A rare guest post, by Connie Davis.
Ensuring that your website ranks high in search results is an important step towards developing a successful business. By using what is known as Search Engine Optimization or SEO, you are not only proving your value to search engines that rank your site, but also to customers who take into account higher ranked results.
SEO doesn’t have to be a confusing or daunting challenge, and in fact if you’re marketing your website well, many of the things that you are already doing are part of the process. Search Engine Optimization, simply stated, directs traffic to your website.
Search engines like Google or Bing use a specific algorithm in order to return relevant search results to users. By scanning websites for a few basic components, search engines analyze and index each page on the web; things such as words on the page, the title, links, the words used in links, and reputation.
Also, by assessing websites that have a lot of inbound links (links from other sources that redirect to your site), and the words used within those links, the ranking of a site is given greater prominence over others.
Finally, the site’s reputation is taken into account. If there are many links to your site that seem random, or don’t match with the content you provide, or if they’re simply from other sites that aren’t reputable, your ranking will lower as a result of the association.
Whether you choose to do it yourself, or would just rather it be streamlined, there are many platforms that provide SEO services. Platforms and products like Rio SEO, BrightEdge, SEOmoz and Conductor can not only audit your website and analyze where improvements in SEO can be made, but also suggest keywords and content to add in order to gain more visibility in search results.
If you are not sure that you’d like to invest in SEO platforms right away, but want to make improvements, there are many small things you can do in order to gain a better page ranking:
Content is King!
Providing well written and engaging content is likely to get your website noticed. Since search engines can also analyze the context of your content; they can distinguish whether a site is just a random jumble of keywords made to look like something that a user might find relevant.
Creating a bold and catchy title is one of the first steps in defining what your website or webpage is all about. This will be the first thing that browsers see, and should immediately drive them towards your page.
Research other websites
Contact other websites that you think have a good ranking, and would benefit from talking about your website. Offer to write a guest post for them with backlinks to your site. Use the keywords that will be relevant to your site, making it more likely to be viewed as a trusted source by search engines.
And finally, let’s talk about a few SEO tips:
1. Keyword Tag stuffing
Do not stuff Keyword Tags with meaningless keywords; in fact, don’t even spend too much time on this tag. These tags are not as relevant as they once were. Simply place your headline once within the keywords and description tags.
2. Submission software – NO!
Don’t rely on submission software to submit to search engines; do it yourself and submit only once! Do not submit every two weeks and don’t submit more than a single page. Your site will get indexed with a nice link trail.
3. Don’t bother with a Subdomain – Yea, really!
Put your content on your own domain! You will not get full credit if a high profile site links to your blog at blog.domain.com. Use a reverse proxy on domain.com/blog. 301 redirects don’t transfer all the link juice, so it’s better to service domain.com/blog directly.
4. Use alt attributes on your images
Putting alt attributes on your images actually serves two purposes:
- It places additional relevant text to your source code that the search engines can see when indexing your site. The more relevant text – the higher the search engine rankings.
- It helps the visually impaired who use a screen reader. They may not be able to see the image but, they will be able to know what your image is.
Using assertive SEO tactics will result in your website gaining an audience. Since search engines are constantly improving in order to bring the most relevant sources for users, your website must adhere to a formula that users are looking for and be in the top ranking of search results.
Using the straightforward and simple methods above will drive more traffic to your website that will soon gain a reputation of a trustworthy and content-rich site.