10 Ways to Improve your Site’s Search Engine Ranking – SEO
Often, I get a question from my fellow friends that, How to Improve Search Engine Ranking of my website. Really it is very hard to answer this kind of generic question especially in this era of internet age. Believe me friends whatever method you apply you cannot give a guarantee that your site will top the list of search engine results. However, there are some proven rules that needs to be followed to get a better place on Google search results and who knows you may top the result as well.
So, to improve your site’s performance on Google search you need to follow some set of rules. Here are some proven tips that may rise the ranks to the top of the search engine results.
1. Publish Relevant Contents with High Quality
So far, I have understood that quality of the content plays the major role to improve search engine ranking. Hence there is no shortcut to a better search ranking. Readers who visit your site expect a better quality than any other sites they have visited in recent past. High quality content not only increases the chance of driving more traffic but also improves the chance of getting onto the top of the search results.
Tips for Writing Quality Content
- Always write for the user and don’t think about writing for a machine.
- Take some time and do a proper research on your subject before start writing.
- Always avoid any spelling and grammatical mistakes. Use MS-WORD to draft your article first, this will reduce the chances of any spelling mistakes.
- Think about how the reader might search on Google and try to find out the phrase related to your subject. Focus on this phrase in your article and try to put this phrase in the first paragraph of your article.
- If possible, try to repeat this phrase 2-4 times in your article with complete relevancy.
- Use proper headings in your article.
- Use bold and italic tags to highlight your phrase wherever possible but remember overdoing it may be harmful.
- Use appropriate optimized images in your article wherever required.
- Properly format your article with respect to alignment and paragraphing.
- Don’t write your article in a boring manner, try to be more engaging.
- Last but not the least, do not compromise with the quality of writing for the sake of SEO because best articles are written for the humans and not for the search engines.
2. Keep Your Content Fresh Regularly
Who doesn’t love new things, everybody loves it. Search engines do love sites with fresh and new content. One of the major factor that decides the search engine ranking is updated content. In recent past we have seen how Google has changed their search algorithms to provide quality results. Now you may have a question, why do I have to publish new content or regularly update my site as I have already published hundreds of articles in the past, isn’t that enough? Answer lies in a question: how do search engines know if your website is up to date and fresh? Yes, it’s only when you post new articles and keep your content fresh and updated.
Updated content not only increases the chance of moving on to the top of the search engine results but also increase the reader base of your site or blog. Updated content also increases the domain and page authority of your site.
Tips to Update your Content Regularly
- Check your old articles on a regular basis and wherever required update them with latest data. For example, you published a tutorial on a software 6 months back, it is possible that some portion of the tutorial may need to be updated with latest procedure.
- Write and publish new articles on a regular basis, try to publish at least one article per week.
- Walk through your old articles and make some minor changes like add some relevant information and update it.
- You may add a new image to your old article and update it.
- If you do not have anything any content to write, try to find some good infographics and publish it, believe me readers love infographics.
3. Add Proper META Data
Meta data is information about data, for a webpage it is the information about the webpage. Meta data is useful for software and machines like Google. These are not visible on a webpage to the user but are hidden within the start and end head (<head></head> tags. Meta data in a page plays an important role in giving basic information to search engines like Google. So, you must use proper meta data in your pages to qualify for a better position in search engine ranking.
Here are some of the meta data that are must for a webpage.
Title META Data
Title meta data is responsible for showing the title of the web page, this you can see at the top of the browser. Title meta tag is the most important SEO tag for any website and you can hardly disagree to it. Hence it is important to use most critical keyword in the title tag of the page.
Tips for Title Tag
- Every page should have unique title tag.
- Do not use same title tag for any other content on your blog or website.
- Include your keyword or phrase in the title.
- Try to make your title within 60-character limit.
Description META Data
Description meta tag is used to display a summary of your web page in the search result page which is visible to the user. Your meta description should contain the keyword in it and it should be nice and appealing. Though these days meta description is rarely plays any important role in search engine ranking, but you should always consider adding it to your web page. Do not make your meta description too short or too long.
Keyword META Data
Though keyword mete data does not contain enough value anymore in search engine ranking, but still consider including it in your web pages. You should only include those keywords which are used in your article and relevant to the topic. Do not include keywords which are not even used once in your web page.
4. Use ALT Tags Properly
Alt tags plays a major role in improving your web page’s ranking. Alt tags are used to describe your media contents on the webpage. These tags are the alternative text description for the media files, like images and videos.
You should always use the targeted keywords in your alt tags for images and videos.
5. Page Load Speed
Page load time is one of the major factor in search engine raking, at lease for Google. In fact in an official blog post Google announced that they are going to consider page load time as a key player in ranking the web pages. Hence you must spend a lot of time in optimizing your website/blog to improve the load time.
Tips for Improving Page Load Speed
- Select good hosting environment. For WordPress, we recommend WP Engine Managed webhosting for better performance.
- Enable Compression on your web server to server compressed pages.
- Reduce redirects
- Leverage Browser Caching
- Improve server response time by optimizing your server configuration to the best.
- Optimize Images.
- Use Content Distribution Network (CDN)
6. Mobile Optimization
Use mobile ready themes on your website which will render fast and adopt to the mobile screen. Make your website responsive with the proper use of html5 and CSS3 which will automatically adopt to the mobile devices.
7. Remove all Broken Links
Having broken links on your website which returns 404 error is really a bad sign for your site. Not only it reduces your online reputation but also reduces the chance of getting onto the top of the search engine result page. So, take some time to find the broken links on your site and correct or remove them.
8. Make your Site Link Worthy
Focus on creating links within the text of your article instead or having an anchor text “click here” etc. When writing, your new article try to include links to your other relevant posts within the text of the article. This will improve SEO score as well as user engagement on your website. Try to have a balanced Out-bound links on your page which points to high quality websites.
9. Use XML Sitemap
XML sitemap is the medium which can help content creators establish their stake as the content originator. XML sitemaps serve as a medium to communicate directly with the search engines. They alert search engines like Google, to new or changed content very quickly which help in faster indexing of the content. Make sure to use a proper XML site map on your website.
10. Social Sharing
Social sharing can also influence the SEO rank a lot. More the number of sharing on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn can create a significant difference on SEO rank. Hence use your network and share your posts across the social networking sites. Also, encourage your readers to share the posts on their social networking profiles.