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10 ways to rank higher on search engines

Expert: Karen Hilts - Web Developer and Inbound Marketing

One of the most common questions I get about website building has to do with "How to get my website on page 1 of google?" Search Engine optimization is always changing and can be time consuming, but there are a few good steps that remain consistent.

So how can you do the minimum yourself and get your website searchable and ranking higher on search engines?

Here's 10 free ways you can begin taking your website to the top:

1. Make sure your content is relevant. It should immediately speak to your ideal audience and within the first few lines of content should tell the reader exactly what they will get by reading the rest of the content. If relevant, they stay on page longer.

2. Make use of 2-3 key words. Use them in your headline and content. Make sure your keywords are also relevant to the audience and topic. Ask yourself how someone might ask a question in the search bar of a search engine and then write out a few key phrases using the keyword

3. Use meta-data. This is how search engines display content to a reader. It includes title, description and keywords and is still important in search engine ranking. On WordPress you can add plugin's to do the job such as "Yoast" or "All in one SEO".

4. Create consistent FRESH content. Adding a blog into your website and posting new content 2-3x a week will help raise your website visibility. The key is to not allow to much time between posts. Be consistent.

5. Make use of “alt” tags on your images and other media on web pages. Not everyone "sees" your images, so having alternative text makes your media readable to anyone, however their browsing the internet.

6. Link key phrases in your content to other pages that contain similar and related content. Instead of “click here” actually link the relevant key phrases to other page content elsewhere in your website or blog. This allows crawlers to find their way through your site and find relevant content to display back in the search engines. Make it easy for them!

7. List your website on webmaster tools in Google and Bing. (do a search for google webmaster tools and bing webmaster tools). You should include both a robot.txt file and sitemap.xml file to your website so that search engine crawlers can easily roam your site in search of relevant content. List these inside of the webmaster tool sites. This triggers the search engines to crawl your website consistently.

8. Get backlinks to your content. When people link to your webpage content it's like “voting” for a webpage. Making your content relevant, informative, educational and just inspirational, is one way to easily get people linking to your site.

9. Know who your exact audience is and speak directly to them through your content. Be very specific who your content is intended for. Even if it means reusing the content in a future article and tweaking it for a different specific audience.

10. Don’t leave people hanging. At the end of your content always give them direction as to the exact step you want them to take next. It may be to read another article or offering a call to action. This keeps people on site longer and makes your site more relevant in the eyes of a search engine.

These are just a few tips to get you started and on your way to improving search engine rank, especially if you don't have a SEO team in your back pocket. Doing these 10 actionable steps are a bit time consuming but if ranking higher in the search engines is what you're after, then these 10 tips will help you get into the game on a budget.



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