Why Oh Why Aren’t We Positioning???

I know how you feel. There’s this one keyword that no matter what you do, you can’t seem to position on it. Or even worse- perhaps there’s an entire niche or subject that try as hard as you can, your site is just nowhere to be found.

Why? You’re working hard. Your site deserves a chance. It has relevant content (or so you think). So what are you doing wrong? Well, here are five big things you might want to take a look at:

1. Title Tags
Are you making full use of title tags on your site? Titles should all be unique and carefully crafted to leverage potential for your relevant terms.

2. Onpage Copy
Another biggie. If you don’t talk about what you want to be found for on your site- including on your home page- then don’t expect to position for it. Text is such a simple and basic, but incredibly powerful tool to boost the relevance of your entire site.

Also don’t forget that if your copy isn’t in text, it might as well be invisible. Embed flash into your site rather than making your entire site flash, and don’t place important text in images either.

3. URL Structure
Keep in mind that if your site employs long, dynamic URLs with more than 2-3 parameters, you are greatly reducing the positioning potential of all pages on your site. Engines prefer short, directory-based URLs.

4. Site Navigation
When a search engine spiders your site, it essentially follows all the links from one page to another. But if your site navigation is contained within Flash or Javascript, this means that they can’t see the relationship of how each page links to one another. A text-based navigation is your best bet for maximizing positioning potential.

Also take the time to ensure that you have facilitated an intelligent structure that passes page relevance and leverages anchor text to the best of its potential, while minimizing duplicate content issues.

5. Link Popularity
I dislike the term “link popularity”, but for lack of a better word, search engines tend to take a pretty close not only at who links to who, but *how*. And don’t forget- it’s not the number of incoming links that count, but the quality of them. Go after links from relevant, trusted sites in your niche. Most importantly of all, build quality content and make a useful site that people will want to link to, naturally.

As a starting point, I recommend taking a very close look at all of the above things when asking yourself why you aren’t positioning on what you really want to position on. You might be surprised at the answers that you uncover. Each one of these factors goes hand and hand with each other, and none can afford to be ignored if you are really serious about optimizing your web site.

Looking beyond these five points? I know without a doubt that it is a combined, holistic approach to your online initiative as a whole – SEO, usability, customer service, and more – that is the key not only to high positions, but success across the board.