Web Site Design By Web Site Designers
How To Rank High On Google
25 Great Tips Everyone Should Know To Boost Your Search Engine Rankings
Ok, so you want to get more from your website? Why else would you be reading this? You’ve probably done a few things to get started, you maybe even think you know a thing or two about search engine optimisation “SEO”. But let’s face facts, you’re not getting any hits, or not many at that, why else would you be reading this right now? But the key thing is you are reading this right now, so for one, you distinctly want to do something about it, and secondly, you have managed to find this page easily, which means that whatever we have to say when it comes to search engine optimisation must be credible to some extent.
So following are SmartFolio's 25 of the best ways to get a better and higher position on the search engines. There’s no secret to getting on to the first page, but there are techniques that, if you can master and put the time into then it will pay off (if you don’t have the time –then pay someone who does). You won’t get visitors by sitting on your arse hoping that they will ‘just find you’, you have to be active, work hard and work smart and it will all pay off. So let’s get started, but remember, it won’t just happen tomorrow.
SEO Tip 1 - Lots of relevant Inbound links and popular inbound links (with high pagerank)
This is one of the most important aspects of good SEO but it’s also the most time consuming, frustrating and sometimes even confusing part of it too. But it’s unavoidable. If you want to rank well on search engines, you have to get as many quality links to your website as possible and by quality we mean, links from websites that relate to the type of website you offer, so for instance if you sell garden tools, then get links from websites that talk about gardening, and how they link to you is also important. It’s better that the link actually says ‘gardening tools’ rather than ‘www.yourdomainname.com’ or ‘click here’ as it means more to the search engines. Relevancy is the key.
SEO Tip 2 - Meta information
Another important part of SEO but not as important as it was in previous years is the meta information. Meta Tags are the behind the scenes information that you or your website developer would have (or should have) added to the html code of your website pages. They include keywords that relate to your type of business, title and description. We all know how important keywords are, but it’s more important to have a good relevant and catchy title and description information as this is the information that will be displayed on the search engine results. Many websites put the word welcome in their title as they think that looks ‘welcoming’ but it’s not welcoming to someone skimming and scanning the search results looking for something relevant. Besides, do you know that the word ‘welcome’ has 572 million competitive websites on Google? Try searching for the word welcome and you’ll see. Remember that your meta information is how the world will see you when you appear on the search engine results. So make it eye catching and enticing, this is your advert to the world!
SEO Tip 3 - Good quality keywords and lots (but not too much) of them
Lots of inbound links are great, but without relevant keywords they’re not going to get you very far. The key to good keywords are sourcing the right ones for your website and ones that you won’t be competing with 572 million (see the word welcome) other websites over. The second aspect is knowing how many people search for any specific keyword. After all, if you were making a business out of the word ‘welcome’ and found that it was only searched for 278 times a day, yet your competing against 572 million other websites for it then you really have to come up with an alternative keyword. Good keyword sourcing and analysing is a skill that you won’t develop over night. But it is a very important marketing aspect of it. It involves a lot of researching and the more researching you do the better you’ll get.
SEO Tip 4 - Keywords in links to other pages within your site, “internal linking structure”
Have you ever noticed when doing a search that the full URL of each website is also listed with the results, and within that URL quite often are the keywords that you just searched for? For instance, performing a search on Google for ‘Plumbing Services’ will return a list of results which many of have long URLs such as http://www.businessname.com/plumbingservices.htm which will contain the search term bolded within the URL. Basically it is important that you name your webpages and web directories appropriately to reflect what the page is about – get your keywords in there. So rather than having a page titled services.htm rename it to something more meaningful for the search engines such as plumbingservices.htm. Do that for all your pages and you will notice an increase in your rankings.
SEO Tip 4 (Part 2) - Make SEO friendly URLs
Similar to folders on your desktop computer and how you know what their contents are - Make subdirectories on your web server and call them after your keywords. It helps make use of your keywords and will go towards ranking your site for the specific page that is featured in the directory. For instance, if your site is all about search engine optimization tips, then create a folder on your webserver called ‘seotips’ and put a tips page within it i.e. www.smartfolio.co.uk/seotips/tips . Link to it on your site and submit to the search engines.
SEO Tip 5 - Keywords in alt image titles
We’re in the age of broadband. Did you know that in the UK 9 out of 10 people who access the internet do so on broadband? So these days the internet really is designed for broadband and with that, nice fancy looking websites, full of graphical buttons, characters and pictures. But there are those who may have difficulty viewing these web sites either through disability or through dial up. So the use of titles on your images is important. It allows screen readers to read your page and understand it and it allows those with slow internet connections who may have images disabled to be able to understand and navigate your site more easily. It is also a perfect opportunity to incorporate your main keywords into your website without spamming your own content. So, instead of having an image title that says ‘services’ change it to say ‘professional plumbing services’ (only if you are a plumber obviously). It will still be readable and navigable but more importantly it will be search engine friendly. Remember, Google is your best friend.
