What Does It Take to Rank Well for My Keywords?

video-29Hi I’m Mark Steinbrueck and this is Kurt Steinbrueck. We are with OurChurch.com, and on this video we are going to answer the question, “What does it take to rank for…”

And then fill in the blanks as far as whatever particular keyword or key phrase you are trying to rank well for within the search engines.

Kurt, why don’t you talk about what kind of things go into ranking well for particular keywords?

Sure. There are a lot of different things that go into rankings. What is it going to take to rank for whatever your keyword is, is going to depend on that keyword and how competitive it is, but there are certain levels, certain steps, that you are going to take to do this.

The first things are just taking care of the basics.

  • This is making sure that the search bots are able to actually visit your site.

One of the things I’ve seen on some of the auto-creator websites, the WYSIWYG websites, is that they would set the website to not be visible to the search engines. They are literally blocking the search engines from visiting the site.
I think the theory behind this is that they think that you don’t want anyone coming to your site until you launch your site.

However, it’s very easy, maybe you don’t know about this setting or you just forget about it, to not change that. Then all of a sudden, a month, 2 months down the road, you are wondering, “Why I am not getting any visitors?” It’s because the search engines are not even allowed to see your site.

Sure. It could be just a matter of clicking a button and changing the setting and turning that setting off.

  • The next thing is making sure your site is readable by the search engines.

Search engines can’t read everything. They can’t read graphics. They can’t read flash. If you had your site that is built out of flash, the search engines don’t see anything. They literally just see a few snippets of code and a blank page. There’s nothing for them to see. They don’t know what your site is about and they can’t really rank you for anything.

Now, there are things you can do for a flash site so that you give them something to read, but you need to make sure you’re either in the format they can read or that you are doing those things to give them something to be able to read.

There’s a real big temptation out there to go with flash website because they do look good, they do have motion and movement which is attractive, but if you don’t have things set up to give the search engines the ability to read your site, then you are losing out on any possible traffic that you’d be getting from the search engines.

  • Then the next thing, the last of the basics, is good navigation.

What we are talking about here is the navigation menu. This may be a left side menu or maybe at the top of the website where you’ve got the menu, really any way that you are linking between the pages. You want this to be something where the search engines are able to easily move about the site, find all of the pages. It’s good for users too. Users need to be able to easily navigate around the site. By doing this you are allowing the search engines to find all of the pages of your site, and index it.

The next thing that goes into this is On-Page optimization.

When you are doing optimization, there are really a couple of different aspects to it. There are things you can do behind the scenes, that are setting up Meta tags, title tags, and different things that maybe your visitors aren’t really going to see. But the search engines see that and that can help to get you ranking well.

There are also things that you’ve got to do in the content of your site. You are putting the keywords that you want to rank well for in the content. And this is really a big topic. I can’t go into much depth with this. It’s would be several different videos, but On-Page optimization is one of the things that it’s going to take to get you ranking well for whatever the keyword is.

That’s the next step after you take care of the basics there’s the on-page optimization.

These two really are going to be necessary for any keyword that you do.

Now, when you starting to get into some of the more competitive keywords, keywords that a lot of different websites that are trying to rank well for.

You are going to really have to start looking into link building.

When I talk about links though, let’s be clear, these are not links that are on your site linking out to other sites. These are links that are on other people’s sites linking to your sites.

Some people might refer to them as either backlinks or incoming links, but as Kurt said, they are links that are coming into your website not going out of your website.

What these links are going to do is… they work kind of like votes, where every website that links to you is voting to say that your site is important, your site is valuable and that brings up the authority of that site in the eyes of the search engines. So, then they are willing to rank you for more and more competitive keywords.

Another analogy for it is like if you have a restaurant. Whenever people leave a positive review about that restaurant that’s going to influence people to think that it is a better restaurant. The more people that do it, the better the restaurant they think it is. And, of course, if you get a critic that’s a very important person, that’s going to make people even more think that this is a very important restaurant.

So, it’s the same thing with links. You get into those links and it’s telling the search engine that this is very good website and we want to rank it well.

The last one is citations.

Citations are relatively new to the SEO world. It started really with local search engines. The citations were just listings of organizations with their contact information. It did not necessarily have a link to it, but it mentioned the organization with their contact information and we are seeing this is now becoming more and more important in regular SEO as well, the mentioning of organizations websites without links and I guess its mentioning them favorably. And that’s benefiting them. They can have links, but they do not have to. So, it’s a little bit different than links.

It is becoming more sophisticated.

So, these are the things that it’s going to take to rank for whatever the keyword is that you are trying to rank well for.

How much is this is going to depend on how competitive a keyword it is.

  • You’re definitely going to have to do the basics.

You’ve got to make sure that the search engines can visit your site, read your site, and that you got good navigation.

  • And you’re probably going to have to do On-Page optimization so that the search engines know this is what we are supposed to be ranking you for.
  • As we get into more competitive keywords, it is going to take link building.
  • It’s going to take citations.

Great. Well, thank you Kurt for the information and I thank you for taking the time to watch this video. I hope that you found it informative.

If there is anything that we can do to help you accomplish your mission and goals online, please email us at support@OurChurch.Com.

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Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, elder of CypressMeadows.org, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as .

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