Once a website is launched, business owners turn to the search engines. Often a website is listed for a few general terms and the company name.
This is not enough online exposure to actually sell a product or service. You must improve page rank to increase traffic.
How to improve page rank
To rank highly on search engines be sure your site is useful and interesting. Create amazing content that is worth reading, worth ranking, worth sharing and regularly update it. Provide original material, and do that using different media.
“Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
Every business wants to be ranked number 1, so it is no easy feat getting there and staying there.
The mistakes most small businesses make are to try and rank highly in search result pages for:
- A single keyword.
- A really popular phrase with high competition.
- A key phrase that no one searches for.
- A term that is just too broad.
And many over optimise their websites, which can have an adverse effect. It sounds insane to encourage a business to rank for a less popular phrase but unless you have the money of Virgin to pump into marketing efforts, you must turn your attention to a phrase that will get you ranked.
For example, a keyword like ‘yoga’ would be near impossible to rank for with such high competition.
However “yoga online classes” has a much lower difficulty score.
Low competition phrases may not have a million searches. The aim here is to rank highly for several, low competition phrases that will supply a good stream of visits to your site.
The smaller the competition, the more likely a site is to rank and actually receive the click, which can turn into a sale.
Where does my website rank?
The first question to ask yourself is “where does my website rank?”.
Having no knowledge of page rank means that SEO efforts are next to useless. Use website SEO analysis software.
I love MOZ, and use it for my SEO campaigns. MOZ Pro enables a business to track where they rank by keyword and associate phrases to pages giving page optimisation scores. MOZ gives more keyword suggestions around a term, provides data on how often a phrase is searched and how difficult it would be to rank for that term, helping webmasters improve pages.
Using an intelligent system like this lets business owners target key phrases and improve their content around those key phrases.
This sort of system gives you direction, and lets you know what your clients are searching for. This means you can start to build pages and blog posts around the content your audience craves.
Ranking for more than one key term
Try not to concentrate on one key term and on one page. To effectively rank well your website should be a hub of information. Related key terms support each other. You may find you do really well with an unexpected term.
Google rewards a website that provides quality information. Posts and pages that rank highly will increase the overall domain authority, meaning that other posts and pages are more generously ranked.
You could expand the pages of your website to provide better content around researched key terms. And you could start a blog.
A blog can be an extension of a website. A blog helps a website to be more informative using the business owners expert knowledge. Posts should be written around researched key terms.
Make sure the blog is on the same domain as your website to get the benefit of blog supporting site.
Web content writing
Web content does take a long time to build up, but if you love your work, it can be a lot of fun.
I’ve written a post on brainstorming blog post ideas. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes, what would they want to learn from you?
Using a keyword tool like MOZ’s Keyword explorer find key terms around your industry. Remember to choose long-tail key phrases that have low competition.
You can actually look on Google to get an insight to who is ranking for a term. If you can see big sites are ranking well for those terms, avoid them. Choose something that you are more likely to be ranked highly for. Once you build on your web content you can start to target more popular key terms.
Now start to write around those key terms.
Use a programme you are comfortable with, like Word or Apple’s pages. Structure the post so that it has an introduction, builds on the content, then finishes with some sort of conclusion.
Check all links within the post, and that grammar and spelling are of a high standard.
Your blog posts should be something that other people want to read, not drivel. Be direct. Inform. Provide opinions and evidence. Be original. Link to relevant content across the internet.
Once you have finished copy and paste it to your blog, or send it to your website designer.
If you find it difficult a web content copywriter can help put your ideas and knowledge down in words. I advise that you, as the knowledgeable business owner, start the post. A content copywriter can expand on it.
Now optimise your post for search engines.
Scroll to the bottom of my post What is search engine optimisation? for some tips on optimising the post.
Do not overload it with keywords. See my post on Google’s quality guidelines.
Page speed and design
Aside from writing great content make sure that your pages are easy to read, download quickly and are not full of large images.
If a site is hard to navigate or downloads very slowly Google will penalise, so all your writing efforts could be lost. This is included in Google’s quality guidelines.
Rejuvenating blog posts
I frequently revisit posts that are not working. I then channel them around a different set of key terms once I have done some research. It often helps to use the content you’ve already got, but just sharpen it up.
Keeping your site fresh also shows search engines that it’s up to date and worth visiting.
Search engine crawlers can detect the last modified date and time of pages and posts. If there is new content it will be re-indexed. The more often crawlers visit, the better your chances of improving ranking for the keywords on the page.
Showing that your website is authoritative will encourage search engines to index your pages faster; this works in your favour when it comes to future listings and developments.
How to increase page rank
So, in summary: analyse, write, optimise, repeat. The analysis will really help to see how well you are doing overtime and encourage efforts.
Page rank is increased only with time and effort but is truly worth it in the end.