How to get better search rankings (SEO)

Getting a higher ranking on Google is one of the biggest challenges modern marketers face.  Most searches online are from people looking to buy a product, and if your business doesn't appear in those searches, well, you may as well have burned the money you spent on your website.

In this post I explain some of the ways to improve your search ranking, and identify weaknesses your website may have.

Search engine optimisation

It's rare for someone Googling a product or service to click on the adverts displayed at the top.  In our surveys many users stated that they went to the first organic search result instead.  Why? Because they felt Google would serve them up a more relevant search result in its organic returns than in the results people had paid to appear in.

Does this mean paid advertising is dead?  No, some businesses couldn't compete for organic returns so paid search is the only way they could appear on the first page.

In this post we'll explore methods to help you appear higher in organic search, and help win web traffic over your competition.

1. Meta descriptions

These descriptions often appear as a snippet of text in the search result.  Not only are these important to Google's search algorithms to indicate what's on a page but they also help convince the human audience that clicking that link will take them to a site where they'll find answers.  So choose your text wisely.

2. Not enough keywords

You may have a few key search terms that you'd really like to 'own'.  Limiting your sights has its advantages but can also mean that you end up overpopulating your search strategy with only a few words.  You might be fighting a losing battle.  Try finding less competitive but similar keywords to focus on.

3. Too many keywords

Of course, there is the risk that you try to overwhelm a page or blog post with too many keywords.  This can result in none getting the importance they deserve or worse, you've spammed a keyword into Google's blacklist.  Balance is key, focus on a few keywords in a page or post and you're more likely to rank well for it.

4. Don't neglect the H1

Google sees the H1 tag on body text as quite important.  This is the style of font used to head up a paragraph.  Google's search spiders basically say "well, if it's the heading on a paragraph it must be pretty important".  Hence why I titled the top of this article 'search engine optimisation' so Google knows what this blog post is about.

5. Alt every image

A picture tells a thousand words and a web page or blog post without one is a laborious thing to read.  When uploading the image make sure the alt text relates to the keyword strategy of the page it's joining.

6. Inbound links

It's not enough to just post content into the void of the internet, or create pages simply to keep your web design agency in skinny lattes, if their not great then Google won't index them.  A great way to show Google that your content is relevant to internet users is to have other websites link to yours.  These have to be good websites mind, Google has a list of all the ones you can pay to link to you and if you have too many crummy websites point in your direction Google assumes you're crummy too.

7. Hyperlinks

If you have a few links in your web page to other web pages, or if your blog directs to other sources then the Google bots smile upon you.  Don't have too many linking to a single page though, dead ends are red flags, but do take people to other websites or pages that they may find useful.

8. Inbound marketing 

Of course, an SEO strategy wouldn't be complete without some kind of purpose behind it.  So you've grabbed the attention of a Googler but what next?  You need to have something on the blog post or website page for someone to do if they're inspired by the content.  Free sample requests, product demo requests or a link to a great guide they may be interested in (look down below!) are all great examples of how a good business benefits from great SEO.


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How to rank higher in search