Search engine optimization is as much art as it is science, and when you’re just starting out, it can feel like a daunting chore. While the fact is that you’re never truly “done” with SEO, there are things you can do to make the process easier and help rank your website higher – even if it’s brand new. Just follow these steps:
Focus on a Certain Keyword or Phrase
It’s impossible to rank one page in the search engines for a bunch of keywords and phrases. Google and other search engines will just see it as a disorganized mess and it won’t come up in the search engine under the keywords or phrases that you’re targeting. Instead, just choose one “focus keyword” or phrase to center your content on.
Keep in mind, something broad like “marketing” is impossible, but something specific like “Facebook social media marketing in Silicon Valley” can be much easier to rank for and succeed at.
Write Great Content, Consistently
You’ve probably heard that one of the key components of ranking well in the search engines is to write great content. It’s true. The more in-depth and detailed your content is, or the more thoroughly you answer a question or expand on a topic, the greater the chances are that your site will rank well in the search engines.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you should be verbose or wordy. Fluff and filler content don’t do anything to help anyone, and might actually hurt your ranking, so to keep it simple: be clear, be concise, be detailed and be thorough. Chances are, your competition won’t bother to take the time to do the extra research or legwork needed to really go in-depth on a topic, and that’s your chance to shine!
Keep Your Content Updated
Just as you want to create relevant, quality content, you also want to keep it up-to-date. Depending on the field you’re in, you may find that over time, you rank particularly well for a given topic. But also during that time, things may have changed. That’s why it’s worth to update the piece (or link to an updated article) so that your subscribers always have the most relevant information to learn and grow from.
Don’t Forget Your Metadata
Metadata, including the description of the page, helps search engines like Google understand what your page is about. It can also be displayed on the results pages. Including the aforementioned focus keyword in your metadata can help further reinforce your site’s relevance to the keyword you’ve chosen.
My Site Still Isn’t Ranking Well, What Should I Do?
Despite your efforts and following the steps above, there may still be some issues that prevent your site from ranking highly. There could be any number of things holding you back, including:
- A lack of backlinks – the more quality backlinks your site has, the more search engines will pay attention to it, as they reason that quality backlinks make it an authority in its given niche.
- Slow page loading – Google likes sites that load fast, and slow, sluggish sites that waste users’ time get demoted. The same applies if they’re not optimized for mobile devices as well as desktops.
- Broken links – Having lots of broken links is like having a leaky bucket – but you’re leaking valuable search engine “clout” by not updating those broken links to their right URLs (or, if the URL no longer exists, to a page where users can find updated information).
- Lack of headings – Having heading tags (H1 and H2 in particular), can help segment your content as well as give emphasis to that aforementioned focus keyword you chose. Plus, they make your content more readable.
These are just a few of the most common reasons that sites don’t rank as well as they should, but this is by no means an exhaustive list. If you have questions about how to rank your site well in the search engines or you need help with your search engine strategy, reach out to us here at Workdom today and let’s talk about your goals and how we can help!