, ever, ever write content for search engines. Yes it might improve your rankings, but your visitors will immediately know that the page was written for search purposes and not for them. This will deliver a lot of traffic which a high bounce rate and virtually 0 minutes on the site, which doesn’t translate into any revenue for you. Always write for your visitors first and the search engines second.
It’s important to have a strong presence on social media sites. Social media is likely going to play a larger role in the future in SEO, but in the mean time it can deliver some great referral traffic and help you grow your customer base. There’s millions of users on sites like Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Digg, and others, so don’t be afraid to spend a little time everyday posting updates and interacting.
When we start an SEO campaign there’s over 100 things we look for in a client’s website to help them rank better. Some things you can do on your own are have relevant URL’s, relevant title tags, and strategic keyword placement throughout the page and in important places such as headers. On site SEO is actually getting more important than ever, but it’s also important not to overly optimize your site as that just looks unnatural and won’t convert well.
You should always be improving and tweaking your website and SEO campaign. Post fresh content, make changes to pages, improve your internal linking structure. SEO is a never ending job, and so is managing and running your website. As soon as you think you’re done, one of your competitors will come out of nowhere and rank higher than you. Always stay on top of your content, links, and overall campaign.
While these tips won’t bring you to the first page in a competitive niche quickly, they certainly will help and could bring you to page one in a low competition niche right away. SEO is becoming more and more difficult and expensive as search engines get smarter and low quality companies drop out of the market. No matter what, make sure you stay white-hat in your SEO practices and only do things that won’t harm your website.
About The Author: Brendan Egan is the founder & owner of Simple SEO Group, an online marketing, small business web design, and SEO firm that helps small businesses improve their web presence.