Recently, I wrote a post about how important it is to pay attention to Google. Since they are the single most important ingredient in building up your SEO rankings, their advice can be invaluable for those who are serious about getting noticed online. However, even with that knowledge, there have been some marketers who have managed to make the rankings in spite of the sometimes confusing algorithms set out by Google.
You’ve probably already noticed how in your online search efforts, you’ve stumbled across one single website that seems to appear in the middle of your search that has nothing to do with what you’re looking for. This leaves many people confused about how Google ranks these pages and how you can make sure that your page appears where you need them to be. The fact is: there are many factors that can affect where you land in the search engines. According to Jennifer Van Iderstyne of Search Engine Watch:
There are plenty of reasons that one page may show up in the SERPs over another, and not all of those considerations may be within our control. But there are several opportunities to enhance the likelihood of the “right” page showing up for the “right” search.
By learning what those opportunities are and how to take advantage of them, we can improve our chances of connecting and getting the rankings we need.
Words on the Page
One of the easiest ways to get a ranking, and probably the strategy that most people are familiar with, is using relevant content. The words and phrases you painstakingly choose to attract visitors may be well intentioned but they can at times, miss their mark. Somewhere, the meaning you intended could get mixed up with what Google understands and before you know it, your site has drifted off into the “Twilight Zone.”
Clearly, you cannot rely entirely on keywords and phrases to get your page to a place where it can be found. It is also important to take into consideration other factors, such as navigation, backlinks, and relevancy to the subject. When you consider all of these factors, it is easy to understand why occasionally missed messages can be seen in SEO.
Evidence of this can be seen often in search engines. One page with an on-page relevance to the topic can easily be outranked by another page that has factored in all of the other related factors in addition to making sure their content is on point. For effective SEO, you cannot limit yourself to only one approach to achieving your ranking, you’ll have to be a master of a number of techniques in order to achieve that ranking and maintain it.
Account for Unpredictability
As the Internet ages, people are getting more comfortable with how they use it. Their search approach is not always going to be with a specific keyword. Some people will even speak to the search engine like they would to a real live person. For example, consider the comments made by Nate Shivar of Shivar Web,
I saw someone had searched for “I have a 1959 Dodge Ram and last week a rock kicked up and hit the front glass windshield how do I get it fixed.”… yes, big keywords are important to rank for – and keywords should guide your strategy… it’s becoming harder to predict what searches will actually rank your site.
Because of the many variables, you’ll have to approach your keyword ranking efforts in a more creative way. It is almost impossible to determine how people will set out to look for your site so you’ll have to make sure that you have a variety of ways to connect with your audience.
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