We all know that search engine algorithms are a black box. No one knows for sure which factors are accounted for and how heavily they are weighted, but through experience and trial and error, we here at Nowspeed have uncovered four factors that can help boost your organic rankings and beat out the competition:
- Proper Keyword Selection: Keyword selection is the basis of a successful search engine optimization plan. Therefore, your keyword selection process should cover the following important areas — keyword research, keyword relevancy and benchmark rankings.
- Page Content: Combine a contextual approach with a scientific approach when developing your page content to satisfy a reader’s interest as well as search engine requirements. These four tips will help guide you through the process — keyword density, keyword proximity, distribution and page topic. Also, when planning SEO copywriting, create a guide so your copywriter and web developer are both aware of the page elements that need to be altered. Assign keyword density and total word count to each element and provide examples where necessary.
- On-Page Website Factors: Aside from body content, there are several additional factors that should be altered for search engine spider recognition — title tag, meta keywords tag, alt area tags and page URL structure. Once your copywriting and page alterations are complete, generate a sitemap in either HTML or XML format and submit to Google Webmaster Tools. The sitemap will provide a road map for search engine spiders to learn all about your website’s content. Also, Google Webmaster Tools will inform you if your site contains broken links that are preventing search engines from reading and indexing all of your available pages.
- Off-Page Website Factors: Achieving rankings is similar to a popularity contest. The more inbound links you have, the more popular your site will seem to a search engine. Therefore, link-building is an important step in a comprehensive SEO strategy. A popular method of building links is submitting your site, articles and blog to directories. Social media marketing is also a great way to build inbound links to your site. Social networks, user-generated content, video and image-sharing sites, and bookmarking tools will increase links and traffic to your site.
Once you have followed these four steps, maintain month-to-month reporting to track the performance of your organic rankings for each SEO keyword and identify areas that may need improvement. Rankings don’t happen overnight. But if you apply these four best practice tips, you will help your website move into more competitive placements and, in return, increase organic traffic.
For more search engine optimization tips, check out our free white paper, “Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in Four Easy Steps”