Web Marketing: How to Improve Your Site Rank - dummies

Web Marketing: How to Improve Your Site Rank

By John Arnold, Michael Becker, Marty Dickinson, Ian Lurie, Elizabeth Marsten

In web marketing, it’s important to understand what helps a site rank so that yours can be successful. Search engines want to know which website offers the best value for users when they search for a particular concept. These concepts are represented by key phrases. New York hotels, chocolate candy, bicycles, and wedding dresses are all examples of key phrases.

Search engines are hierarchical thinkers. After reading billions of pages of content by using little software programs called spiders, search engines determine the relevance of each of those pages for a key phrase based on a complex series of rules.

When you go to a search engine and type a key phrase (wedding dresses, for example), the search engine picks the best matches by assessing the following:

  • A site’s authority on the subject: The search engine looks for links from other sites about wedding dresses to gauge the site’s authority on wedding dresses.

    Every link from other, relevant sites is a vote for the target site’s authority.

  • A site’s social media reach: The search engine looks at social media citations and “likes” for that site from other relevant social media users.

  • The main focus of the site: The search engine looks at the site structure, so find what its main focus is.

  • Which pages on those sites are most dedicated to the subject.

  • Whether those pages are more relevant than all the other pages in the search engine’s index.

  • The overall “quality” of each site as defined by writing quality, site performance, and visitor response to that site’s search listing.

All you have to do is get yourself to the top of each of those pyramids, and you’re rich!

Maybe it’s not that simple. Thousands or even millions of sites are all vying for that same top spot. To really compete, you’re going to need to know how webpages are built and how search engines read them. If you know how search engines read sites, and you know how to build them, you can provide what search engines want: a structure that indicates what a page is really about.