A quick Google search of the term “Search Engine Rankings” pulls up more than 58 million results from around the web. Search Engine Optimization (SEO), is crucial to online success, but if you’re not an SEO expert, you can quickly become overwhelmed by the overload of information and search engine rankings advice being offered in every corner of the internet.
Really good SEO is best done by someone who specializes in the craft. It’s not cheap. It takes a high level of expertise, consistency and a long-term commitment to be successful.
But there are some things you can do to improve your business website’s search engine rankings without seeking help from a pro. Here are the three things that matter most. BONUS: They are easy to do.
1. Keyword Usage For Search Engine Rankings
Doing great keyword research is the first step to improving your Google search engine rankings. Develop a short list of words that you believe customers might use when they search the internet for a business like yours.
Plug those terms into an online keyword research tool. Google’s free keyword planner offered through the Google Ads division is an easy to use option.
Search for variations of your keywords and take note of the monthly number of searches in comparison to the amount of competition for each.
If you’re new to this, you won’t want to waste your time and efforts trying to compete for keywords with high competition. Instead, identify 10 to 30 low-competition keywords each with an overall “Monthly Search Volume” of around 2,500-3,000.
Also, identify and research long-tail keywords to increase your chances of success. Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific than regular keywords. For example, if you offer social media services, instead of using the keyword “social media,” consider drilling down a bit more with a term like “social media marketing consulting.”
New domains, sites with little content, and web pages with few backlinks are typically on the bottom of Google’s priority list when it comes to ranking. So, if your website falls into any of those categories, the lower the competition is for your keywords, the greater your chances are for higher search engine rankings.
2. Quality, Audience-Relevant Content
Once you have a sufficient list of low-competition keywords you’re now off to the races of content creation. Decide what forms of content will work best for your business model. It can also be helpful to try a few things at first to see what gets you results. The most common forms of online content marketing include:
- Articles & Blog Posts
- Press Releases
- PowerPoint Presentations
- Pinterest Pins
- Industry White Papers
Whether you choose to develop your own content, or hire a freelancer, be sure that it focuses on your keywords.
3. Optimization For Better SEO Engine Rankings
Even the best content doesn’t stand much of a chance of being found without a little optimization.
When search engines crawl your website, they’re looking for phrases and terms that match the searched keywords. If your pages and content are aligned with those words, your chances of ranking higher improve.
If you have a WordPress website, using an SEO plug-in like Yoast SEO will make optimizing your website content much easier.
Here are some areas of your website where a little tweaking can make a difference.
Keyword Density In Blog Posts
Having a blog that is updated on a regular basis can greatly improve your website’s search engine rankings. It’s within your blogs posts that you will want to include the keywords that will help customers find you on the web. That’s where “keyword density” comes into play.
Going back to the “social media marketing consulting” example – if you chose that as your long-tail keyword for a specific blog post, the more times that keyword showed up within your blog post, the higher the keyword density would be for that post.
There is much debate about what percentage of keyword density yields the best results, but a good rule of thumb is to have a minimum density of 1.5%. For a 500-word blog post, that means your keyword needs to show up 8 times.
Titles and Tags
Make sure your keywords are included in your post titles and tags. The post titles and tags provide search engines with details about the content on the page.
Meta descriptions appear in search results below the title link of your post, so it’s important to write descriptions that’ll help visitors get a quick peek into the page’s content before clicking on it.
When uploading images to your site, be sure to include your keyword in the title of the image. Also, add an Alt Image Title with your keyword.
Consistency Is Key
SEO can feel a little overwhelming. But, even if you don’t have the budget to hire professional help, you can’t afford to leave your business’ search engine rankings to chance.
Though these tips only scratch the surface of what can be done, if you perform them consistently, they will help you improve your search engine rankings over time and help potential customers and clients find you.
Related Content: Blogging for Your Business: A Beginner’s Guide