search engine ranking

14 Ways to Improve Your Website’s Search Engine Ranking

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Have you recently checked your SEO ranking and were disappointed by what you saw?

You aren’t alone. Google’s constantly updating its algorithm and new SEO methods are coming out all the time.

Your search engine ranking could make or break your business. That’s why we’re going to teach you everything you need to know to improve SEO.

If you’re ready to learn easy ways to rank higher in search, read on to learn more.

Tips For Boosting Your Search Engine Ranking

It doesn’t matter if you’re totally new to SEO or if you want to improve SEO for your website. Regardless of where you’re coming from, there are some relatively simple things you can do to get big results.

Almost all of these points could be a separate blog post of their own. But for now, we’re going to focus on the basic things you need to do to rank high in search.

Learn Analytics

If you were to sign into Google Analytics right now, would you know how to make a report and find important data?

If you truly want to learn how to rank higher in search engines, you need to understand your SEO plan and the data you’re collecting inside and out.

Google offers free courses in Analytics and PPC advertising. Sign up for them so you can have a comprehensive understanding of SEO and how your plan needs to be built.

Also get into the habit of checking out popular competitors to see how they’re ranking.

Fill Out Meta Data

Meta descriptions and title tags play a big role in SEO, but they’re also easy to overlook.

Take time to check what your current meta and title tags are. Having no meta descriptions or title tags is bad, but having bland or duplicate ones can be even worse.

Try your best to keep the metas descriptive, unique, and within the current character limit. Remember, that little snippet of text is going to tell searchers a lot about the page they’re clicking on. Make the text count and have it entice the reader!

Your title tags need to be unique and should contain a relevant keyword. If you have a lot of pages to index for, come up with a naming convention you can apply to every page to make things easier.

Optimize Images

Images do more than add a little flair to text-heavy web pages. When they’re properly sized and tagged, they can do a lot to improve SEO.

Check your images to make sure that they all have alt tags. Alt tag text is used to explain what the image is to bots and visually impaired people. It’s a great space to put relevant keywords you want to rank for.

You should also make sure that your images aren’t too big and are optimized for size. Large pictures can take too long to load and could slow down your site speed. Consider re-sizing some pictures or finding smaller pictures that work.

Build Your Keyword List

Whether you want to focus on improving organic traffic or beefing up your paid traffic, keywords are going to be an important part of your new SEO strategy.

When you’re building your keyword list, be sure to focus on a mix of broad, exact match, and long tail keywords.

Google Keyword Planner is the SEO industry standard keyword research tool, but there are other things you can use to thoroughly research keywords.

Google Trends is another useful Google tool that can let you know when certain keywords are trending in search. You could also enter your keyword in a Google search, then see what related terms pop up.

Don’t Forget About Local SEO

If small business owners want to rank for high volume keywords, they need to go down the local route.

Adding the name of your state, country, or town to a keyword can help bring in a lot of localized traffic.

Localized search terms make it easy for interested near-by buyers to find you. This traffic is far more valuable to business owners because they come from people in the area, not just random searches from around the world.

Check Your Backlinks

Links play a big role in SEO. Internally linking your content with relevant keywords and pages is a great way to improve SEO. Links back to your website can be just as important, but in some cases, the links you have could be harmful.

Links to your website from news organizations, business directories, and high profile blogs show crawlers that your business and website are important.

Links from spam sites, bad article directories, and other low-quality websites show crawlers that your site isn’t very important. In extreme cases, bots may even think that you’re using black hat linking techniques.

Take some time to explore your backlinks. If you notice links bad websites, do what you can to get them removed.

Build Links The Right Way

Google bots love links to authoritative content. Don’t focus on submitting content to spammy directories, focus on websites that matter.

Start off by making sure that you’re visible on sites like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Yelp. Have your business profiles filled out, and make sure that all of your information is correct.

From there, look towards local chamber of commerce websites and local news sites with business listings.

These links may not seem important, but they’re all hosted on reputable websites with a lot of domain authority.

Find Ways To Add New Content To Your Website

One of the worst things a business owner can do is to put up a website and then not touch for months. Stagnant websites don’t look good to bots. Google wants to rank websites with current information.

An easy way to add content to your website is to start a blog. Write in an authoritative voice and give people content written by experts.

If you do choose to start a blog, keep to a predictable posting schedule. Blogging heavily for a month then forgetting about it won’t look good to Google.

Make Your Website Mobile Friendly

It’s official, Google highly values websites that are mobile responsive.

Even if Google didn’t value mobile-friendly design, business owners should. A lot of searches are performed on phones and tablets. If you want to attract new customers, your website needs to look good on every screen.

The easiest way to do this is by going with a responsive website design. It’ll naturally adjust displays so that they look great on a variety of screen sizes.

Build And Submit A Sitemap

Sitemaps are useful tools that can help visitors and Google crawlers easily find your most important content. This can be especially helpful for very large e-commerce websites that have a lot of pages.

Building and submitting a sitemap is easy. Google has a very handy guide available that can get you a functioning sitemap in minutes. The page also has instructions on how to properly submit your sitemap to be crawled.

Make Your URLs SEO Friendly

Website URLs should be short, easy to type out, and can be used to improve your rankings.

If you aren’t using keywords in your URLs, you’re missing out on a lot of powerful SEO juice.

Use keywords in your URLs and filenames, but don’t go too crazy when you’re adding them. URLs that are too long and have multiple keywords can look spammy and off-putting.

Also, remember to use hyphens in your URLs and not underscores. Hyphens are seen as spaces, underscores aren’t.

Write Content For Users, Not Bots

When some people revamp their SEO strategy they focus on using as many keywords as possible. But if you write your web content for bots and not people, you’re going to do more harm than good.

Bots are crawling your site for useful and relevant information, but they never interact with it in a meaningful way. They don’t need to make orders, sign up for newsletters or services, or contact you if they need help.

Keep your content readable, informative, and easy to scan. If you keep the user top of mind, you can’t go wrong.

Don’t Forget About Social Media

Google views websites like Facebook and Twitter as authoritative. Having active social profiles where you interact with your customers can do a lot to improve SEO.

Don’t make the mistake of only posting about sales or information about your business or products. People use social media to be informed and entertained, not sold to.

Think about your brand’s voice and how you want to come across in social. And like with your blog, stick to an active posting schedule.

Remember Technical Aspects

SEO isn’t all about keywords, images, and content. If you want to really improve SEO, you need to focus on the technical side.

Technical SEO focuses on the way your site is built and how it functions. This could involve deleting duplicate content, site security, fixing broken links, and more.

When you’re ready to focus on technical SEO, it can help helpful to have a developer make certain changes.

Your Turn

We’ve given you everything you need to improve your search engine ranking. Now it’s time to put these tips to good practice.

You need to see how your site ranks among your competition. Check out our vast directory of websites to see how your match you. And don’t forget, we also have a list of sites we’ve recently crawled.

And remember, we’re your one-stop shop for competitor SEO data. Whether you’re curious about search volume, traffic percentage, or the number of results, we have you covered.