If you’re here, you probably know a little bit about SEO, but for those of you that don’t have a clue what that acronym even stands for, we’ll start at the beginning.
How Can I Increase My Organic Search Engine Rankings?
What Is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an effective way to help your website reach more people. When a person goes to Google and types a query into the search bar, tiny bots crawl through every page of every site on the internet, evaluating information as they go. Bots scan things like text, images, and graphics within the source code of your website looking for keywords or phrases. Eventually (in less than a second) they generate results in the order that the bots believe to be most relevant to what you searched.
It is essential that you understand this process if you want to improve your search engine rankings. Keywords or phrases are the central points of this process. Usually, most people will click on the first link the results generated. If unable to find the information they are looking for, readers will bounce to another site, and another, until they find what they need. Due to the success of the bots, most people don't get past the first four or five results without feeling satisfied. This is why you want to be at the top of the rankings.
Bots, Keywords, Now What?
Okay, so how do you use keywords to move up the ranks? First, you need to develop a keyword list for each page of your website that encompasses the content in its entirety. The more accurate these words or phrases are, the more likely people will click on your site. These should be implemented throughout the page in headlines, secondary headlines, body copy, photo captions, as well as alternate text. This does not mean that you overuse them.
I'll say it again for the people in the back. This DOES (clap) NOT (clap) mean that you overuse keywords or phrases.
For example, if your keyword was "SEO," you wouldn't say,
"The SEO Ultimate SEO Guide for SEO"
That is called keyword stuffing, and the crawling bots could (and should) penalize you for doing this. Instead, it is better to pack them like a powerful punch in the headline and sprinkle it like magical fairy-bot dust throughout your page copy. It is also wise to use variations of your keywords to strengthen your content. A more reasonable headline might say,
"The Ultimate Guide to SEO"
Are Keywords the Only Important Thing When It Comes to Search Engine Rankings?
Imagine us as Simon Cowell hitting his big red X buzzer.
Heck no! Although they are important, there is so much more that goes into creating successful SEO solutions to move you up the ranks. What are they, you ask?
First Thing’s First…
No, really, headlines come first.
Headlines are like the first impression on a blind date. If your date stinks like last week's meatloaf and has their shirt on backwards, you would probably leave when they go to the bathroom.
Our point is that if your headline isn't cleaned up and looking pretty, your readers will leave. This should not be an afterthought when you're on a deadline, as it is too often. You must write intriguing headlines that make your readers trip over themselves to get deeper into the copy. Do your best to encompass the most central point of your story and then put a pretty bow on it.
Trust us, your readers like presents. Gift them with a brilliant headline followed by a strong story.
Having high-quality content that thoroughly explains your message is critical.
If you are at the beginning of your SEO journey, this is where you start. If you're in the middle, stop whatever you're doing and work on improving your content. If you think you're at the end, you just made us laugh because there is no such thing as being at the end.
Content can always be updated and improved. By continually adding articles, blogs, photos, videos, etc., you create more opportunities to lure people to your site.
Never aggregate stories, even the good ones, without giving credit where it is due and providing a backlink to your source. Stealing someone else's content is ethically wrong, and if you get caught, you could be penalized for it. If Google sees this, your site will be banned from their search engine results. Obviously, this will not help your efforts in moving up the ranks.
Remember that quality will always outweigh quantity. You should write for your audience. If they want to know how to fit eleven gumballs in their mouth without choking, you should write about it. Better yet, make a video of someone (safely) attempting it. Before you post it, back that bad boy up with the perfect descriptive copy, including your keywords, so it can be linked back to your website.
Backlink It Up
The objective is to get people to share your information and link it back to you. These are called backlinks. Google rewards virality in their rankings, so the more your website's content is shared and interacted with, the higher you will climb.
The bots we talked about in the beginning also explore your backlinks when they are on your page. If you have backlinks that support your content, it will be easier for the bots to recognize what your content is regarding, and therefore, help you move up in the search engine rankings.
An excellent example of a backlink would be the Moz link right here. This page is a fantastic tool that Moz has created to help people with SEO by checking backlink profiles.
Crawlers for this webpage will be able to decipher what we are talking about because we have helped by linking a recognizable Moz page that is built to explore backlinks. The bots would find this article less relevant to backlinks and SEO if we connected it to a video of Katy Perry singing while riding a goat. Keep this in mind when you build links with your partners and peers. Use your backlinks wisely.
Additional Tips to Organically Improve Your Search Engine Rankings:
- Do not use Black Hat SEO tactics
- Clean up your URLs; meaning have simple extension titles for your pages
- Use menus on your site and keep customer clicking to a minimum
- Don’t forget about ALT tags and descriptions
- Include your social media accounts on your pages and update regularly
As a reminder, your organic search rankings are not going to improve overnight. Be patient; give the search engines time, weeks if necessary, to crawl and index your pages.
If SEO isn't your thing, don't worry...it's ours. Since 2009 we've been driving real results for our small business clients by creating high-quality content and helping our customers be more organized with their backlinks and navigation of their website. Learn more about our SEO and website design services at www.highlevelmarketing.com or call us at (888) 717-4249.