Increasing search engine ranking for websites - Search Engine Optimization

Expertise level: Easy

A high search engine ranking for your website is critical for a successful business.

At least 85% of people looking for goods and services on the Internet find websites through search engines such as Google, Yahoo and MSN. The idea of optimizing your pages for high search engine rankings is to attract targeted customers to your site who will be more than likely to make a purchase. The higher your page comes up in search engine results, the greater the traffic that is directed to your website. 

You can look at a few simple items on your pages, make some small adjustments, and most likely see improved rankings quite rapidly. The most important points are explained below:

  • Create unique, accurate page titles

    The first item you should examine is the title bar on your homepage. To increase search engine rankings, the words on your homepage's title bar should include the most important keywords or phrases, one of which would include your company name.

    • Click on all your links and examine the title bars on the pages you access.
    • Each title bar on every page of your site should contain the most important keywords and phrases taken from the page itself.
    • Avoid very long strings of keywords, keeping them to six words or fewer.
    • Avoid repeating keywords more than once in the title bars and make sure that identical words are not next to each other.
  • Use quality content in your website

    Search engines generally list sites that contain quality content rather than scintillating graphics. The text on your site must contain the most important keywords - the words that potential customers will be typing into search engines to find your site.

    • Aim to have approximately 250 words on each page, unless this is not desirable due to your design.
    • Aim for at least 100 carefully chosen words. If you want to achieve a high ranking on search engines, this text is essential.
    • The search engines must be able to read the text, meaning that the text must be in HTML and not embedded in an image.
    To find out if your text is in HTML format, take your cursor and try to highlight a word or two. If you are able to do this, the text is HTML. If the text will not highlight, it is probably in image form. In this case, change the text into HTML format to increase your search engine rankings.

  • Make use of the "description" meta tag

    A page's description meta tag gives search engines a summary of what the page is about. It's worth adding them in the event that a search engine will use meta tags in their ranking formula. 

    To find out if your page is set up with meta tags, you must access the code. To do this follow the steps given below; 
    • Click the "view" button on the browser menu bar.
    • Now select "source."

    This will pull up a window revealing the underlying code that created the page. If there are meta tags, they usually appear near the top of the window. For example, a meta tag would read: metaname="keywords" content=. If you do not find code that reads like this, ask your webmaster to put them in. This may not do much for your search engine rankings, but any little boost helps. 

  • Link Popularity

    This is a factor that is extremely important in terms of search engine rankings. Almost all search engines use link popularity to rank your website. Link popularity is based on the quality of the sites you have linked to from your links page. 

    Search engine rankings are extremely important for a successful Internet marketing campaign. Don't ever ignore this all-important factor in Internet marketing. Remember, the higher your search engine ranking, the more quality customers will be directed your way.

    For more tips about optimizing the website, refer the Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide
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