Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a way to provide the search engines with the information and the attributes of your website so that your site will get the the top, or close to the top result by individuals searching for services/products you offer.
Research shows that 89 percent of consumers usually choose one of the first three results from a search.
This fact alone has encouraged many business owners to look into search engine optimization as a valid and effective lead generation method. However, this area is very dynamic and subject to the whims of the search engines who are solely interested in increasing the user experience.
This means that at any time the search engines can and will make changes to their algorithms preferring one factor over another which then would move some businesses ahead of others and may even drop some from their top position. In this article we will look at ﬁve simple yet effective things an business can do to improve their search engine rankings based on the latest information.
Why Website Rankings Fluctuate A lot
As we stated above, the search engines are constantly taking in data and reviewing it in order to improve their user’s experience. As such, when their algorithms are adjusted, there is an immediate re-ranking of all sites.
For example, recently, the search engines decided to focus on gathering and compiling data from all the various search queries and then indexing and adding this information into determining search rankings. The intent for making this change is because it will more accurately provide search results that have a higher quality and relevance of a particular page/website to the query from the searching user.
This is why performing a detailed review of the keywords for each page of your website is vital. Pay close attention to the way your target market is searching for your products/services and make sure those keywords and long term keywords are properly located on the corresponding pages of your site.
The Amount of Content is Still Important
Many business owners have heard the comment “Content is King” and it is one thing that all search engines look for in giving preference to one site over another.
So, how much content does a site need to have?
The answer is there is no such thing as a specific amount. Rather, there should be enough current and relevant information to keep readers engaged. A few years ago there were many sites that simply copied information from other sites or used robots to amass articles for their blogs. The result was both a lot of duplicate content and unreadable material that frustrated the user. The search engines responded by penalizing the rankings of any site publishing duplicate content or having stale content.
The solution to this issue is to first know the audience you are providing content for and then plan in advance for a series of content that will show your business as a thought leader in that market space.
Don’t Ignore the Basics
One of the most important and basic things any business can do is to make sure there are unique page titles that are creative, compelling, and keyword rich. This must be done for each page of the site.
Many times websites only have a general page title or, worst yet, nothing for a page title. As we discussed above, generalities are punished in the way of rankings. The search engine will give preference and top ranking to those sites that best match the user’s search terms with the keyword description of the business website.
The Importance of Links
Quality of links is more important than quantity. The quality of the links to your site will be based on their relevancy and their authority. What this means is that a website with 10 authoritative links pointing back will outperform in rankings to another site with thousands of low quality links.
Understanding Your Search Results
A common question many business owners ask is why they see different search results from other people they know searching for the same terms. Search engines now tailor results based on various factors including location of the user, web history, and social websites being used. In order to get a “neutral” search result, it is important to clear your computer history and even use an anonymous program in order to get a true picture of your site’s rankings.
As we have seen above, the search engines continue to put an emphasis on specifics rather than generalities and on quality rather than quantity. Recently, many businesses have seen their website rankings drop – some into the very back page results – and not understood why.
The information we covered here is the start of any search engine optimization process. However, in order to properly maximize your efforts, it is necessary to stay on top of the ongoing changes the search engines implement. By being able to meet the requirements of the search engines coupled with a deep understanding of your target market, your business will rank at the top of search results for the product or service you offer.
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