5 SEO Tips to Increase Your Ranking

Posted by on Aug 15, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

In the ever-changing world of Search Engine Marketing, it’s a good idea to frequently research the latest trends in how to properly optimize your website. Many old tricks – such as keywords in the meta description – are practically obsolete, and others – such as stuffing keywords in your content, title, meta description…anywhere you could think to throw in a keyword – can actually make you a persona non grata with Google!

Here are just a few tips for ways to improve your search engine ranking without upsetting the powers that be by using underhanded tactics.

 

Tip #1: Create a Blog

Search engines like fresh content, and the best way to get fresh content on your website is with a blog. A few tips to maximize your return:

  1. Make sure your blog is a part of your site. If your blog address is wordpress.yourcompanyname.com, it is NOT a part of your website. Your blog should be something like: yourcompanyurl.com/blog.
  2. Post regularly, preferably at least one post per week.
  3. Include at least one keyword or keyword phrase in the blog title.
  4. Include at least one image with an optimized image name and alt tag (discussed further below).
  5. Become a guest blogger! Thanks to Google’s Panda update, guest blogging has become a newer trend in getting reputable links back to your site. Find other companies where you think your expertise might prove fruitful and contact them about writing a guest blog for their site. Be sure to include links back to your site in your blog!

 

Tip #2: Submit Your Sitemap

While search engines crawl websites regularly, there’s no telling how long it will take for Google or Bing to find every single page on your site. If you make frequent changes to your iste, you may even have dead pages floating around. If you submit a sitemap regularly, however (around every 2 weeks), you’re essentially force feeding your site’s current structure to the search engines. If your web hosting service doesn’t provide SEO tools for submitting sitemaps, you can easily submit the sitemap yourself by signing up for free webmaster accounts with the major search engines (Google and Bing are two of the top dogs). There are even free online tools to create the sitemap simply by entering your URL  (provided your site is not a behemoth).

 

Tip #3: Include Keywords in Title Tags

SEO Title Tag Marketing ImageThe title tag is what defines the text that will appear in both the tab and title bar of your web browser (see image right). If you’re building a site from scratch, you can find the <title> tag located within the <head> tags. You should try to include at least one keyword phrase, preferably in the beginning of the title. For example: Website Design & Social Media | Alliance Partners Network.

 

Tip #4: Use Keywords in Anchor Text

Instead of adding links to your site as URLs, include the link with “anchor text” that includes at least one keyword.

  1. Wrong: Create your own sitemap using this handy sitemap generator: http://www.xml-sitemaps.com/
  2. Right: Create your own sitemap using a handy sitemap generator.

 

Tip #5: Use Keywords in Images

There are two ways for you to optimize images.

  1. Insert keywords in the image name. For example, instead of image1.png, use social-media-facts.png. Use hyphens instead of spaces to separate words.
  2. Insert keywords in the alt tag. This tag is important for accessibility, as screen readers for the visually impaired will read the alt tags as an alternative to seeing the image. Therefore, it’s important NOT to stuff these with keywords. It should be a natural sounding description of the image.
    1. Wrong: alt=”a graph”
    2. Wrong: alt=”social media, website design, marketing graph”
    3. Right: alt=”graph of social media facts”

 

One important overall tip when dealing with keywords: DO NOT overuse your keywords. It’s great to have a keyword in titles, heading tags, and content, but if your keyword usage doesn’t sound natural, you run the risk of getting blacklisted. Search engines are getting smarter; as SEO specialists, we need to get smarter, too.

Have other tips for optimizing a website? Feel free to share!

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