10 Ways to Improve Search Engine Rankings

higher search engine rankingsThere are many aspects to search engine optimization that it is easy to overlook some of these core aspects.  There is not a quick fix or a magic wand to immediately achieve higher search engine rankings. Search engines have set up specific criteria that a website must meet in order to be on the first page.  The criteria is different for each search engine as seen when a search is performed for the same search term on each search engine and different results are yielded, however, they do share several commonalities.

The tips below collectively are the basics to improve search engine rankings. Focusing on one or two may provide temporary results however incorporating all of these basics will, in time, increase search engine rankings on all of the search engines.

1. Well Designed Site. Every site on the internet is well designed right? While many sites are aesthetically pleasing they may be missing the mark as it relates to search engine optimization and being user friendly. A well designed site is one that looks nice, has credible and well laid out content, is easily navigated and solves the problem for the reader.

2. Relevant Fresh Content. We know that Content is King and it has never been proven move than on the internet. A well designed site is only part of the battle as the content contained on the site is what makes the search engines see the site as worthy to be on the first page in conjunction with popularity amongst the readers.

3. Keyword Research. Keywords are extremely important in optimizing a website. Content needs to be written with keywords in mind. Keywords need to be relevant to the industry, geographic location as well as attainable. Trying to optimize for Pizza is extremely difficult, however “type of pizza in your city” is much easier and much more attainable.

4. Images. A website without images is boring! Name the images so that the search engines know what the image is and then also alt tag the image with keywords. This is sort of describing the image and then explaining why the image is there.

5. Unique Page Titles. Pages are crawled – not the entire website. Give each page a title that reflects the keywords targeted by utilizing Header 1 and then Header 2 and if needed Header 3 titles.

6. Unique Meta Keywords and Descriptions. Once the page title is established, it is imperative to have the keywords and meta description containing the keywords identified. This tells the search engines and readers what the content is about and why they should read it.

7. Links. Links play a very important role in improving search engine rankings. Internal (linking to pages within the site) and External (sites that link to you). External links are more difficult  however local directories as well as social media outlets and putting yourself out there by commicating with the community with information that is worthwhile will increase external links.

8. Join Forums/Comment on Blogs. Commenting on blogs with qualified content and not just “great post” and ask questions on social media outlets regularly will help to establish you. Research others that are blogging on your topic and industry technorati.com as well as google.com./blogsearch to find social media communities within your industry.

9. Create a Blog and Post Often. Search engines seek and like new, fresh and relevant content. A blog is providing information to readers to educate and solve a problem.

10. Explore Social Media Outlets. Twitter, Friend Feed, Facebook, Linked In .. there are numerous social media outlets to become a part of and get noticed. Develop profiles for each outlet that pertains to your industry and provide relevant content  and not a sales pitch!

Improving search engine ranking is an ongoing process that involves work and patience.  Once you’ve incorporated these basic fundamentals, how can you be sure it is all done properly? A high ranking is one way but a free tool to determine if your site measures  up and is optimized properly.

photo credit: danardvincente