First of all, welcome to "Marketing to the Max with Max!"
I was thinking for some time what to write my first post about. And an awesome opportunity just came across and totally reflects what this site will be all about: helping other beginning and intermediate level online entrepreneurs with a honest advice about making money online. But this is only for people that are ready to put some effort into it and be consistent.
A new update came out about 2011 search engine ranking factors.
Ranking -> position of websites in search results for a specific keyword phrase(niche). We, of course, want our sites to get better ranking, better standing and reputation in search engines.
Nobody from the outside knows exactly what algorithms, calculations, and methods Google (especially Google), Bing, and Yahoo use to rank websites. Their methods consistently change to improve quality and keep spammers out (so even what I share now will not be as relevant in a year or so). However, search marketers consistently try to find ways to extract some information about engines' secrets to achieve better positioning in search results. And the engines support many of these efforts through SEO conferences, seminars, online blogs and forums.
SEO = Search Engine Optimization = website optimization -> trying to rank using natural/organic or unpaid(free) methods that search engines like (based on predictions described below).
These SEO people and companies study engine's patterns using experiments, analysis, and live testing to come to at least some understanding of basic operations of search engines in order to rank better and drive more traffic.
Well, company SEOmoz is definitely the best at this. Their focus is to study search engine patterns and test to see what works best. They recently released their latest study and data for 2011 and I want to share and explain some of it here. You can look at other data there but I want to emphasize and simplify what they predict search engine ranking factors 2011 will possibly be.
What does that mean for us?
We need to focus more on things that are/will be more relevant to Google.
And even though these are all predictions, they do make sense for today's world. Seems like Google gives power to the people and their opinion more and more:
Let me interpret this data briefly.
What are the first 6 items that have maximum increase?
Basically, website content and social sharing.
I will repeat one last time – these are all predictions and no one can tell for sure. But…
It makes sense, doesn't it? How do you write your content? What's the goal? Well, definitely to help other people and contribute. When you write or recommend something you have to keep in mind that it is like telling/recommending something to your close friend. May be in a more formal way on the website but the content needs to be unique, original, and trustworthy. If this is not true for your websites, you have a lot to change.
From that perspective, this is what data above is telling us:
- content need to contribute, have value to users, have a good readability and optimization.
- we need to continue promote our websites more using social sharing sites and networks and have on-page buttons/links to allow people share our valuable content.
These are the two major general factors that increased most, according to SEOmoz recent data.
Now let's look at more specific practical ways to improve SEO on your websites.
Here are the most relevant search engine ranking factors, according to SEOmoz:
- Number of backlinks (links from other sites to your site) is still a huge factor (42.58%) but slowly decreasing with years. Having links from various authority sources is extremely important. Diversity of links is often more relevant than the number of them.
- Unique, original content. The more the better.
- Website on-page optimization is still a big deal. Important factors:
- Exact match domain name (and especially .com)
- Keyword phrase used in website and page/post titles
- Keyword phrase comes first (in URL, title, and H1 tag – page/post title)
- Keyword usage on the page
- Image "alt" attribute/tag has keyword phrase use
- and other
- Social sharing – make it available on your websites and use them to build traffic. This will become even more important factor soon. Google gives Facebook a lot of credit (even though it doesn't really like them).
- Domain authority, page load time, and other…
Hope this helps with your ranking techniques.
If you are new to SEO, this guide is for you: