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30 Jan 2008

Top Search Engine Rankings are Easy!

Well okay, we have to admit that it isn’t easy to achieve top search engine rankings, but it may be easier than you think. The key is to understand contextual linking and to tailor your keyword phrases a bit. Greed is the enemy of page rank – everyone in the mortgage industry may want to be one of the top five in Google search for mortgages, but you’re facing some stiff competition considering how many millions of mortgage lenders there are. The competition can be fierce and expensive.

The key to a top search engine ranking is diversifying your keywords a bit to cover several niche markets within the overall market. For instance, you may not be able to be number one for “mortgages,” but you could certainly be in the top five for “Arizona FHA loans,” “Pennsylvania home equity loans,” or “best CA mortgage rates” if you focus on 3-5 word phrases (the long tail) rather than one catch-all keyword like “mortgages.”

Hitting Once vs. Hitting Many Times

The results can be phenomenal. In this case, most people are searching for a mortgage lender that can work with them specifically and can address their situation, so most searchers are going to narrow the focus of their search according to their own needs, which could be by state, type of loan, bank affiliation, etc. If you’ve done your homework and can come up with several combinations of words or phrases to combine with the word “mortgage,” you will soon find yourself with top search engine ranking on the first page of Google searches for many niche searches. If you can’t be in the top five for "mortgages", wouldn’t it be great to be in the top five for twenty different kinds of specific mortgage or mortgage services in twenty different states?

Contextual Links can Get you Top Search Engine Rankings

Contextual links on your site will help you rank well with the search engines if you have these links set up for each of the exact 3-5 keyword phrases that you are trying to rank high on search pages. Remember, contextual links are considered Primary Text by the search engines. Placing your contextual links “above the fold,” or in the top half (or better yet, top quarter) of each page they appear on strengthens their importance for search engine purposes.

An even better use of contextual links is to make sure your exact keyword phrases are used as links back to your site from other websites. There are several ways to achieve this, including reciprocal links on sites that are relevant to your own site but not competitive with it (for mortgages, you might want links from sites that offer real estate services, credit cards or credit counseling, home improvement information, payment calculators….the variations are endless). Better yet, have your keyword phrases appear within relevant articles or blog posts. Readers are sure to notice these links and these kinds of dynamic links will definitely get the attention of search engines.

To maintain your top search engine ranking in niche areas, periodically update, rewrite and add to the information and links you have for each of your 3-5 keyword phrases. If you’ve ranked on the first search page for twenty different phrases, you can rotate through these and update five or so phrases each month when you’re in a time crunch and can’t work on all twenty. The beauty of this is that, even if a few of your phrases slip down in the rankings, you still have other phrases that are performing well and keeping you in the top search engine rankings. Done right, a variety of specific, niche keyword phrases will keep you in the top of the search engine rankings with great consistency.

[tags] top search engine rankings, contextual links, keyword research, reciprocal links, niche markets [/tags]

1 Comment

  • Ryan Jan 01, 2011

    It’s nice to read a good article. I really enjoy lots of the articles on your website.