Learning how to establish or improve your site rank can seem like an overwhelming undertaking. With some careful planning, you can achieve this goal. The key to improving your site ranking lies in integrating some SEO planning into your site. I already covered several SEO tips last week, but here are some more that can help land your site on the results page.
Why Site Rank Matters
Your site rank matters because this is a highly effective way to drive organic traffic to your site. Placing your site high up on the search results page can drum up new business and increase awareness of your brand. Your existing customers already know about you, check out your blog and likely follow you on social media – that’s great. If you want to position your brand and services in front of new customers, SEO can help do that.
Without further ado, here are some more SEO tips to help your site rank.
1. Keyword Density
We already covered what a keyword or key phrase is and how these terms basically let search engines know what your page is about. The number of times you use your keyword in a post or on a page is the keyword density.
The keyword density drives home the point for search engines to let them know exactly what your page is about. For example, if a keyword appears six times in a 1,000-word post, the keyword density is 0.6 percent. If the keyword appears 10 times in a 1,000-word post that elevates the keyword density to 1 percent.
In the early days of SEO, the conventional wisdom was to include your keyword as many times as possible, because if a little is good, more must be better. That’s not how things work anymore. It is possible to over-do it. This practice is known as keyword stuffing and it will have the opposite of the intended effect.
Your keyword or key phrase should make up about 0.6-1 percent of your total text on a page. Coming in under 0.6 percent means you’re falling short of driving home your point. Coming in over 1 percent means you are including your keyword way too much. When search engines see this they basically consider the page to be spam, so they avoid including the page in their results. Straying outside of the ideal keyword density can have negative consequences. Stick to the right amount in order to help your site perform.
2. Keyword Placement
If establishing keywords and only using them the proper amount of times isn’t enough, where you use keywords and key phrases matters, too. Each and every time you use your keywords it counts towards the total density. You can give your SEO an extra boost by including your keywords or key phrases in specific locations. These locations include:
- First paragraph, preferably towards the beginning
- At least one heading or subheading
Featuring keywords in any of these locations will help your site ranking. Including your keywords in all of these locations will give your site ranking a significant boost. As is always the case when it comes to keywords, make sure the words sound natural and flow. Simply wedging your keywords in for the sake of including them will not help your case.
3. URL Slug
The URL slug sometimes referred to just as the URL, slug or permalink, is all of the text that appears to the right of top-level domain label (.com, .net, .org, etc.) in the link. For example, the slug of this page is ‘improve-site-ranking.’
A good slug should include the keyword and get to the point. Typically, if you are using a key phrase, that phrase can be the slug. A quality and concise slug clues in search engines to what your page is about, but it also gives your page some legitimacy and entices users to follow the link.
4. Make the Best Use of Your Metadata and Description
Metadata is one of those things that most people know have something to do with SEO, but at the same time, they aren’t really sure what metadata actually is. Metadata is another source of information search engines use to get a handle on what exactly a page is about.
The description is that small blurb of text that appears on the search engine results page underneath the page title. The description needs to concisely explain what the page is about to show the value of the content and entice readers to click the link.
5. Image Alt Tags
Images and videos are part of your content and are necessary pieces of a complete SEO strategy. Update the file name of any images to be relevant to your page or post. Also, fill in the alt tags field with your keywords or key phrases. This will further help to create a cohesive package and indicate the value and legitimacy of your content and site. Updating the alt tags also enables users to find these images and by default your site, if they conduct an image search using your keywords
The benefit of including links in your text is two-fold. By linking to internal pages on your own site (product page, portfolio, contact information) you can help direct traffic to other areas of your site and get users to stick around longer. Including links to external pages may seem counterintuitive, but it gives your page some validity. Linking out to authority sites shows search engines and users that you are all about providing value.
Cite Your Sources
When including external links go with reputable sites. Research and news organizations are examples of reputable sites. Given the specific circumstances, it may be appropriate to link to a blog, particularly if the blogger is an industry expert.
When linking to external sites adjust the settings so the page opens in a new tab. This makes it easy for users to come back to your site instead of being pulled away.
Scoring backlinks can also help boost the credibility of your content, which can help your site ranking. A backlink is when another site includes a link to your site. For example, if a blogger or member of the media interviews you about your business and includes a link to your site in an online article, that is a backlink.
Backlinks are advantageous partly because they direct traffic to your site. Users in a completely different corner of the internet can instantly end up at your site and learn more about who you are and what you do. Backlinks also show search engines that your site is legit and a trustworthy source. However, the site that links back to your site matters. Scoring a backlink from any old site is okay, but ideal backlinks will come from news or media sites or other businesses in your industry.
The more you post, the more content you will have and the more keywords you can use to improve your site ranking. How often to post to your site is a tricky equation to balance. The answer is different for each unique site and business.
Ultimately, quality content matters. Once you establish a strong catalog of content, known as evergreen content, and secure a top place on the results page, you can take it easy with the posting. This isn’t to say you can stop altogether, but there may come a time when you can post much less frequently.
8. Constantly Improve
Once a post is published you do not simply let it languish. As you put these tips into practice and get a better handle on SEO you can update and revise older posts. Include links to newer content, to help users navigate your site and gain more value. If you see certain keywords are just not delivering results, make some tweaks to try to improve your site ranking. As technologies and algorithms change and new trends become viable, update your content accordingly. SEO is an ongoing process.
9. Call In Reinforcements
Managing the SEO of your site is a big task. There are lots of tips and tricks to remember and incorporate. When you get the hang of it things can get easier. You always have the option to bring in some help (wink). Bringing in a seasoned SEO professional can help build your ranking and get your site noticed.
You can still experience SEO success if you want to do it on your own. If you are using a WordPress site you can install the Yoast SEO plugin. This handy tool is easy to use and always has your back when it comes to making sure your SEO game is strong in ways you may not even realize are relevant.
Get Working to Improve Your Site Ranking
SEO is a big task, but when you work on it in manageable segments it really isn’t too intense. All of the hard work is worth it too when you land a coveted spot on a search engine results page. Do you have questions and want to learn more? Are you too busy running your business to figure out this whole SEO thing and looking for help? Whatever you need, reach out and we can talk.