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SEO At A Glance

Search Engine Ranking: Website Ranking Keywords Backlinks And All

In several previous articles we’ve covered: Domain Auditing, Page Speed And SEO, Backlinks and even some less than white hat techniques such as Private Blog Networks, Guest Posts and more. ¬†All of these are cogs in the greater overall machine which is Search Engine Optimization or SEO. ¬†To you and any other website owner it is Search Engine Position Ranking. ¬† ¬†In this article we’re going to look more holistically at the sum of the parts and how it fits together.

Search Engine Marketing Vs Search Engine Optimization

SEO is not Search Engine Marketing, or SEM. It is closely related but very different.  In the end both mean to drive relevant traffic to a site but in different, often at odds means.  SEM includes Pay Per Click or PPC traffic, but can also include more paid traffic channels.

I’d argue that a good SEM landing page is an awful SEO landing page. ¬†SEO pages may have a lot of content on them but they are structured in a specific a deliberate manner with everything falling neatly under the page’s topical subject.

PPC requires none of that and its page structure is more geared with conversion in mind. ¬†A good SEO is not necessarily a good SEM and vice versa someone with PPC experience is not an SEO. ¬†I only lay it out like that because I’ve worked for sites where a SEM’s decisions hindered the SEO efforts but they served the PPC interests just fine.

SERPs or Search Engine Rank Position directly translates into increased traffic on your site. ¬†Both SEM and SEO deliver relevant traffic, because you’re able to place yourself in front of people actively researching a topic related to you. ¬†PPC the costs are upfront and the benefit is immediate but not recyclable. SEM the costs are ongoing, the results are delayed by a few weeks but the work is self renewing. ¬†Once a person finds your site SEO isn’t used up … it can continue to deliver traffic day after day with minimal upkeep.

Search Engine Ranking

Ranking number 1 is every webmasters dream for their desired keywords. ¬†I’d love to rank number one for Matthew Leffler but I’m in tough competition from 3 other Matthew Lefflers. ¬†A tennis pro, a lawyer and a sex offender all dance with me in the top positions.

 Now I dont want to make light of what got someone into the position of being on a sex offender site but I will say that its proven to be some of the best SEO out there.

SERP Ranking On Google
The attorney and the sex offender are beating the SEO and tennis Matthew Lefflers

Positions change in SERPs often and reflect the ever changing nature of the web.

Website Ranking

Website Ranking is the goal of most SEO clients and for good reason.  Web Traffic is directly correlated with where your website is ranked for a keyword.  In studies it has been shown that the top three positions will win about half of all the traffic for a given search term. 


Traffic By Search Position
Each position earns about twice as much traffic as the position below it. Thats why its better to be 1st than second and third!

Page One On Google

Page One is the only page. ¬†Page 2 or 3 are ultimately of no value and any traffic earned from being in 20th place is of no real difference than being in 70th place. ¬†For that reason its important to only consider positions 11 thru 30 as the ones you need to focus more attention on…they’re close to being on page one and earning traffic. ¬†

It may be optimization the page needs, it could be backlinks or better site structure and speed or an improved meta title and description away from being a producing keyword.

Optimizing Content For SEO

Rather than optimizing existing content for SEO I favor creating content to meet a desired keyword.  I reference any existing content as I did in the beginning of this article but I largely present new content .

In this article if you didn’t know all the keywords are my headers. ¬†They content under that header is meant to support and backup the header and its all relevant to the header. ¬†In this paragraph we are not going to discuss keywords and anchor text because thats optimized if its under the relevant header.

To optimize existing content for SEO we essentially have to rewrite it and place it under the headers and by the time thats all done you likely could have just made a new article.

Any images on the page should tie into a header as well.  Then that keyword should appear in the IMG ALT tag.  The IMG ALT tag is used by the a screen reader to describe to a blind person what is on the page.  Your IMG ALT should therefore describe the image as if to a person who cant see the image.  This can really help a keywords position because it shows that you have multimedia content related to that keyword or topic.

Finding Keywords

There are a lot of suggestions and discussions on keywords.  Lets frst recognize that the day that Keywords ruled SEO are over.  There is NO Keyword Density to aspire towards.  

It used to be that the more you typed a keyword the more you’d rankk for it and those days are gone too. ¬†In fact if you go out of your way to use a keyword it appears as if you are stuffing it in … thats keyword stuffing. ¬†I always use this example:

James Cameron does what James Cameron does because James Cameron is James Cameron.

Don’t write like that … search engines are conceptually based now and canread topics out of natural language. ¬†I can write about a pop singer named Madonna without Google thinking I’m writing about a painting of a lady holding her kid from the renaissance.¬†

In the end the best way to present your content is in a way Search Engines and site visitors can understand best.  Nature and with purpose.


Backlinks And Anchor Text

“Backlinks are going away” one of my clients said to me. ¬†They are NOT going away and still are the best indicator of what a site’s potential keywords. ¬†

Think of it like this…if you tell everyone your the best singer, how many people will believe it? ¬†How about if 1000 people tell you this person is the best singer. ¬†More likely to believe the endorsement of others than the self promotion of one. Thats why backlinks from other sites are so much more powerful than on page SEO optimization.

Taking our analogy another step here … which is more important to you. ¬†1000 people tell you that he is the best singer or one person telling you a thousand times? ¬†

Thats essential to your backlinks, the more sites that say it the more powerful over the number of times it is said.

Referring Domains

Referring Domains are the number of sites that you have a backlink from. ¬†The more the better. ¬†But ¬†not all sites are the same just like not all people. ¬†If a 1000 of your family and friends tell you this is the best singer out there it has more weight than if 1000 people you’ve never heard of write you and say this is the best singer. ¬†Thats where domain authority comes into play. ¬†

Google and other search engines value some sites opinions over others. ¬†They’ll also rank those sites higher than other sites. ¬†The more referring domains the better and the more from trusted sources.

For more reading on link building strategies you may want to check out https://www.outreachmama.com/advanced-link-building-strategies/

With that said you do not want all of your backlinks from only high ranking domains.  There are some great new ones and it takes time to build authority, most sites are not a DA90 o its expected that your backlink distribution should look like a pryamid with most of your backlinks coming from the lower sites simply because there are so many lower sites that may organically link to you.   

Domain Authority Distribution

For more on distribution heres an SEO Article.

Where your backlink exists on the page is also important.  If its like SEO Forum its better quality than if its in the footer of the page.

Anchor Text

Anchor Text are the true keywords in todays SERPs.  If the anhor text says Top Rated SEO then that page is going to rank for Top Rated SEO more so than Best Singer.

You want your links to have descriptive anchor text not addresses like https://ultimateseo.net this wont hurt a site or a page but it misses the opportunity to give greater meaning like Ultimate SEO Hosting Plans

Matthew Leffler


Matthew Leffler is a freelance SEO on Upwork.com and SEOClerks.com with 20 years of technical experience and a technical education background. In those years of experience he's worked in several technical roles in informtation technology and software training. Matt has worked at Hewlett-Packard and Gateway Computers. Matthew earned his BSIT, MBA in Technology Management and MEd in Instructional Design. He holds over a dozen active technical certifications including A+, Netowrk+, Security+, Project+, is a Certified Webmaster Professional, and a HDI Help Desk Analyst.

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