Many website owners ask me, “How do I get my website to the top of the search engines for my keywords?” The answer is not quite as easy as it may seem. If you’ve asked me this question, then you’ve heard me ramble on about all of the factors that go into search engine rankings. The truth is, there is not an easy step-by-step process that will absolutely bump you up to #1 in Google. (Or, trust me, I would have unveiled that secret to you all a long time ago). In a cyber-world where there are millions and millions of websites, Google, Yahoo and the other search engines have developed a top secret algorithm to best rank websites in order of importance for any given keyword.

What makes answering the question so difficult is that these search engines don’t publish what their algorithm is. It makes sense… if people knew the algorithm, they could make their website appear at the top for any search term they chose. Inevitably, the system would be abused and irrelevant information would appear in your searches. It is because the search engines deliver relevant information that we continue to use them as a resource when we want to find something.

There are a few parts to the puzzle that we know play a role in how the search engines determine if your website is relevant for any given keywords. How much of a roll? This is what the search engines won’t tell us. And to make it more complicated, they constantly change this formula so that people don’t catch on.

Some of factors influencing your rank in the search engines include:

  • Quality content on your website
  • Links from other websites to your website
  • Mobile-friendliness / responsive design
  • Organization and layout of content
  • Keyword rich meta titles
  • Site speed
  • Keywords in your domain name and the domain age

If you do a Google search for keywords that pertain to your business, you may find over a million results. If you think about millions websites out there all vying for that first page position, you start to understand the complexity of search engine optimization.

Tips to improve your search engine rank:

Enhance the content on your web pages.

This might mean creating more pages or editing your existing pages to ensure you are writing lot of detailed information about your products/services.  Think about the words you want to rank in the search engines and make sure you have lots of content built around these keywords. Think about this also in terms of helping your customer. What information would they want to know about your product/service that will convince them to do business with you?

Choose strong page titles.

For the content pages of your website, you want to make sure the title is clear and easy for the visitor to know what the page is about.  Typically, this means choosing “About Me” for your bio page and “Contact” for the page with your contact info. But when it comes to choosing titles for your blog articles, you want to be more strategic about including some keywords.  The title should be a good description of what the reader can expect to find in your article so don’t just stuff keywords.  Make it readable.

Organize your web pages using the Heading Tags.

In WordPress, you will see a tool bar with a drop down that says “Paragraph.”  This drop down includes Heading 1, Heading 2, Heading 3, etc.  Uses these different headings to create a hierarchy as you write. Heading 1 should only be used once on your page (typically the page title).  I start with Heading 2 as my main headings throughout my blog post and work down as needed.

Work on link building.

This is probably the most time consuming tip but has been a top ranking factor for many years.  Google is looking at who is linking TO your website.  If big industry websites are linking to you, Google sees you as an authority in the space.  Here are some great tips to get started with link building.

Author: Jennifer Sanderson

I take the frustration out of managing your WordPress website so you can focus on growing your business. My unique approach to website maintenance means you get dedicated one-on-one attention to your website without the cost of a full time employee. Learn More About the Blue Duck Difference