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Does Your Site Deserve a Top Ten Search Engine Ranking? (Part 2)

By Donald Nelson, copyright 2005

If you make a proper evaluation of your website you may actually discover that compared to your competitor’s offerings you really don’t deserve a top spot in the search engine rankings. However, there are some steps you can take to improve your company, improve your website and improve your rankings in the search engine queries related to your product or service.
In my last article on this subject ( I outlined five factors which separate the leading sites from the others in any particular field. Let’s look at what you can do to improve your performance in these areas.

1. Take steps to become an industry leader:
The top sites displayed in a search engine query should belong to those sites that really offer the goods and services that best answer the question posed by the search engine user. More often than not, those top rankings are captured by “industry leaders” or companies that offer either a wide variety of goods or top services in that field.

When it comes to becoming an industry leader you have to be realistic. There is no point in trying to compete with a “Fortune 500” company when you are a one-woman part-time business. But you can select your niche and compete there.
When you have your niche clearly defined, add the services and products and information that will match and surpass those of your competitors. If your fundamental product or service is really of value then you should be able to build a website that reflects this value and sooner or later the search engines will pick up on this.

So review your current products and services. Take a look at what your competitors are doing, and add new products and services or improve existing ones so that you are among the best in your particular Internet niche.

2. Make your site look as good as the products and services you are offering.
Just as you would not go to a business meeting in shabby dress, your website should look clean and professional. If you have to spend some money to get your website redesigned, then consider it money well-spent, because you will more than earn it back in higher sales in the months and years ahead.
If you do choose to redesign or upgrade your website, make sure that you find a web designer who is able to build search-engine friendly web pages.

3. Enrich the Content of Your Website:
Both search engines and web users appreciate a site with a lot of information. It doesn’t cost you anything to add new pages to your website, so publish articles, reviews, news and information about your product and services. Each of those new pages will function as a “mini-website,” attracting searchers who make queries for the words and phrases appearing on those pages.
Write your own articles and product reviews or use those of others. Writing your own articles and reviews is actually easier than you think. If you publish a website then you already have a particular expertise or interest in your particular field. It is just a question of sharing this knowledge with others in a direct manner (see my article for simple Internet article-writing guidelines).

If you do not want to write your own articles, then take advantage of free content that is available at places like , or on the article groups at Yahoo ( When you enter the Yahoo groups area, make a search for: free articles, articles for reprint.

4. Become an “Authority” in Your Field: As you are already an “expert” in your field, let the world know about it. If you write articles, publish them on your site, put them in your newsletter and then get them distributed and published on other websites. You can distribute in the same places where you find articles for reprint.
Contribute to forums and Internet discussions related to your website.
Send out press releases about your website and your enterprise. One leading online press release service is , and there are others as well.

Apply for a listing in (Open Directory Project) and other leading directories. A listing in a recognized directory is given much importance by Google and other search engines.

Finally, don’t forget the off-line world. Try to get an appearance on radio talk shows, send out press releases and get coverage in newspapers, magazines and other offline media.

5. Get an Early Start:
The longer you have been around, the easier it is for your site to get a high ranking. So, register your new domain name as soon as you get the idea for your business, even if you don’t think you will be operational for some months to come. When your domain is registered publish a “holding page”, a page with some preliminary information. Get links to this holding page from already existing websites (ask your friends, colleagues, your web designer and others to make links to you.)
All of this may sound like hard work, but the rewards can be great. Despite all the obstacles, the Internet offers a huge opportunity for individuals and small businesses to reach out to a large audience. If you work diligently and systematically the day will come when your website achieves a top search engine ranking.

Donald Nelson is a web developer, editor and social worker. He has been working on the Internet since 1995, and is currently the director of A1-Optimization (, a firm providing low cost search engine optimization, submission and web promotion services. 

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Articles in recent issues have included: Meta tag guidelines, Writing Website Copy, Website promotion for a new website, Selecting reciprocal link partners, Internet Article Writing, Understanding Website Statistics, Search Engine Friendly Web Design , Search Engine Optimization Tips and more.

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