I’ve had several people reach out to me to ask about improving their SEO (search engine ranking) for their website. Of course everyone wants to be on Google’s first page when someone is searching for a service or product they offer. But how can you break through the millions of other search results for your product or service?
I’m going to give you some simple steps to improve your ranking. Although you may not appear on the front page right away, you will definitely improve your status by consistently applying these steps.
First, do a search for your keywords and phrases.
The easiest way to do this is to use [themecolor]Google AdWords Tool[/themecolor]. This tool is to help those who use Google’s AdWords for pay-per-click ad campaigns but it’s helpful for those who are looking for good words and phrases to help them stand out in a search. Here is an image showing a search for the keywords “wedding videographer.”
If you notice, there are 201,000 global monthly searches for “wedding videographer” and the competition for it is high. That means you won’t have the best opportunity to rank high for those keywords since so many other sites are using it.
Instead, scroll down to the rest of the search and click on the word “Competition.” This will sort the search results by high, medium, and low. Click the “Competition” word twice to sort it from low to high.
When you have set the competitive parameters to “low,” you now can see a few keyphrases that have a high amount of searches but low competition. I highlighted two of them.
Although “Wedding Photography Gallery” may not be a perfect fit, you may want to try putting this keyphrase in strategic areas on your page, which brings me to the next point.
Where exactly should you insert your keywords and phrases?
Here are the strategic spots:
Include SEO keywords in the title of the page
Include the keywords in your page title. If you’re a wedding photographer, having “Wedding Photography Gallery” would be an excellent page title, and you could still add video samples if you offer that service. The point is, you want to attract as many potential prospects as possible. If a couple is looking for a wedding photographer, they certainly would be great candidates for a videographer’s services.
Include SEO keywords in the title of the blog post
This is an area many overlook when optimizing their website for search engines. When creating your title, try to include a benefit to the reader while also including the keywords or phrases.
Include SEO keywords in the meta-description
You only have so many words to describe your page or blog post (around 150 words). Make sure you put your keywords and/or phrases in this area. If you are using WordPress, there is a plugin I swear by: [themecolor]WordPress SEO by Yoast[/themecolor]. It allows you to add keywords and phrases to several areas and will even give you an “SEO performance meter” to let you know when your page or post is fully optimized. (The meter is a circle and goes from red to green to let you know how high the SEO is rating.) This plugin has an area for you to customize the meta-description. I highly recommend filling it with SEO-rich copy.
Include SEO keywords in H1 tags
This is another area that some people may miss. An H1 tag (header) can be created in the text box of your page or post. If you’re using WordPress for your site, you would highlight the text you want as the header, go up to the editing tools, click where it says “Paragraph,” and the drop-down menu will give you a choice as to which H tags you want to use. Choose “H1” and your highlighted text will be transformed into a H1 tag. Some SEO experts say that putting keywords in H1 tags isn’t as important, but Matt Cutts, the head of webspam for Google, indicates that yes, Google does still look at H1 tags when ranking a page (click to view). You just want to make sure you don’t have a large number of them OR use the H1 tag to include a large amount of text.
Include SEO keywords in the URL
If you use WordPress, you can create a customized URL for your blog post. Scroll toward the top of the blog post where it has the permalink (you use this link to direct people to that specific post) and click “Edit.” You can shorten the permalink (recommended) and add any SEO keywords in the name of the post. This helps search engines lock onto a specific post and will help attract more traffic.
So those are a few ways you can improve your SEO ranking. Study your analytics to see if using a certain technique did well for you. Increasing the traffic to your website takes time. The best advice I can give (and I need to take it, myself!), is to consistently create content. The search engines love websites that get refreshed with new content. Give your readers ways to share your content, participate in the discussion once readers respond, and you’ll be on your way to building a website that gets more traffic.