SEO Tip 6 - Save your images using keywords as titles, i.e. seotips.gif
Similar to the above tip but with a slight slant. So you’ve got a nice fancy looking website with lots of website buttons. Then again maybe you don’t, but I’m sure you will have graphics on it somewhere. Well why not instead of saving your graphic as ‘fred.jpg’ save it as ‘plumbingservices.jpg’ or ‘professionalplumber.jpg’. It won’t do any harm and may help in some slight way. Remember, anything you can do to improve your rankings is worth doing.
SEO Tip 7 - Write articles
Let’s face it, there are billions of websites out there that are comprised of just 4 or 5 pages all saying similar things. There is nothing wrong with that because for one, that’s what we are used to seeing when we are looking for a plumber or an electrician. But by writing an article or two about ‘Home DIY’ or something relevant to your website or business it can do wonders for your website. Not only will it show that you are credible in your line of business and add trust to the visitor, but it will bring you in a shed load of inbound links that are linking to your article. That’s if the article is any good of course. If it’s not any good, or you’re not any good at writing articles then use it as a way of adding more keywords into your website (but avoid keyword stuffing SPAM). The Google algorithm is a complex one, but I bet you it’s a bloated version of ‘More Good Keywords + Relevant Content = Better Ranking Position’. Besides, it’s also a good way at practising those typing skills you’ve been thinking about improving for so long. So get your keyword list out and your word processor started up, ‘cause you’ve got some typing to do.
SEO Tip 8 - Fresh content
The search engines love fresh content. It lets them know that your website is kept up to date and new. Stale websites that haven’t changed their content since 1999 are probably not worth ranking or linking to anyway. They just slowly slide down the rankings until they’re nowhere to be seen. There is no point in working hard at getting on to the first page of Google only to let it all slide away with no updates to the content or SEO. So regular updates, additional content or articles will help keep you one step ahead of your competition, or one rank ahead.
SEO Tip 9 - Relevant content
If Einstein were alive today, he’d be working for Google. When a user performs a search on their favourite search engine, they normally search using keyword phrases and they also search in different phases depending on what they’re looking for. Browsing and Buying. When a user is browsing for lets say a digital camera, they might use the phrase ‘digital camera reviews’. Now what is returned to them in the search engines is websites that are relevant to what the user is looking for, sites that feature reviews on digital cameras. The second phase the user will be in is buying mode, when they have done their research from browsing reviews on digital cameras and they have short picked the ‘canon ip8700’ they will then go on to type that into their search engine which will return websites that feature the canon ip8700. Its all about relevancy of your content and keywords and using it in the right way. So if your selling the canon ip8700 on your website, its obvious to know to talk about that on the page that features it, but don’t go into review mode, go into selling mode.
SEO Tip 10 - Stay out of the sandbox
A relatively unknown part of search engine rankings is called the sandbox. It’s a search engines way of temporarily blacklisting a website as a way of weaning out the spam websites. By temporary we mean anything up to 6 months or more (but normally around 2 months from what we can see). Wikipedia says about the sandbox effect “The Sandbox Effect is the theory that websites with newly-registered domains or domains with frequent ownership or nameserver changes are placed in a sandbox (holding area) in the indexes of Google until such time is deemed appropriate before a ranking can commence. Webmasters have noticed that their site will only show for keywords that are not competitive. It appears this effect does not affect new pages unless the domain is in the sandbox.”. So how do you stay out of the sandbox? Well to put it simply, by using all of the tips within this article. One or two of them alone won’t help much if any. But by using a lot of them combined in as short a time as possible will certainly go a long way to not only getting you out of the sandbox, but improving your search engine rankings overall.
SEO Tip 11 - Avoid blacklisting or blackhat methods
So you think you can be fly and hide some text on the page by making the text the same color as the background or even hiding it off the viewable area of the page?! Think again. Google and some of the other major search engines are already fully aware of these methods, well they have to be don’t they? If they want to only return relevant results on their search engines and therefore increase credibility and return visitors then they have to have good quality results, and not keyword stuffed websites that are built for the search engines and not for the viewer. So if you’re thinking of trying to trick the search engines, think again. Not only will it not help (or if it does, it won’t help for long) but it will almost certainly get you banned completely from the search engines leaving you with a website that couldn’t get found even if you tried, which you did obviously, and failed.
SEO Tip 12 - Error free code. Validate your website
If you are developing your own website or hiring a company to develop it for you, make sure that it isn’t full of errors. The search engines rank websites that are error free. Sure you might have an error or two here or there, that’s acceptable. But websites that are bug ridden will be ridden. The search engines don’t like them because users won’t like them.
Part 2 - of this article can be found here