Search Engine Optimization for Success

By Adam Landrum | Aug 08, 2010

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the holy grail for almost any website–and realizing success with SEO means that you’re probably using some dark magic, right? What if you found out search engine optimization nirvana wasn’t so mysterious after all? Delve into the five tenants of SEO as Merge unveils the fundamentals behind SEO to find out how to move your website up in the rankings.

  1. Keyword Research. It all starts with the right words–key word phrases that is. Between competitiveness and relevance, you have to do the research to find the right blend. If you go too general, the keyword will be too competitive and you won’t come up. If you’re not relevant, won’t get the right traffic to your website. Make sure your keywords are both competitive AND relevant.
  2. Keyword Density. Density. The number of times your web page contains a keyword phrase dictates the density of the keyword phrase for the web page. So just having a keyword phrase once would not be very good keyword density. But having the keyword phrase several times throughout the web page will yield a good density. The keyword density is a function how many words are on the page. A rule of thumb is to shoot for a density of about 3x per page–but this rule of thumb depends on how much copy is on a page (obviously, a page with 10 words on it would make it tough to get a 3x keyword density score!).
  3. Keyword Propensity. When inserting keyword phrases into your copy, you want those phrases to be closer to the front of the copy than the end of the copy. So if you’re going for a 3x keyword density, say a keyword phrase in the header and two times in the body of the copy, you would want to preferably start the header with the actual keyword phrase and then begin the first paragraph with the phrase, with the other phrase to come a sentence or two later. Haphazardly sprinkling keyword phrases isn’t recommended. Try to start off headings and sentences with the keyword phrases as close to the front as possible.
  4. Link Building. So a search engine is basically a popularity contest. How many websites that talk about or use your keyword phrases are pointing to your website? And how popular are those websites? Getting other popular websites to link to your website is key to moving your website up the ranks. Add your website to directories, search the blogosphere and leave comments (with the ability to leave a link to your website as well) and build your links–or in other words, your websites popularity.
  5. Content–it’s still King. If it’s been said once, it’s been said 1,000 times. If you write good copy, really good copy, you don’t have to worry about items 1-4 above. Recently I read a blog where he was thanking the 185,000 readers. One could only hope to have so many eyeballs on their website. Writing great copy will get people visiting your website, they’ll share your great prose (creating links), and because you’re writing really good stuff, it’s probably already chock-full of relevant keywords.But if you do 1-4 and write great copy; you’re an SEO pro.

Bottom Line:
Keywords, Density, Propensity, Links and Copy. Say that 10 times, then do it. You’ll find yourself at the top of the search results!

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