After using one of the best website builders to create your site and making sure that it is hosted by one of the best web hosting services, you will want to attract more visitors. To do this, one of the first things you will need to do is improve your website's ranking on Google.
This process, called search engine optimization (SEO), is a crucial part of running a successful website or online store. A lot has been and continues to be said about SEO, including that it's more luck than skill, or that it's a pay-to-play system, where the highest paying sites get the best visibility.
None of these statements are true, and in fact, you can improve rankings and traffic with several basic SEO tips. Here we describe a series of them, which you can adopt to improve your overall strategy and thus ensure that your site is well ranked in Google searches.
When a person searches on Google, they show two types of results: paid results and organic results.
Paid results are those of websites that have paid Google directly to have their site appear above the organic results. Studies have shown that although this is a way to increase traffic to your site, Google users prefer to click on organic results.
Organic results are unpaid and are determined by a variety of factors, including page content and metadata, and how they relate to the search query. Therefore, the goal of SEO is to increase the number of organic results that lead to visits to your website.
How search engines determine which pages to display and how to display them is complicated and well beyond the scope of this article. However, a few key points should be highlighted.
First, search engines use robots or computer programs to crawl the web, following links and visiting all publicly available websites. They then use this information to build huge indexes that are consulted every time someone searches on Google.
After a user enters a query, the search engine refers to these extended indexes, incorporating dozens or hundreds of different factors into complex ranking algorithms. These, in turn, determine the content to display on the search results page. PageRank, Google's preferred algorithm, relies on over 200 different metrics to determine Google search rankings.
You can take advantage of these hundreds of metrics to improve your website's Google ranking. Although we can't review all 200, we will discuss the most important ones.
Let's look at nine essential steps you can take to improve your website's Google ranking.
Creating a sitemap is one of the easiest things you can do to improve your website's search rankings. This will allow Google's crawlers to quickly and efficiently index your entire site and ensure no pages are missing (and searchable). You can submit a sitemap file to Google via Search Center .
Be sure to provide the necessary information to robots with a robots.txt file. More information is available on The Web Bots Page , but basically staying on the good side of the robots is one of the best things you can do to make sure your website ranks high in Google searches.
Here's a simple one: remove duplicate content. Search engine crawlers hate duplication, and it's one of the easiest ways to see your site plummet in Google search rankings. Some site managers think that creating pages designed to detect search engine crawlers is a good idea, but it will backfire and hurt your website's SEO ranking.
Although less crucial than in the past, it is still useful to create static versions of your web pages. Static content is more easily interpreted by search engine crawlers, at least more efficiently than dynamic content.
Create permalinks for your pages using keywords (for example: "/products/fridges/dynatech-coolfreezepro/"). These will result in better search rankings than permalinks containing numbers or other random information. A good rule of thumb is that the more identifiable data you can provide to the bot, the better.
An organized website with a clear internal linking architecture will have a higher Google ranking. This means displaying important information on the homepage and ensuring that similar content is grouped together on dedicated pages. A menu allows search engine robots to easily index your site.
When creating textual content, use keywords that your audience is likely to search for. These should be used throughout your text (don't overdo it, though) and featured in your article title and permalink. Remember: search engine crawlers cannot read images or text. If your posts contain a lot of images, videos, or screenshots of text, add captions or descriptions that bots can interpret.
Make sure your keywords are related to your business goals. If you don't know which ones are most relevant to your field, research them. Finding the right keywords is essential if you want to rank high in Google searches.
One of the primary ways Google and other search engines rank content is by the number of sites linking to yours. If your web pages are frequently mentioned on other sites, your site will quickly start to increase Google rankings. However, it's not always straightforward, and entire companies exist to increase the number of inbound links to your website.
While the tips in this article will undoubtedly help you improve your website's Google ranking, there's not much you can do on your own. SEO agencies or experts have been working in this field for years and have an intuitive understanding of search engine algorithms.
Trustworthy SEO agencies will provide results-based testimonials that show how they have improved a business's SEO and Google rankings. However, beware of SEO experts who promise top Google results or drastic increases in traffic to your site. True SEO is a process of gradual improvement rather than overnight success.
One final point worth making is that when it comes to SEO, money can only get you so far. An in-house SEO strategy or a trusted SEO agency can definitely help you improve your Google search rankings. But the only guaranteed way to achieve this is to create high-quality content. Without it, even the best SEO strategy won't get you far.
To learn more about SEO and what affects it, read our articles on how web hosting affects SEO and six essential Google tools you can use to improve web SEO.