4 ways to improve your seo

Blog / October 2, 2015

Your website gains exponentially more traffic from showing up on the first results pages of search engines. Companies like Google and Bing are constantly updating their algorithms to provide users with the best valuable content for their search. We'll give you four things you can start doing right away to improve your ranking.

Generally speaking, it takes time to work your way up the search results pages. There are many factors that have an affect on the ranking of pages on search engines. These factors are apparently trade secrets, however there are some well-known things that contribute to your page ranking. Here are four things you can do right now to improve your Search Engine Optimization on your website.

1. Earn external links by making valuable content

Search engines base their page rankings on credibility of the sites they search. One way they determine credibility is by how many other sites are linking back to pages on your site.

There's a few ways to get more external links to your site. One way is to pay for them. There are companies out there who own numerous URLs who you can pay to create links on those sites back to pages on your site to boost your search ranking. WARNING! DO NOT DO THIS! Search engines have caught on to these businesses and will lower the credibility of your site for doing this.

Search engines want to provide valuable content for their users. The best way to gain external links is to provide valuable content on your own site that others will link back to for a reference. You can also write content like blogs for other sites and link back to your own site in that content.

2. Make page titles descriptive of what's on the page

Having a strategy with your page titles can benefit your page ranking. Although it's not one of the main factors in search engine optimization, it does help. When a person searches a topic you'll notice each result uses the page title as a label. Having a page title that's relative to what's being searched can help your ranking.

Once again, search engines want to provide quality, relatable content for their users. So when you're building your SEO campaign, don't try to put keywords into page titles that have nothing to do with the content that's on that page. What we suggest is to use what comes natural when describing the content on that page. You'll get better page rankings and the visitors to your page will be the right visitors and will turn into more conversions into sales.

3. Use keywords in your content, but don't go overboard

You've probably heard about "keywords" in every article that comes up when you search SEO. If not, here's a shortened explanation.

Keywords are words on your page that relate to your product or service. These words are what users will most likely search for when they are trying to find a product or service that you offer. Let's say someone searches for "where to buy flowers" and you do just that. It's likely you would have the keywords "buy/sell" and "flowers" on your website. This helps connect the visitor to the right website for them to buy flowers.

What you'll often see websites do incorrectly is pack their content with keywords they think people might search to get their page ranking improved. In fact, having keywords in multiple places on the same page is not that helpful. Search engines are looking for accuracy and not illusion. Using to many keywords on purpose can make your content sound fake and not valuable for the reader.

It's also not advised to use keywords that are too vague. Let's go back to our flower shop example. Let's say you're selling flowers so you have the word "flowers" scattered over your page. A user who searches "how to grow flowers" could very well come across your page. However, that's no use to you and is a burden to the user which could hurt your page ranking in the long run.

Our suggestion is to be natural in your content when talking about your service or product. If you try to hard to include keywords in your content you could end up sounding funny and will not provide value to your visitors. So somewhere in your content you would want to use the phrase "...buy flowers". Ex: "Here, at ABC Flowers we make it easy for you to buy flowers with just a click."

4. Have a sitemap.xml file

A sitemap is a layout of all of the pages on your website. When a search engine's robot is roaming your site it will look for an XML file that holds the map to navigate your site. The robot uses the Sitemap to find the right pages within your site quickly and that relate most to what is being searched.

There's no strategy to what goes into the Sitemap file. It's just helpful to have one within your site. If you do not have one, there are sites out there like this that can create XML files for you.

Bonus tip: Add Alt text to your images

The last quick tip we have for you is to add Alt or alternative attributes to the images you add to your website. Alt text is used for computer users with disabilities and cannot view the images. This helps them to know what's on that page even though they can not see.

Search engines also use these alternative image descriptions in image search results and in providing their users with accurate results. Having good image descriptions will give you better page rankings and more accurate visitors to your site.

If all of this seems to be overwhelming, there are agencies like us out there who are experts in Search Engine Optimization who can help you with your site.

When building your SEO strategy we suggest this rule of thumb. Be genuine in your service and write content that is valuable for the reader. The SEO results won't happen overnight but the long term improvement will be natural.

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