Getting your website to show up in the first page of search engine results can be the key to increased traffic and higher sales. Yet, far too many business owners discount the importance of increasing their website’s visibility for maximum effect.
When people conduct searches in search engines like Google, they tend to type in words or phrases that relate to what they’re trying to find. This might be a product or a service. Unfortunately, too many businesses assume that they need their website to focus on their business name first and foremost. Customers simply can’t find you easily that way.
This is where search engine optimisation, or SEO, becomes very important. SEO strategies are designed to make your website far more visible for those people who type in specific words or phrases that relate to your products or services. In this way, they’re able to find your business more easily, which increases the number of online customer enquiries you receive.
Here are 10 simple steps you can use to increase your search engine rankings:
- Keyword Research
Do you know how your site visitors are finding you right now? Is your site getting any traffic at all? Understanding what keywords lead customers to your website will help you to optimise each page to rank higher in the search results.
- Titles and Tags
When search engines like Google work out which sites should appear in the search results, they take into account where you’ve managed to include your keywords. This includes page titles, content titles, sub-titles, and even tags on blog posts.
- Content is King
Google sees websites that are rich in unique, informative content to be more valuable than those sites that are solely focused on promoting their products. Besides, when visitors come to your site they want to know they can source helpful information that will assist them in making a buying decision.
- Back Linking
Search engines actually place some importance on how many other sites are willing to link back to your site. In some ways, Google figures that a site with plenty of external links [make sure you use the brand and mix the anchor text] pointing to it is an authority within your field. Gaining links to your site from popular sites with plenty of traffic can help to improve your search engine rankings.
- Update Regularly
When search engines try to figure out which sites should be listed in the results first, they consider whether the site offers fresh content. Sites that are updated regularly tend to rank higher, while sites offering out-dated information that hasn’t been updated in weeks or months will tend to rank lower.
The images you use on your site can also be helpful for your SEO efforts. Rather than save the image file as a random name, re-name it so that it’s the same as your main keywords. Then add an ‘alt’ tag. Google’s spiders can’t read what’s on the image, but they can read your file name and your ‘alt’ tag. This increases visibility of your keywords.
Putting your website navigation behind images or in CSS code may be damaging your website optimisation efforts. Google’s spiders need to be able to follow your links to internal pages of your site so that they are indexed properly as well. Try to keep your website navigation simple and clear behind regular text links.
- Site Map
Google offers a free tool that lets you create a site map. This is a quick and easy way to help search engine spiders find and index your internal website pages. You can find it at www.xml-sitemaps.com.
- Social Bookmarking and Social Networking
Social bookmarking sites like Digg and Reddit and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter can have some effect on your overall search engine rankings. Aside from this, when you respond to any questions or comments visitors leave, you’re showing customers that you’re available and willing to interact with them. This helps to build trust for you and your business.
- SEO packages
Hire the services of a professional SEO company. They already have all the tools and knowledge required to help you improve your search rankings quickly and effectively. This is a cost-effective way of boosting your search rankings and increasing your site’s visibility at the same time.