Does Your Site Deserve a Top Ten Search Engine Ranking? (Part
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 (http://www.a1-optimization.com/Top-search-engine-ranking%20.htm)
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
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
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
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
www.articlecity.com or on the article groups at Yahoo (http://groups.yahoo.com).
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
Contribute to forums and Internet discussions related to your
Send out press releases about your website and your
enterprise. One leading online press release service is
www.prweb.com , and there are others as well.
Apply for a listing in
www.dmoz.org (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
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
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 (http://www.a1-optimization.com),
a firm providing low cost search engine optimization,
submission and web promotion services.