Search Engine Optimization Strategies

Quick Tips For Improving Your Google Rankings

Include The Keyword Phrase Everywhere

On the one extreme, I have seen webpages with no mention of the targeted keyword phrase get high rankings. But this isn’t the norm. You should go to the other extreme, and include the targeted keyword phrase one or more times, in every aspect of a webpage and incoming links.

These include, the TITLE tag, META Description, header tags, body text, text links, ALT, file name, etc.

Add A Header Tag or Replace Graphical Text With A Header Tag

On every page, include the exact targeted keyword phrase in a header tag. I recommend using a H1 tag (largest). But the resulting header text doesn’t have to be large. You may change the properties of the header tag using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).

For example:

<H1 STYLE="font-size: small">Keyword Phrase</H1>

<H1 STYLE="font-size: 16px; font-style: italic">Keyword Phrase</H1>

<H1 STYLE="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana">Keyword Phrase</H1>

Sprinkle A Webpage With The Exact Targeted Keyword Phrase

Make sure you include the exact keyword phrase you’re targeting throughout a page. By that I mean the whole phrase, and not separate incidences of the individual keywords.

For example, if the keyword phrase is “double beds” then craft a paragraph something like this:

Our double beds are made of the highest quality materials. Each one of our double beds are individually crafted by one of our own master craftsmen. There are over 130 different styles of single beds, double beds, and queen size, beds to choose from.

The above paragraph is much better than:

Our double beds are made of the highest quality materials. Each one is individually crafted by one of our own master craftsmen. There are over 130 different styles of single, double, and queen size beds to choose from.

Notice the difference a change of wording can make? See how the first version has a higher keyword density and frequency of the exact targeted keyword phrase, as well as individual keywords than the second paragraph?

Use The Exact Targeted Keyword/s In All Text Links

Make sure you use the exact keyword/s you’re targeting in all text links.

For example, if the keyword phrase is “sofa beds,” then use:

We offer a range of 59 different sofa beds in our store.

Don’t use:

We offer a range of 59 different sofa beds in our store. (Contains untargeted keywords)

Take a look at this modern sofa bed. (It should be plural. If you search for “sofa bed” and “sofa beds” in Google, you will notice it returns two different sets of results.)

Also avoid text links with meaningless keywords.

For example:

Click here to for more information on this sofa bed.

It would be better to use:

More information on this sofa bed.

I even came across a site that used Flash links. It was no surprise that Google didn’t index those links.

It did include text links further down the page. Unfortunately, the text links were in font size one – in other words, tiny text. A back link check showed no internal links, so it means Google doesn’t index font size one text links.

So re-examine all your text links. View them on their own. See if you can tell what each text link is about and if it relates to the landing page. If you can’t, then replace the text with more descriptive keywords, which would help Google to better understand the nature of the landing page.

Replace Image Links With Text Links

Image links won’t help your rankings, because search engines simply cannot tell what images signify. It is far better to use text links.

I came across a site that had over a dozen links to it. The problem was that all of the links were either image links, or text links that didn’t include the targeted search term. It was no surprise that the site failed to get top rankings for the keywords it wanted.

Link To A Target Page From As Many Pages As Possible

Google likes text links. That is a fact. So you must link to a target page from as many pages as possible, from within your site, as well as from other websites, using the exact targeted keyword/s in the text links (see previous tip).

If possible, add a link to the targeted page from every single page of your site. Of course this isn’t always possible, especially if you have a large number of keywords you want to target. In that case, at least add a link to the targeted page from every page within the same section of the site.

I came across a website that “forgot” (at least I think they did) to cross link their webpages. How crazy is that?!

Replace Splash Pages With The “Real” Home Page

Why? Because splash pages typically consist of nothing more than an image or a Flash animation. There’s no text for search engine spiders to index. As such, how can you possibly expect search engines to give you a high ranking? You can’t - and they won’t! So get rid of it. Replace the splash page with the home page that the splash page links to.

To Hyphenate Or Not To Hyphenate Keyword Phrases?

Google does distinguish hyphenated and unhyphenated words.

For example, if you search for “pop ups” and “pop-ups” in Google, you will notice two different sets of search results.

http://www.google.com/search?q=pop+ups
http://www.google.com/search?q=pop-ups

So should you hyphenate or not? I would recommend do both.

I would suggest that you target the hyphenated version in one webpage, and the unhyphenated version in another page.

If that isn’t possible, then use the most searched version - be it hyphenated or unhyphenated – as the main keyword phrase, and sprinkle the other version of the keyword throughout the page.

Once you have cleaned up your over-optimized webpages, try sending a re-inclusion request to Google at:

help@google.com

That’s it! Follow those tips and your webpages should start reappearing in Google again within one to two crawls (4-8 weeks).