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For any website owner, the ultimate goal is to be on the first page of search results for their given niche (or, at least, it should be!). But with nearly 2 billion websites on the internet, achieving higher search engine rankings can feel impossible.
The key to moving higher in search results lies in search engine optimization (SEO). And while it does take work to optimize your website, it’s very much possible!
By appearing closer to the top of the search results, you’ll receive more clicks, build your audience, and have a more successful website overall. If that sounds appealing to you, you’ve come to the right place.
To learn how to improve your search engine ranking, just keep reading.
Provide Quality Content
If you find yourself asking, “what is search engine ranking?”, don’t worry. It’s much simpler than you might think. Search engines like Google have one job: provide the best, most useful content relevant to the search topic.
Because think about it, would you use a search engine that consistently gave you results that didn’t answer the question you were asking?
With that in mind, your first priority should be to provide quality content to your audience. This is called authority content. In other words, you have to prove yourself an authority figure on the subject you’re writing about.
Users who click on your website should be met with high-quality, useful content that helps them solve the problem that made them open the search engine in the first place. If they’re not, the search engine will bump you further down in the results.
When it comes to search engine optimization, few things are more helpful than backlinks. These are links on other websites that take users to yours when clicked.
Knowing this, it might be tempting to place your links any and everywhere you can. However, this is a mistake. Search engines are highly intelligent machines and can detect the quality of a link.
Because of this, you need to ensure that the sites you reach out to for backlinks are high-quality and in search engines’ good graces.
Guest posting can be nerve-racking, as it requires reaching out to another website owner to offer an article in exchange for a link. But try to put things into perspective – absolute worst-case scenario, they say no. Best case, you have a link on a quality website that boosts your site in return.
Prioritize User Experience
Elements of user experience include content strategy, usability and accessibility, functionality, information architecture, user interface, and platform.
We’ve already discussed content, now let’s talk about usability and functionality. When people come to your website, they should be able to find whatever they’re looking for in three clicks or less. This means having a simple menu, well-titled content, and appropriate tags (we’ll dive deeper into this concept later).
In terms of platform, it’s imperative that your site be mobile-friendly. The vast majority of web searching is now done exclusively on mobile devices, not from traditional computers. If your site is glitchy or your theme doesn’t function on mobile devices, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Your users should feel safe and comfortable browsing your website. To achieve this, be sure that your site has an SSL certificate and that you avoid filling your site with spammy ads.
Do Keyword Research
Within both your overall website and that high-quality content you’re posting, an emphasis should be placed on keywords. By using the right keywords, you’ll prove the relevance of your content to search engines, pushing your higher in the results for that keyword.
To find the right keywords, you have to do keyword research. The goal is to find keywords that have a high search volume but low competition. This means a large number of people are searching for a specific topic but aren’t finding the answer.
There are many tools available across the internet that will help you do this, some of which are even free to use!
Two tips to keep in mind: don’t spam the same keyword on the same page and don’t use keywords that aren’t relevant to the content of your post. Once you’ve implemented a solid keyword strategy into your website, you can use this tool to keep track of where you fall in the search engine rankings.
Use Header and ALT Tags
Each page of content on your site should include a variety of headers, but the first heading (H1) is most important. This is the tag that appears first for visitors to the page and helps with content organization. The headers that appear within your content are subheadings.
ALT tags are a different element entirely. These are the tags associated with images used on your page. To build a successful website, images (and plenty of them) are a must.
On each image that you use, include a descriptive ALT tag that contains a keyword that’s relevant to the content of the post. ALT tags also make your site more accessible for disabled users.
Build a Successful Website With Higher Search Engine Rankings
While it does take a bit of effort, achieving higher search engine rankings is possible no matter what kind of website you have. Keep in mind, however, that you can’t expect changes right away.
It can take weeks, even months, for search engines to register your improvements. Though it can be frustrating to wait such a long time, don’t panic! Your efforts will pay off in time.
Interested in learning more about taking your online presence up a notch? Take a look at our blog!