Ranking high on search engines and being found by new customers is the goal of any website. Today there is more than just searching, there is local search, personalized search, live search, mobile search and location search so website have to adapt to be found since the way people search has changed. Furthermore, now search engines have to match quality, relevant results with queries as well as user experience to increase functionality.
Google continues to rule the search volume, while Bing is slowly gaining volume. The old thought was to optimize for Google and the others will follow, however, with the advancement of Bing, websites now have to understand how to optimize ranking for both. Sadly, Bing utilizes different criteria and it is very important to identify the SEO factors that impact page rank across both search engines.
While the algorithms remain under lock and key, we have been able to gain some insight into how they rank and the factors impacting rankings.
8 Main Factors that Impact Search Engine Rankings:
1. External Link Anchor Text: When a site has a link with your keyword that is a hyperlink to your website, this is called an anchor text backlink. It is very important that the original site has a genre that match your content and this is one of the biggest factors in ranking for Bing and Google. Google seems to put more weight on the quality of the link, however, Bing puts an emphasis on matching content.
2. Title Tags with Keywords: Keywords in the title tag is a given, however the placement continues to be a topic for discussion. The location of the keyword in the title tag does not seem to affect the rankings a whole lot, it is always best to have the keywords at the beginning to let readers and the spiders know what the page is about.
3. Fresh Content: New, fresh, and always updating content weighs highly when seeking rankings for popular queries. Search engines LOVE new content as it gives a lot of authority to sites that are updated frequently however new content is not going to increase your rankings in the long term unless there are backlinks. It is always best to have new content especially with a blog as the content is searched more frequently providing more chances to rank.
4. XML Sitemap: Sitemaps do not impact the rankings by their mere existence but they do become a factor when the site is crawled.
5. Niche Directories: Niche directories hone in on specific topics and not a one directory fits all industries. I have to make sure to explain, these directories are not the kind to feature all different aspects of the internet, but only spotlight your respected industry. These are crawled the same way as the general directories so there is opportunity to rank from these directories. These are a really good way to increase your ranking locally.
6. Contextual Links: Contextual links via article marketing, Squidoo’s and Hubpages. The content is matched to the page with the importance being the content matching the topic.
7. NoFollow Links: These are not a huge factor unless there is an overabundance. Nofollow links were created by Google to prevent sites from receiving links just to get links. While they are indexed and quantified, they are not qualified. Too many nofollow links will not necessarily lower your rankings especially if you have quality follow links however if there is not a balance between the follow-nofollow links, the rankings will be lower.
8. Social Media Tools: Social media sites will not increase your rankings just for having a profile but the promotion and the links count. When others start to add your site and bookmark it, that helps your website go viral. Get enough people to pay attention to your site via these tools and you just followed in the footsteps of Justin Beiber who made it big with the help of YouTube.
Keep in mind, these are the basics and even though some sound easy to execute, they are not when actually attempted. As always, consult an SEO Expert because getting your website ranked quicker can lead to gained income as well as company exposure.