At The Market Place, we often get inquiries from clients and friends who want to know how they can improve their site’s rank, and they question if they should hire an SEO firm. We decided to break this topic down, and in this first post in a series on site rank, will focus on the key problem, and highlight 3 tips to improve your web site’s rank.
First things first: What’s the problem? We hear things like, “My site isn’t showing up as the first result on Google for “this search term.” Believe it or not, this is not Google’s fault. Google, and other search engines (I use Google as an example because its the biggest player in the game) rely on algorithms to deliver relevant search results that it deems useful or important to their audience. It’s important to note that while Google’s algorithm is not a human, it is trying to return results that the users want when searching. This tells us something important. It means we should not use schemes, or robots, or programs to try to increase our site rank. Rather, we should spend time making our sites more useful to people.
Generally your site’s visitors are consumers of something- it might be that they are buying something on your site. It might be that they are “consuming information.” For example, they may need a document on your site, or they may just want to find your phone number and call you. No matter the reason they are visiting your site, they are engaging with you/your organization. Are you providing what they seek?
Tip 1: Add new content to your web site
If you were considering two web sites to share with someone, and one hadn’t been updated in a year, but the other had updates or new content added to it weekly, which do you think would be more worthy of sharing? It’s obvious when you think of it this way. So, no matter what, your best bet is to add new, relevant content to your site for your visitors to “consume” on a regular basis. The more the better!
Tip 2: Use Keywords in your content
It used to be that you could “stuff” keywords in the back-end of your site and this would help your site’s rank, but no more. Google’s engineers are smarter than you! If your goal is to get a better site rank for the search term “agriculture widgets” then you need to use that exact term in the content you add to your web site. You may have a business that serves Central Florida, but are people in Orlando searching for “agriculture widgets in central Florida”? Probably not. Be specific with your keywords.
Tip 3: Use great images
Again, if you are thinking like your visitors think, imagine what they want, what they will click on or what they will engage with. Adding a great, personal image tailored to your site’s content and keywords adds probability that someone will want to read it, and or share it. Don’t forget to name that image, and caption it if possible. Search engines can see images, but as you might imagine, they VIEW them differently from you and me. They can’t really see the content of the image, but if you name it, again keep in mind your keywords, then you help the search engine deliver your site as a resource about that keyword.
In summary, while it’s important to realize that search engines are key to your site rank, paying additional money to SEO companies should only be considered after you’ve done the steps above, which, in most cases are considerably more affordable. It’s more important to deliver content with keywords and images. If you build it, they will come!