5 Tips to Improve Your Rankings in the Search Engines

“My site is optimized for search but how do I get it to rank better for the services that I provide?”

I’ve heard this question quite frequently and thought I’d offer 5 tips to help boost site rankings for sites that are already optimized.

  1. Choose the right keywords – Make sure you are using the right keywords in the way your site is optimized as well as the content you use on your website. The right keywords are words that people are more likely to use when searching. I like to use Google’s Keyword Tool for Adwords to help me decide which keywords I should be using. You can type in a word or phrase or even your website URL to get ideas for keywords; then it shows you how much search volume those words have (how often they are searched per month). Even though the tool is mainly used to help you choose which keywords to bid on in paid search, it does give you insight into the best keywords to use for search.
  2. Expand the content on your site – Do you have all your products or services listed on one page? Consider breaking those products/services up into individual pages. This allows you to target more specifically for each page and expand the content around a particular product or service. Not only will you have a bigger keyword pool, it also gives your site more entry points where people can access the site.
  3. Optimize locally – Sometimes websites are optimized for keywords about products and services but fail to optimize for geographic location. In many cases they might be missing out; especially if it’s a smaller website. Unless you offer a super niche service, the site might not get the desired recognition because larger sites or bigger brands win in search. The way these smaller sites can win is to optimize locally by adding geographic regions to the on-page SEO elements and talking about their service areas within the content. You might not improve rankings on a national level, but this could give a great boost to rankings within your state or region. (Think mobile searching too!)
  4. Consistent growth of content – Maybe you’ve expanded content on your site but you should have a plan to grow your content over time. Whether it’s with a news or events section or with a blog – just like with any additional content you’re able to be found for more keywords as well as support the target keywords on your website. Search engines love to see growing sites and will come back and crawl your website more often versus a site that sits unchanged for months.
  5. Build links – Link building can help your site get better rankings because links, to a search engine, are like “votes.” It’s important to know that not all votes are created equally however; some actually carry more weight by the way the search engine values them. For example, if I had a website selling purple sunglasses and Dora’s Sunglass Boutique linked to my site; that’s helpful. But if Sunglass Hut or Zappos linked to my website search engines would take much more stock in those links because those sites have built up authority over time. You can think of building links like creating little portals so that people and search engines have access to your website.  Build links through your social networks, directory placements (Google Places, etc.), and creating valuable content that people will want to link to and share.

Search engine optimization is quite a science and there are so many factors that come into play. The best thing for you to do is to know which keywords people are likely to search and consistently use that in the content on your website. You’ll be supporting the keywords your site is optimized for and fueling your site for search traffic.

Share with us! Leave your tips to improve search rankings in the comment section below.