The following are some tips that can help you improve your search engine ranking.
1. Optimize for your target audience
Don’t optimize your site for search engines, but to meet the needs of your target audience. To learn more about your target audience, you will need to carry out extensive research. Look online and offline for any helpful demographic information. Visit communities, forums or sites which are frequented by your target audience and pay attention to what they are saying. This data will be helpful for copywriting, keyword research and web design.
2. Research your keywords thoroughly
To determine the best keywords to optimize for, you can use keyword research tools such as Google’s Keyword Tool, Wordtracker and Keyword Discovery. Depending on your niche, identify the most relevant phrases and use a few on every page. Avoid general keywords which do not clearly show what your site is about.
3. Write great, keyword-rich copy
This is vital for any website’s success. To make it easy for search engines to classify your site, make sure your pages contain keyword-rich copy which is not hidden in Flash or obscured by graphics. However, there is no formula for the number of times your keywords should appear in the copy. Just ensure that keywords are used in a way that makes sense to readers.
Search engines place much of emphasis on how long your domain and site have been around. Therefore, it is always advisable to stick to your existing site or domain as long as possible. If, for some reason, you have to switch to a new domain name, you are likely to experience a drop in search engine traffic. This could last for weeks or even months.
5. Label your alt tags and internal text links clearly
Search engines and your site visitors look at your link’s anchor text to get an idea of where they will end up after clicking the link. Therefore, you should avoid using non-descriptive words such as ‘click here’. Make sure every graphical and text link on your site is as descriptive as possible.
6. Include keywords in your title tags
Title tags are very vital for search engines. Make sure you include your keywords in your page’s title tags. Keep in mind that the information which first shows up in search engines is that which is contained in the tag. Therefore, you need to ensure that the information in title tag is an accurate representation of the page’s contents. Use keyword phrases which web users are likely to use in search engines.
7. Make your website ‘link-worthy’
For successful optimization, you need to get other sites to link to yours. Your website’s link popularity is very important to search engines. If your site contains useful and relevant content, other sites will want to link to it. You might want to consider trading links with other sites. However, make sure you only deal with sites of high quality. Linking to low quality sites will make you lose credibility with search engines as well as your site visitors.