How can you boost search engine rankings without spending a dime!? First find out how well your site is currently optimized for search engine by taking a quick test using a free SEO (search engine optimization) audit tool like Woorank.
Then, before you pay thousands of dollars to hire an SEO specialist, you may want to try some basic tactics on your own. Here is a list of some top ranking factors important to Google as of June 2014… stay tuned, they change frequently. 🙂
Keyword Rich Content – Start off by doing some keyword research to be sure you are using text on your pages that site visitors are searching for. It’s best to identify 2-3 relevant, high-traffic, but mid- to low-competitive keywords in your market then include them on your pages. However, do not add a bunch of keywords in a list – Google will tag you as a spammer for that trick. Instead, make sure they occur naturally in your content.
Need help researching which keywords are relevant to your organization? We recommend signing up for a free Google Adwords account and then using their Keyword Planner tool. It’s powerful and won’t cost you a thing.
Title Tags – Possibly the most important SEO ranking factor. Title tags are basically the backend page titles. It is the text that shows up on search engine result pages (buzzword = SERPs). It’s critical to search engines because they look for keywords in your title tags, but they are equally important to site visitors so they are drawn to click your link.
Optimal length for Title Tags is 50-60 characters and the best format is:
Primary Keyword or Phrase | Secondary Keyword | Brand Name
(Place important keywords close to the front of the Title Tag)
Use Heading Tags – Heading tags differentiate your heading text from the rest of your website text. They are sometimes called H1 – H6 tags, HTML header tags, head tags and SEO header tags. Search engines are programmed to look for Heading tags (H1 and H2 especially), so it’s important that you have at least H1 text on every page with keywords (usually your page titles are H1). You should be able to customize the font, size and color of each Heading Tag so they will look great on your pages and provide a consistent design along with better SEO.
Alt Image Tags – You can add text to every image you use on your site so Google’s Image Search finds them. This is another great way to boost SEO since people may see your images and click to land on your site even when not looking for you. Use words that describe the photo for the best results, do not use Alt Text promotionally.
Page Load Speed – The faster your pages load, the more engaged your site visitors will remain and the more Google will reward you with higher rankings. There are many high tech causes and fixes for slow loading pages, but usually the culprit is simply images that are too large.
Before adding photos to your site, they should be resized to fit the space. In other words, if the space you are filling on your site is 300 pixels wide, don’t upload a 2000 pixel wide image – downsize it first in your website builder or photo editing program. Also, many images are originally at 300 dpi because that is the minimum quality for printing. But for the web, images still look beautiful at 72 dpi, so make that change for much faster loading pages.
Get Social – Adding social media links has a true advantage for SEO. Not only does it engage visitors and give you updated content frequently, but Google looks at your organization’s fan & follower numbers, and especially how many people are sharing or +1ing your content. If you are deemed a “relevant” organization, you will get a boost in SEO.
Listing reputable companies on search results pages will keep people using Google – and keep Google in the business of selling ads. So having a presence on Google+ is important. Other social media might make sense too, depending on your audience.
Try to add a new post at least once a week. Content might be something inspirational, interesting, educational, interactive (like a poll) or only on occassion – promotional. It’s best to use photos and/or videos whenever possible for the best results.
Getting to the first position on the search engines list is quite a hard deal. It’s better to follow a good SEO strategy so you can avoid any eventual penalties and hurt your rankings and organic traffic.
We could add hundreds of tips, but these are the most important and easiest for just about any user to do on their own. Please leave your questions or comments below or contact us anytime!