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November 2, 2009

How Improved Search Engine Rank can give you Higher Website Traffic

Improved search engine rankings can give you higher website traffic if the improvement enables your web page to progress beyond a critical point.

That critical point is reaching Page #2 on Google: particularly Google because that is the widest used search engine, and Page #2 because very few go beyond that page in their search, end even then only if they can’t find what they want on Page #1. So Page #1 is best, but that goes without saying.

The question is, how can you achieve that? There are ways, and most use most of them. Without focusing too much on inbound links, though these are very important, there are things you can do on-site to improve your listing position. The listing of each of your pages is a function of many different aspects of your website, some page specific, some relating to your website as a whole and others to links from other websites.

Each of these can be tackled in specific ways, for example:

1. Page-Specific Improvements

Page specific improvements relate largely to the standard SEO techniques used, which, although regarded by many as too basic to consider, many others might be unaware of because a lot of pages I see are just not using them. Just as many are jeopardizing their chances of higher website traffic by not using them properly. Among these are:

a) The Title Tag:
This should contain your keyword. However, it should also contain some other information about your website. Thus, if your site keyword is ‘Improve Website Traffic’, your title could be “Ten Ways to Improve your Website Traffic.”.

This tag is not seen on your website, but is the heading of your Google listing that browsers will see when scanning down the Google results page for the keyword. It should therefore attract their attention. Your description, which comes below that, is also very important.

b) The Description Meta Tag:

Google uses the contents of the description metal tag immediately under your title in its listings. It won’t show the entire description if it is too long, and visitors might not read it all, so get your message across in the first few words. A good description tag can gain you higher website traffic by persuading people to click on the link.

c) Heading HTML Tags:

Your main heading should be within a H1 heading tag. This can be a simple repeat of your Title tag. Each subsequent heading should be contained in H2 tags. I always use an H1 heading tag as the title of each web page: others use their website name, but I prefer not to. I prefer to optimize each page in its own right, so each page will have its own heading.

d) Content:

The page content should be written with sparing use of the keyword itself: about 1% KD maximum is a good rule I find, or about 0.8%-1% for keywords of more than two words. That amounts to about once in the title, once in first 100 characters, once in the last paragraph and once more every 200 words for a normal page of about 700-800 words.

The relevance should be supported by contextually relevant semantics, or words that support the keyword, and quite frankly, simply writing about the topic naturally, without trying to overcook the keyword, will do fine.

e) Link back to the Home Page on every page:

I have found that helps in a number of ways.

2. Site-Specific Improvements

There are three site-specific aspects of SEO that I use on every page in my websites:

  • I include a link to a Privacy Policy, a Contact page and a Disclaimer. Google looks for these, and they help your search engine ranking.
  • Internal linking is very important, and you can focus most of the internal Google PageRank points to any page of your choice (I generally choose my Home Page). Improved search engine rank is easier to attain if you design your linking structure intelligently, and don’t just link every page to every other as many do. Higher website traffic is gained by using your navigation links to your advantage.
  • Try to show the Google spiders your text before your links if you can. I use a traditional left side navigation column, but prevent the spiders from finding that first by using a table structure, with a blank table left-justified first, my main content table right-justified next, and then my navigation table left-justified. Search engine spiders crawl from left to right, so they find my blank table, then my text, then my navigation. That way they are not distracted by following the links.

There are also off-site SEO tactics you can use, such as inbound links from other websites, website directories and article directories, but the content on these pages linked to yours has to relate to the theme of your page or you will liable to be punished rather than rewarded.

Improved search engine rank and higher website traffic can be achieved by making some simple changes to your website, but you have to know what these are before you can apply them or you can do more damage than good.

Are you happy with your Google listing? Would a Page #1 position be good for your traffic? That’s possible to achieve If you follow my screenshots of exactly how I do it. Find more information on how to achieve improved search engine rank and higher website traffic, by using some simple techniques described on SEOcious where, by using the methods described, you are almost certain to get your web pages significantly higher listing positions.