Pitch Perfect Marketing

Be Honest and the Clicks Will Come

As people continue to strive for the top rankings in the search engines, they really will try anything. From stuffing phrases into their meta tags, to exchanging links with unrelated websites, to even hiring unqualified SEO firms. The goal is the same, get me to the top of the search engine results page fast. This article will show you how the path to higher rankings is much less convoluted than you may think, but it still requires ongoing hard work. There are no shortcuts.

So how does a website get those top rankings? Start by saying "I will not use under-handed tactics to inflate my rankings!" If you don't know much about underhanded tactics, then good. It's is best not to know, because in the long run they will cost you more than they will help.

The first step in understanding how your rankings are determined is to understand what a search engine spider does when it visits your site. It comes along and indexes all the textual information you have and follows all the links in the site. Then it stores this information and tries to decipher what your site is all about. Later, when people search on a particular phrase, the search engine looks to its index of all the sites it has cataloged and brings up the sites it thinks are the best fit. Now there are complex algorithms that each search engine uses to determine how to rank sites, but you shouldn't worry about any of that. There are two main areas you should focus on to make your site "honestly" rank well.

One, write lots of quality content on the site. It should be genuinely helpful for your target audience. If you sell dog treats, then have parts of your site devoted to keeping your dog healthy. If you sell ID bracelets for kids, offer tips on keeping your kids safe and links to other child safety sites. The key is to write gobs and gobs of textual content for your site. The more the better. The more the search engines have to read through, the better the chance that they will understand what your site is all about and rank it well. And the more quality information you are offering your visitors, the better chance they will visit you often and tell their friends.

And two, contact other websites that have similar or complimentary information and ask them to link to your website (this is called inbound linking). The reason for this is two-fold. First, you will have another way for people to reach your site. And secondly, the search engines look at how many other sites link to your site to gauge how popular or important your site is. The more links you have coming in, the better your site will be, and the higher your rankings will go. Always ask politely when requesting a link. And here's a quick tip: try to have the phrase you would like to rank high in as part of the link text (on the other site) leading to your site.

And of course, optimize each of your page's meta tags and sprinkle in key phrases you would like to rank high in throughout your site. But above all that, if you stick to the basic premise of offering lots of helpful targeted content for your visitors, and increasing your number of inbound links, then your rankings will naturally rise over time. Be honest and the clicks will come.

Paul Kaufman
President
Pitch Perfect Marketing

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