Ask yourself these two questions:
1. Is my website on the first page of results for my industry’s major keywords?
2. What can I do about it?
If your website is not showing up on the first page of Google, Yahoo! or Bing for your industry’s major keywords then your website is not receiving the traffic that it should be and your business is not acquiring as many leads as it needs to be.
As far as online searchers are concerned, if they don’t see your website on the first page of results then it might as well not even exist.
Now, I’m sure that isn’t the kind of news you want to hear after you invested all that time and money into your website. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to improve your website’s rankings. Keep in mind that some of the things we will talk about in this article take time and patience.
The following information is free advice on how to improve your search engine rankings.
SEO Beginner Tip 1: Title Tags
Title Tags are one of, if not, the most important on-site SEO component. A webpage’s title tag is located at the top of your internet browser.
A webpage’s title tag tells the search engines, and the public, what they can expect to find on that page. Without proper title tags the odds of your page being ranked high for your industry’s keywords are extremely low.
What you want to do is place your keywords in the title tags of your site’s pages. Make sure that each page on your site has a unique title tag relating to the content on the page.
SEO Beginner Tip 2: Meta Data
Meta data is information that is hidden in the code of your site and that the search engines use to find out more information about each page on your site. This data, while not as important to search rankings as it once was, is still useful and should be added to each page of your website.
The first piece of meta information that you want to add to each page is called the “meta description.”
The meta description is literally a description of what can be found on the corresponding page.
Your meta description should not only describe what can be found on the page, but also include a call to action. Being ranked high in the search engines is good, but if people are not clicking on your link then it doesn’t matter how high you are ranked. You want to give people a good reason to visit your site.
Also, make sure that your meta description contains the keywords that you are optimizing that particular page for.
The next piece of meta information is your “meta keywords.” Meta keywords are not used by Google anymore in regards to how they rank your site. There is some indication that Bing and Yahoo! still use them, but the weight that they give them in their search algorithm is very low. We still suggest placing these keywords in the code of your site because things change so much with the three major search engines that it is better to be safe than sorry. We may wake up tomorrow to find out that meta keywords are now important again and having to go through all your website’s pages again to add them could take a lot of time. It’s better to add them now and not have to worry about it later.
Your meta keywords should contain all the keywords related to your SEO campaign and all industry keywords that are related to that particular page regardless if you are optimizing for them or not.
SEO Beginner Tip 3: Internal Linking
Internal linking is not only helpful for search engine rankings, but it also allows your visitors to find other pages on your site that may not be reachable through your main navigation or easily found. Internal linking can also pass along link juice from one page to another on your site, which can help with rankings.
You want to link the pages of your site together using anchor text links. An anchor text link is a link that uses a keyword instead of, for example, “click here.”
Anchor text links tell the search engines what the page that the link leads to is about. You want to make sure that you use this technique to link the pages of your sites together. For example, if you were to write a blog post talking about link building techniques, you may link the phrase “link building techniques” to a corresponding page because you would want that page to be found for the keyword phrase “link building techniques.”
SEO Beginner Tip 4: Content
Content is extremely important. Search engines love content. The content on your site needs to be unique, well written and contain useful information. It also needs to contain the keywords which you are optimizing for, and which are relevant to each particular page. Your should also be adding to the content of your site on a consistent basis. Stagnant sites, ones that never add content, for the most part, will not rank high. The easiest way to continually add content to your site is by adding a blog and posting at least once a month. The more often you post the better.
SEO Beginner Tip 5: Back Links
Back links, at this point, are still the most important off-site factor when it comes to where your site ranks. Gaining back links, however, is a time-consuming process and something that needs to constantly be done in order to not only achieve high rankings, but also to maintain the rankings you have already achieved.
A few of the many different ways to gain back links are blogging, business directory submissions, article marketing, press releases, commenting in forums and on other blogs, creating content on your site that people want to link to as well as simply asking other webmasters for links. The one thing you should never do is pay for links. All three major search engines frown upon that and doing so will get your site penalized in the rankings.
The above tips are very basic and meant for beginners.
Joe Piracci is an internet marketing expert with over seven years of experience with SEO, SEM, SMM and E-commerce management. Contact his company, Predominant Domains, a SEO Company, for more information.