SEO White Hats has a great post on 2009 search engine ranking factors that mean the most to the search engines. They got their information from the recent 2009 Advanced SEO conference in Seattle from, who else, Rand Fishkin from SEOmoz. Below I have noted the main points on the SEO White Hats blog but also put my 2 cents in.
1. H1 title tags are far less important than what we all think. So maybe for SEO having your title in an H1 format isn’t as important, but the title of the page is still extremely important in order to engage users as soon as they get to your website. I still think that having your keywords in your website headline will help increase conversions. However, perhaps going through a website and making all headlines into H1 tags is something you can do later down the line once the more important aspects of SEO are complete.
2. Page title still remains the most important factor for SEO rankings. Most of us know that the page title is super important not only for SEO but the page title is like the headline of your PPC ad. It’s typically the deciding factor for someone to either click on your ad or not. However, SEO White Hats is saying that the closer you put your keywords to the beginning of your page title the better. I’ve seen a lot of websites out there that have awful page titles that don’t contain any of their core keywords so there is obviously a lot of people out there that need to hear how important page titles are.
3. One thing I thought was really interesting is that they say on-page keyword density is not very important. Say what?? Moreover link building carries much more weight among the search engines when it comes to SEO rankability. They said that some even estimate inbound links to be worth 70% of search engine rankings importance while onsite factors such as keyword density and domain age are only 30% important.
4. Part of the whole link building tactic is anchor text. They say that anchor text is very important when it comes to link building. Getting a number of websites to link to your site using specific anchor text is very important and something you should request when requesting links.
5. Most good SEO managers know that when it comes to link building it’s quality over quantity. But the article states this even more clearly that link building is important when the links come from a diversity of websites that is much more important then getting a lot of links from just one website.
In conclusion, don’t think that H1 header tags and on-site keyword density aren’t important at all, keep doing those things. However, keep in mind what the search engines really like and spend more of your time link building and adding anchor text.