“How do I get a better ranking in the search engines so I can stay ahead of the competition?”
Optimising a website to effectively capture traffic from the search engines is a mystery to many business owners worldwide.
The problem with a significant majority of websites on the internet is that the search engines can’t evaluate them properly. They need a number of simple things to be present to effectively evaluate the website’s relevance and authority.
Here are 9 simple ways to promote your website, tell the search engines what they want to know, and get better rankings.
Search engine friendly URLs
Having a good URL (Uniform Resource Locator – the fancy name for a web address like “www.searchengine.com/help-for-your-business”) is very important to ranking highly in the search engine. It is one very simple way to promote your website. The idea is that the URL should describe the webpage in a way that would make sense to both humans and search engines. If your URLs aren’t descriptive, then you could be missing out. For example, if you wrote an amazing blog post and posted it to a URL “www.amazingblogpost.com/page-1281c”, it wouldn’t be as search engine friendly as “www.amazingblogpost.com/driving-motorcycle-across-tibet”. If you’re using WordPress, you can adjust how URLs are named in “Permalink Settings” which can be found under the “Settings” menu tab in your dashboard (I use “Post Name”).
XML sitemaps will help tell the search engines where all your website pages are and how they are structured. If you submit a sitemap in your webmaster tools accounts, the respective search engines can make a clearer assessment about authority and relevance. If you have a WordPress website I would recommend installing the “WordPress SEO Plugin” by Yoast. It automatically generates an XML sitemap for your website.
Domain Life Span
A domain that is about to expire will look unstable to the search engines and will not have an optimal ranking. Make sure you have at least a year left on your domain registration; the longer the better.
Site speed is also taken into account when the search engines determine the quality of a site. A fast loading website makes happy users and customers, but a slow website can seriously impact bounce rates, lead generation and sales revenue (more than 3 seconds to load is considered a problem). Make sure your pictures aren’t too big, and that you only have a small number of plugins installed.
One of the legs that every effective SEO strategy leans on is building relevant content. That is, content that people are searching for. Search engines find relevance in particular words, called keywords, that define the topic of the content on a given page. In order for your webpages to rank well, you should have a fairly specific idea about which keyword phrases you’re targeting. Ask yourself “If I was a customer looking for my product, which words would I enter into Google to find it?”. Write down those keywords (or if you want to be more scientific about it sign up to Market Samurai keyword research software) and target one keyword or keyword phrase for each piece of content that you write, so that the message to the search engines about the content on your page is loud and clear.
It’s very important to make sure that your meta tags include your keywords. Meta tags are another important way for search engines to determine the relevance of a page. The most important tags for SEO are;
<meta name="description" content="A description of the page" />
<title>The Title of the Page</title>
Also important are:
<h1>, <h2> etc
Also, make sure you add <alt> attributes to your photos so that search engines can read them.
It’s fairly easy to adjust your site’s meta tags.
While it is effective to focus on targeting a specific keyword or keyword phrase, you should craft your content in a natural way. If the search engines detect too many instances of your keyword on a page, they may think you are “keyword stuffing”, and you could be penalised for it. Try to keep the density of your keyword instances below 4% of the total word count in your text content.
Directory submissions & link building
The search engines consider inbound links to be votes for quality, authoritative content. A link building campaign can help you get you started moving up the rankings. Submitting your site to online business directories such as Yellow Pages, Truelocal or HotFrog gives you links back to your websites. Directory submission also promotes your business by showing you in their directory search results, giving you more exposure.
Also, consider creating a Google+ business page for your business. You can get recommendations and reviews based on customer interactions. The more reviews you have on Google+, the better Google knows your business, and you’ll find yourself ranking better.
Web content syndication is a great way of distributing your content. Make sure that your site has an RSS feed that users can subscribe to to receive your latest blog posts. The search engines pay a lot of attention to RSS feeds and many business websites report significant increases in traffic levels after they put RSS feeds up on their websites.
If you want the search engines to take notice of your website, following these 9 ways to promote your website will have you on the right track with a little bit of time and effort.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below