Many businesses vie for the coveted spots at the top of search results. Or, even better—being able to clinch the tops spots without spending a penny.
Of the many different actions that businesses can take to improve organic search results, here are the most essential.
Keyword density is a measure of how often keywords and phrases appear on a website. If a keyword appears multiple times on your website, it’ll most likely rank in search engines.
So, as you’re creating content, be sure to include keywords with an eye toward search engine ranking—but remember not to overdo it. Be sure to check the keyword density of your main competitors and see if they’re using any terms that might also be relevant to your business.
SEO Book has a useful tool you can use to assess keyword density. Just enter a URL and check the results.
Another consideration in your SEO strategy should be inbound links. These are links from external websites leading to your own. The more inbound links you get, the more likely you’ll be ranked higher in the search engine results pages (SERP).
An important note: Not all inbound links are created equal. A “good” inbound link is one that comes from an authoritative source and uses proper anchor text. An authoritative source is a high-quality website, linked to a domain with high-quality information.
As for anchor text, there are a few things you can do to improve your backlinks:
- Create a company blog that’s informative, fun, and valuable to your customers.
- Get your clients to link to your website.
- Create entertaining and visual content that people will want to share and link to.
Quality and Social Sharing
How do search engines identify great content? One of the most influential factors is number of social shares. The concept behind this is very simple—the more often content is shared on social media, the more useful and relevant it’s perceived to be by its readers. Basically, readers decide what they want to see more of. So, make sure your content is great, engaging, and interesting, so that people will love it and be willing to share it with their networks.
While the number of social media followers has no impact on ranking, it’s still important to grow your base, since if there are more people in the mix, your content will be liked and shared more often. Also, more targeted followers mean more site visitors, which contributes to higher search ranking. Be sure to include your keywords in posts, which will help your posts show up when users search for relevant content.
Encourage social sharing by including relevant buttons, so that readers can easily share the content with just one click. A good practice is to put links to your website on social media, in your profiles, and within posts.
Search engines don’t see the same website information as human beings—instead, they read the code on the website. This is why it’s important to follow best SEO practices when you’re creating a website to make your pages as search engine friendly as possible. In other words, refine your onsite SEO.
Your website’s meta description is a main onsite SEO factor that’s heavily weighted by search engines, and usually consists of a page’s title and description. Another consideration is the navigational structure of your website. Be sure to include relevant information as primary links on your homepage, since search engines will consider those areas critical and consequently play a role in determining the SERP rank. Make sure your homepage primary links include all of your important products and offers.
Sitemaps are a must in SEO. There are any number of online tools you can use to easily create these.
Another way for search engines to discover new content is from an XML sitemap. This is really just a listing of your page's content in a special format that search engines can easily read through. Learn more about the specific syntax and how to create XML sitemaps at sitemaps.org.
Once you've generated your sitemaps, you can submit them directly to the search engines. This gives you one more way to let them know when you add or change something on your site. Search engines always try to crawl your links for as much additional content as they can find to index.
The faster your pages load, the higher they’ll rank in the SERP, so be sure to address any pages with slower load times. Check out Pingdom, a tool that speeds up page load times on your site.
There are around 200 ranking factors that influence your SEO ranking. By tweaking just a few of these based on our recommendations, you’ll be higher up in no time!