All website owners aspire to get to the top 10 of any search engine result. However, this can be quite challenging, considering that millions compete for the coveted slots.
Many companies offer search engine optimization services. These are worth the investment, considering that all the money you spent on building your website is wasted if people can’t even find you. However, there are also some simple, basic steps you can take to increase your ranking. Bear these in mind while developing your content, and as you launch your website.
1. Sometimes, older is better.
You can buy your own domain name, but you’ll have to spend more time and money building its ranking. If you’re watching your budget, you may get an extra boost by purchasing an older domain name. Search engines tend to favor websites that have been around for a longer time. You may also ‘inherit’ readers from the older site, and boosting website traffic is always one of the best ways to push you up the search results.
Admittedly, older domains cost more than newer ones. On the other hand, it’ll take you several months for a new domain to eventually climb its way up to the top 10—and only with aggressive search engine optimization and marketing.
2. Make your site user-friendly.
In some ways, search engine optimization is a science that involves careful use of keywords and other ‘technical’ aspects. But whatever strategies you use, don’t lose sight of the most important thing: creating compelling content that attracts visitors and keeps them coming back for more. For example, badly written articles that are littered with keywords will kill your website in the long run. Your reader will simply say, ‘This is useless,’ and never come back.
A user-friendly site has relevant content that’s well-organized. If the reader has to think about where to find data—and spend minutes clicking around, wondering where the heck the good stuff is—he will never come back. If the graphics and music are intrusive and annoying, or the fonts are hard to read, he may not even bother to look through the site at all. So first, build content, and then beef it up with the technical stuff. Put keywords in your internal links, pay attention to your meta tags.
3. Research on the ‘power words.’
Before you start optimizing your website for key words, first find out what key words really attract your desired readers. Don’t assume! There are programs, like Google Keyword Tool, Wordtracker, and Keyword Discovery, that can give you accurate information on what people are looking for in search engines.
It’ll also help to avoid keywords that are too popular, because you’ll be elbowing your way to the top with about 10,000,0000 other websites. Some of these include ‘travel’ or ‘finance’ or ‘relationships.’ You may gain more headway by choosing key phrases, or two-word or three-word combinations. For example, ‘Asian budget travel.’
4. Organize your website for both people and ‘spiders.’
Your keywords can help you decide how to organize your website and create an architecture that is both user-friendly and search-engine-spider-friendly. For example, the categories must mimic the way people would intuitively seek information. Ask yourself: ‘If I were looking for an article on ____, I would probably look under ______.’