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5 simple strategies for better search engine rankings

Who else wants their website (or blog) to rank higher in search engines? Everyone does, right?

But have you fallen prey to that old saying “Build it and they will come”? Because you know, in the online world, that doesn’t happen!

You might have the most beautifully designed website, full of awesome content, but if no-one sees it, if no-one is visiting your website…well basically you don’t have a business. Let’s fix that.

Today you’re going to learn how to use ethical, legitimate ways to get your website ranking higher in the search engines.

Let’s do it.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is basically the things you do to your website to improve your rankings in the search engines. We all want our websites to be found right? Preferably we’d love to have the number one spot on Google. Organically – which means you aren’t using any paid advertising methods (like Google Adwords). We’re talking ways you can tweak your content and blog posts to prime them for high search engine rankings.

Now I’m not saying that your website will skyrocket to the number one spot. That would be untrue and to be honest, sounds like a slick sales line (and those don’t sit well with me). But I will say this: if you focus on the 5 key areas of on-page SEO you can improve your search engine rankings. It worked for me, and it will work for you too.

Keyword Research

Let’s kick it off with good old keyword research. What you’re trying to do here is guess what people are typing into the search engine. A big mistake I see entrepreneurs making all the time is using keywords based on their industry. What you want to do is conduct a brainstorming session…as your ideal client. Get in their head. What would they be typing into the search engine if they were looking for your services?

Arm yourself with a list of these keyword phrases and then head on over to the free Google Keyword Tool and type in your keywords. The great thing with this tool is that it generates keyword ideas for you.

Choosing Low Competition Keywords

The trick here is that you want to choose low-competition keywords. The Google Keyword Tool tells you which keywords have High, Medium and Low competition. The thing is, if you aim for high-competition keywords, well basically every man and his dog has optimized their site for that keyword so you have pretty much a zero chance of showing up on the first page of the Google search results. You probably wouldn’t even show up on the 20th page! So don’t waste your time.

What is worth your time is the low-competition keywords – they are much easier to score a top ranking.  As a rule of thumb I try to choose words that have low-competition and between 5,000 and say 30,000 global monthly searches.

One Keyword Phrase per Page (or Blog Post)

Here’s another thing I see entrepreneurs trip up on all the time. They find themselves a low-competition keyword and then optimize their entire website with it. Please don’t do that. All you’re doing is competing against yourself.

What you want to do is choose one keyword per page (or blog post) and optimize that page/post with that keyword only. Then move on to your next page and optimize with a different keyword. Let me show you what I mean.

Say you have a pet sitting business. Here’s what you’d do:

Home page: optimize with Keyword 1 (dog walking now)

About page: optimize with Keyword 2 (I’d suggest your name)

Services page: optimize with Keyword 3 (fetch pet care)

Blog post 1: Topic is choosing a name for your pet, optimize with Keyword 4 (puppy names)

Blog post 2: Topic is choosing a kitten, optimize with Keyword 5 (ragdoll kittens)

Where to use your Keyword

Ok, you’ve got all your keywords written down, you know what keyword you’re going to use on each page of your site. Before you go all gung-ho on me, let me slow you down for a second.

There are strategic places you need to put your keywords for optimal results.

Let’s take a look.

  • Use your keyword in your title. Your title can have other words ‘around’ it, but make sure your keyword (in its entirety) is included.
  • Repeat your keyword in the content. Don’t go crazy with this, you don’t want to stuff your content with your keyword, but do your best to incorporate it into your content in a sensible way. As a rule of thumb, try to introduce your keyword in your first paragraph, in the middle of your copy, and at the end.

Use your keyword in your Meta Description tags – this won’t help you rank higher BUT it certainly helps with getting people to click on your results. Why? Google will bold the keywords in the search results, which encourages people to click.

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  • Use images on your page. There are two reasons why you want images, firstly because they add visual appeal and can add meaning to your content. Using our pet sitting example, naturally having photos of cute puppies and kittens is going to help, right? Makes perfect sense. But the other reason you want images is to utilize the Alt Tag (Alternative Text) and attach your keyword to that image. Google doesn’t ‘look’ at images, but it sure does ‘read’ the text.

If you’re using WordPress, there’s a great plugin called ‘WordPress SEO’ that makes this part very easy. But it doesn’t matter what platform your site is built on, there are usually plenty of plugins, add-ons or inbuilt SEO tools for you to use – and all are very similar.

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  • Use keywords as anchor text. Linking to other content is a great SEO booster, so where you can, link to other pages or posts within your site OR link to useful tools or resources (similar to what I’ve done in this post). Use your keyword as the Anchor Text (the text that you use to make the link) but only link to content that is relevant to what you’re talking about. You won’t always be able to use your keywords as anchor text, but if you can manage it, it does boost your SEO.

If you follow these simple steps you’ll see your rankings continually improve, with more traffic and sales coming your way!

 

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2 Comments
  1. Nicole says

    Great, and simple, tips Jane. I think even a techno-idiot like myself can deal with this!

    1. Jane says

      So glad you enjoyed it Nicole!