The process of improving you website’s search ranking is called Search Engine Optimization or SEO. You will find countless websites and articles dedicated to this topic and looking at some of them you might come away thinking SEO is some kind of ‘black art’. In fact the solution to increasing site ranking is pretty straightforward - make your website useful to people. This will entice new visitors, keep them coming back and hopefully encourage other websites to link to your website. But achieving top ranking in any field requires time, effort and patience – and website rankings are no different. You need to create good content in the first place and then regularly update the existing material as well as add new content.
Here are some additional things you can do to help improve your search ranking:
- Make sure your content contains the words and terms that people are likely to search for. A useful exercise is to make a list of keywords and search terms that you believe people are likely to search for and then write your content around these words. These terms should occur early and often in the content.
- Regularly update your site. Google accords a higher value to sites that are regularly updated. If it sees your pages are regularly updated, the search robot will come back more frequently to check. Stop updating and the robots stop checking as regularly.
- The site should be built in such a way so it does not impede the search robot when it visits. Your site should use CSS for layout instead of tables. Pages should load quickly. People are impatient and if a site does not load in a reasonable time they will hit the back button. Google recognises this fact and has therefore included page load time as a factor in ranking a site.
- Precise and descriptive URLs, page titles and descriptions will help your pages to be found. Make sure that each page has a descriptive title, description and keywords. The Thesis WordPress theme makes it very easy to include specific page titles, descriptions and keywords via the fields that apear after the post. Don’t overdo the keywords – they should relate to what is in your page content. Google regards too many or unrelated keywords as a kind of spam and may stop visiting your site if it encounters this.
- Work on getting inbound links from other sites. Not all inbound links are given equal weight by Google. For example inbound links from directory sites like hotfrog.com.au, truelocal.com.au and the yellow pages will not carry as much weight as a link from a news article, or a well-known blogger. One of the best ways to increase inbound links to your site is to contribute to online forums and commuities. Solve other people’s problems, pose thoughtful questions or provide original useful content. However do not blatantly self-promote as this may get you banned.
- When launching a new site be sure to manually submit your site rather than waiting for it to be found by the major search engines. Even though your site will be found eventually its worth getting a head start.