Four Tips to Increase Search Engine Ranking

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Four Tips to Increase Search Engine Ranking

Post  kingage21 on Thu Jul 07, 2011 7:47 pm

Most businesses don't take advantage of various techniques to increase search engine ranking, but few things on the Internet can be as beneficial as a high ranking on a search engine. A recent Forrester Research report showed that 80% of web surfers discover the new sites that they visit through search engines (such as Yahoo, Google, or MSN). According to iProspect, 85% of web users use search engines to find solutions and vendors. Properly optimizing a site to increase your search engine ranking for each page helps it to attract numerous, highly targeted visitors- visitors that may become buyers.

For the technically inclined, there are numerous places on the web to get detailed, in-depth information on how to achieve a high ranking on a search engine. However, many people don't care about the technical aspects of search engine optimization- they just want to know what is wrong with their site (and how to fix it). What follows is a practical guide that covers some of the most basic tips that can be used to increase search engine ranking. It is in no way intended to be comprehensive, but it should help the average site owner determine whether their site is optimized, and if not, how to make some simple changes to give each individual page of their site a better chance for a high ranking on a search engine.

Issue #1- The Title Bar
This is one of the most often overlooked techniques to increase search engine ranking. On your homepage, what does the title bar say? If you use Internet Explorer, this is the blue bar at the very top of the window that displays your page (it may include the words "Microsoft Internet Explorer" at the end). Does your company name appear here by itself when you have more important keywords to emphasize? Worse yet, does it say "untitled"? If you want to increase the search engine ranking for that page, this area should contain the most important keywords you see on your homepage. To check the rest of your site, click on any link from your homepage and see if the words in this title bar change for each page in your site. They should - and each title bar should contain the most important keywords from its corresponding page. Note: Very long keyword strings in the title bar should be avoided - six words or less is optimal. Also, words in the title bar should not repeat more than once, and identical words should not appear next to one another.

Issue #2- Content
Search engines all try to list sites that contain good content. Translation: you need words on your pages to achieve a high ranking on a search engine, not flashy graphics. This text should contain the most important keywords that your potential customers would use to find you on a search engine. If you have very few or no words on a page where you wish to increase the search engine ranking, it is a good idea to add some, ideally around 250 per page. For aesthetic reasons, this is not always practical, but even 100 well-written words will give you a better opportunity for a high ranking on a search engine than none. It is also important that you make certain that the words are written in a language the search engines can read. Using your mouse, bring your cursor down to the text on one of your web pages. Clicking and holding down the left mouse button (make sure you aren't near a link) see if you can highlight just one or two words of the text. If you can, everything is most likely fine. If nothing happens, or you can only highlight a large block, it is most likely in graphic form. To increase search engine ranking in such cases, the graphic text needs to be replaced by standard HTML text to allow the search engines to read it. Your web expert should have no problem understanding what you require, and the transition should be fairly simple and affordable.

Issue #3- Meta Tags
Some people believe that meta tags are the Holy Grail of achieving a high ranking on a search engine. Unfortunately, their effectiveness is limited (many engines ignore them completely), but they can play a limited role on some engines. To see if your site has meta tags, go to your home page. Click the "view" command at the top of the browser window. From the pull-down menu, select "source". This should open up another window that shows your code. Much of this may seem indecipherable, but there should be two commands there (usually near the top of the code). One of these says meta name="description" content= and will go on to describe your company and products, and one says meta name="keywords" content= and goes on to list applicable keywords for your site. If these tags are missing, have your web expert insert them. Again, this may not do much to increase search engine ranking, but it will not hurt.

Issue #4- Links
Link popularity has become increasingly important for those who wish to increase search engine ranking, with 19 of the top 20 engines using it in their ranking algorithms. Simply put, search engines give a ranking boost to sites that have links from quality, related sites. There are numerous free tools on the web that will allow you to see what sites link to yours (just type "free link popularity check" in your favorite search engine). If you don't have many sites linking to yours, it may be time to start a link building campaign. This is where you find quality, non-competing sites in your industry and ask them to link to your site. An additional benefit of link building is that these links can bring you additional, highly targeted traffic.

Although following the above guidelines will by no means guarantee you a high ranking on a search engine, fixing one or more of the problems should help increase your search engine ranking. For the volumes of potential customers that a search engine can send to your site, it's certainly worth the effort.


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