Improve Your Website Google Ranking and Gain Traffic
The main challenge faced by new website owners is a lack of traffic. This post will discuss methods to gain traffic and improve your Google ranking.
How to Improve Search Engine Ranking
Google and other search engines use various formulas to determine where pages rank in their results. The formulas are confidential and can change hundreds of times per year. Although we do not know the formulas there are a variety of factors that we know affect search engine rank.
- Keyword phrases (words people might type into search engines)
- Relevant, high-quality content
- User behavior signals (for example, the time people spend on your content)
- Links back to your content from other websites or social media in a similar field
- Industry competition
The process of affecting the rank of your website is known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is an ongoing process because ranking factors change constantly. You can improve your website’s position by focusing on the following aspects. There is no guarantee the following tips will make your website the first one to appear in the list, but they may help you move up a little.
Think of what you would type into search engines to find your business. Also, think of the questions people are typing into search engines related to your business. What type of searches would you want your business to pop up under?
Focus on long-tail keywords. A long-tail keyword is a keyword phrase that contains three to four words. These phrases are very specific to your audience and less competitive. Long-tail keywords attract highly qualified traffic that is more likely to convert to leads and customers.
Keyword density is the percentage of times a keyword or phrase is found on a page. You want to make sure the keywords are included in the content, but be careful not to exaggerate keyword usage or your pages will seem like spam. Try to keep keywords to about 1 – 3% of your page content. Use one subject and keyword phrase per page.
Google Keyword Planner is a free research tool you can use to find keywords. You will need to create a free account with Google.
Having a content-rich site is probably the most impactful technique to improving website ranking. Here are a few tips to remember when writing for your website.
- Identify your audience and what they want or need.
- Do research in order to create high-quality content.
- Do not just try to sell something. You can gain respect from your website visitors by providing unbiased and non-promotional content.
- Use a conversational tone, but do not ignore spelling and grammar.
- Make your content easy to scan. Use short paragraphs, bullet points, subheadings, and images to break up content.
- Read and make changes to your website content at least 3 – 4 times per year to keep it fresh, especially if you do not blog.
“How to Produce High Quality Written Content” by Kyra Kuik is a great article to read for help in writing content.
Blogging is an excellent way to provide fresh, engaging content regularly. A blog can increase the amount of time people spend on your website by providing content that is interesting and helpful to your target audience. You should post content as often as possible.
Determine what the most relevant topics are for your present and prospective customers. Talk to people, do research on the internet about your industry, and pay attention to social media. Let this knowledge guide your blogging and content strategy. Use attention-grabbing blog titles. Include links to other relevant websites and articles in your blog.
How to Gain Traffic
Social media, pay-per-click (PPC), and off-line advertising may not directly affect rank but they drive traffic to your site.
Social Media and Networking
Although it is unclear how much social media and networking directly affects rank, they are great tools in promoting your site. A great deal of traffic comes from social networks.
Your social media efforts should be engaging and informational – something people will want to share on Facebook and Twitter. Always include your website link in the “About” sections of your social media accounts. Make sure your updates consistently link back to your website content. Your website should continue to be the hub of all your online activities.
Some of the most popular social networks are:
Pay-per-click search engines do not affect ranking. PPC is essentially an advertising tool in search engines like Google that allows you to buy traffic to your website.
PPC works a lot like auctions. You are able to bid for top-ranking positions under keywords of your choice. For each visitor who searches the keyword(s) you bid on and then clicks through to your site, you pay whatever you bid. Prices normally range from a few cents to a few dollars per “click-through” dependent upon the popularity of the keywords you have chosen. You should bid to appear in the top three listings whenever possible to insure your advertisement is seen on the top of the first page. Focus on keywords and phrases that are specific to your business to attract more qualified potential customers.
Generate Website Traffic Off-line
Always include your website’s address on flyers, brochures, signs, business cards, and email signatures.
What Lowers Your Ranking?
While trying to improve your website ranking, be careful to avoid issues that may lower ranking.
- If you never update content your website will have a lower ranking. Search engines reward sites with fresh content.
- Search engines consider “bounce rate” in their equations. “Bounce rate” is the percentage of single-page sessions. If people exit your site after viewing only one page search engines notice. This can be improved by writing interesting content that your visitors want to read.
- Copying content from other websites. Google uses duplicate content filters and lowers your ranking if there is too much copied material from other sites.
- Ignoring keyword research and usage.
- Padding your content with too many keywords. Trying to include your keywords too many times can seem like spam to search engines.
User Experience Should Always Be Top Priority
Although search engine rank is important you should always optimize your website with the audience you want to reach in mind, not only the search engines. If your website’s user experience is poor, then your rankings do not matter. Your website must be welcoming and easy for people to use.