According to statistics, 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine, and 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results. So, how can you get your website to appear on Google’s coveted first page?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) aids search engines in locating websites. If you do not use SEO, search engines will most likely not find your website. Customers, on the other hand, are unable to do so.
What is SEO and how can it help increase search rankings?
Search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, and others “scan” the web for content depending on keywords entered into the search field. The search engine determines which websites are most relevant and returns a list of results. SEO “optimizes” your site’s ability to appear in those results.
Search engines examine numerous aspects, and their algorithms are sophisticated, but there are some basic Do-it-Yourself measures you can do to improve your website. These fundamental methods will assist you in increasing your online exposure, search ranks, and, more especially, Google rankings (since Google owns 65-70 percent of the search engine market share).
Please keep in mind that SEO only refers to “organic search rankings.” Paid advertising is not included. The graphic below depicts how paid advertisements and organic search results appear.
Basic SEO practices to increase search engine rankings
Get your free Google business listing
Register your company with Google if you haven’t already. This ensures that your company appears on Google Maps, Search, and other Google properties. Is there no storefront? You can still list your company without an address in order to improve your Google rankings.
Do some keyword research
The core of SEO strategy is keyword research. Consider keywords or phrases that are relevant to your business. What are potential customers likely to type into the search bar? What keywords or phrases would you like your company to be found for? Try not to be overly generic.
Consider the following scenario: you operate a landscaping company in Toledo, Ohio. It would be difficult for the right customers to locate you if they merely searched for “landscaper.” They are more prone to look for:
- landscapers in toledo ohio
- toledo landscapers
- lawn care in toledo ohio
- toledo lawn service
- landscaping in toledo
You can figure out which keywords people are already using to come to your site if you use a service like Google Analytics. You can also utilize Google’s Keyword Planner, but you must have an AdWords account to do so.
Understand metadata basics
You will have control over essential pieces of data on each web page if you use an SEO-friendly content management system (CMS), such as WordPress or the web builder tool.
- Title tags: This is the title that appears in search results. It is one of the most significant pieces of information on the page in terms of SEO.
- Meta descriptions: While meta descriptions have no effect on search rankings, they are nonetheless vital. They are the brief descriptions of your site’s content that display in search results, and they may be what persuades someone to click on your site!
- Image captions: Image captions are self-explanatory. They are the names you give to image files when you save them. Always keep these brief and relevant.
- Alt text: This “tag” gives additional information that helps describe what a picture is. Alt text CAN assist your Google search rankings, but only use keywords in alt text if they make sense for the image.
Put your keywords/phrases to work
Search engines keep note of search phrases when they trawl the web. SEO ensures that your keywords appear in the appropriate places and works to improve search rankings. It is only one of the methods used by search engines to determine relevancy.
Once you’ve determined your keywords, you’ll be able to choose where they should appear on your page. Begin with the most popular pages and work your way through. Don’t overuse terms for the sake of repetition. This is known as “keyword stuffing,” and it can cause more harm than good. Hubspot suggests putting your keywords in the following locations:
- Tag for the title
- Descriptions of meta data
- Page content and headings
- Image titles and alt text
A backlink, also known as an external link, is established when other websites link to your site. Backlinks are viewed as popularity votes by search engines. Your site earns credibility when a site that links to it is trusted and has “authority.”
Building backlinks to increase search engine rankings – steps to get started:
- Develop relationships with authoritative websites. The more relevant to your topic, the better. Look for chances in your field, such as associations, related forums, company directories, and so on.
- Make requesting for links a frequent component of your networking. Inquire with business connections, vendors, or partners as appropriate. Do you use branded goods in your business? Write a good internet evaluation of your supplier’s product and encourage them to link back to your site when they publish it.
- Make it a habit to publish relevant and compelling material. Starting a blog on your website is an excellent approach to consistently generate new content. Posts do not need to be long. Images or infographics that are relevant to your audience can also be used as content. Are you stuck for ideas? Take a look at these content creation ideas.
- Share your material on social media platforms. Sign up for Google+ if you haven’t already and start sharing your content. Choose additional sites that would be a good fit. Which websites do your customers or potential consumers visit? That is where you should be! Google+ may not be as well-known as Facebook or Twitter, but it can help with SEO and improving your Google search ranks.
- Expand your email list. Start one if you don’t already have one. Email is an excellent medium for disseminating your material and encouraging others to share it!
SEO is not a one-time project. Make it a continuous priority to keep ahead of the competition and improve your search engine rankings. Because algorithms are a moving target, keep updating and experimenting with new keywords, learning, and staying abreast of changes in SEO marketing. To keep your abilities sharp and up to date, we recommend following at least one SEO blog.
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