There are very many ways to improve your search engine ranking position, and for this reason it is key to work to a strategy that is both focused and achievable.  New businesses and those small businesses  can often feel that there  is little they can do to improve their Google listing and get  their content found, however this is not true; with a focus on both on-page and off-page factors you can do better than larger,  more established businesses.

 

I came across an outstanding " Periodic Table of SEO Ranking Factors courtesy of Searchengineland whihc outlines the on-pgae and off-page factors that are critical to get right. Whilst many may prefer to outsource the more laborious and time consuming off-page work to SEO consultants, the on-page work can certainly be done by a solo player and I have summarised the steps to take below. Please  also  click on the link below to read the full context  of the  SEO Periodic Table and view  it  on the site

 

The Periodic Table of SEO Ranking Factors used with permission

Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Ranking factors New site? 5 Rock Solid Strategies to Get Your Content  Found

 

5 Rock Solid Strategies to Get Your Content Found

 


aps banner 125x125 New site? 5 Rock Solid Strategies to Get Your Content  Found

1. Content


Your content must have pages which are well written with high quality  text. The text itself will contain your keywords that you wish to rank for.  Search engines serve up a link to an entire page, so the page is a key unit that needs to be properly thought through. Generally speaking each page should deals with a major content area. So, if you  have a range of products, each should be on its own page to rank well. This way the density of the relevant keywords within the page is much higher.

Within each page, you need to structure your content to reinforce the main messages it contains. Google tends to give more weighting to the top 25% and bottom 25% of any page. When it comes to deciding if a page is relevant, keywords in these prime locations will outrank those in the middle. Therefore make sure your main, keyword-dense messages are near the top and the bottom.

You can use various plugins to reduce your bounce rate and increase engagement. For example I use the YARPP plug in to encourage further browsing on this site. The more important factor is to have plenty of very relevant content so your visitors cannot help but stay on your site. There are of course exceptions to this rule.

Update your content regularly, once a day is ideal but consistency is the key.

 

2. HTML Tags

HTML's purpose is to describe the meaning of your content as opposed to the appearance-. It is really key to have at least a basic level of HTML . The <1> or Heading 1 tag is meant to indicate the most important tag on your page. So, Google will give extra weighting to the text here. Your main heading, the <h1> heading needs to include your most important keywords- if you want to write a heading that doesn't contain your keywords you can give it a different tag, using the <h1> for a more direct piece of copy. Google gives less weight to <h2> tags and even less to <h3> tags.

As a rule of thumb make sure you have only one <h1> tag on your page, fewer <h2> tags than <h3> tags and so on. Also , make sure your subhjeads contain relevant keywords too.

 

3. Image Links

Images impact on SEO. The alt element of the <img> tag- a piece of text attached to an image is used by screen-reader software to describe images to users who cannot see them, so it is pretty important for accessibility.

When your page is visited by a Google spider, every text element is read. The spider sees the text part of an <img> tag as text so it is important to add your keywords to an alt element which will help to increase the page's keyword density. 

Adding your keywords to the URL of an image will also increase keyword density at tno cost. All you do is change the filenames of your images to include your keywords, inserting hyphens between words.

 

4. Metadata  And Title tags

The bottom line is that meta tags have next to no impact on your search engine ranking.  That said, the meta tag that you do need to include is the 'Description'. This may not improve your ranking per se, however wht it does is give you control over how your site appears in the search results. All the main search engines use this tag as the text that appears beneath the site link. 

Without a meta description tag, what will happen is that the search engines will simply grab some of the content of the page itself and use that instead. What is good is that whatever keywords the searcher has typed in will appear in bold in the description section of the results making your site appear more relevant and therefore more likely to produce a click.

 

Title tags are essential to get right. The title tag is placed in the <head> part alongside the meta tags and has two benefits. The first is that whatever you tyype here will appear in the browser title bar. Also search engines use the contents of the title tag as the title of your listing.

I use Chrome as my main browser, which places the title tag  at the top of the " tab"  of each page it displays.

Search Engine Lands Title Tag New site? 5 Rock Solid Strategies to Get Your Content  Found

 

Including your main keywords in your title tag will boost your organic ranking.

 

5. Incoming  Links

The three main criteria used by search engines to rank sites are relevance,  the age of the site and the qualitiy of the links on the site.

By acquiring links from other relevant sites you will improve your ranking significantly. Here are some additional tips to help you in the early days:

 

1.      This one’s for the very brave.  If you have a blog, write a controversial piece. Pick on  the views or statements of high-profile people, popular websites or brands. I am not brave. But it seems to work when others do it!

2.      If you are just starting your link-building campaign, begin with links from already established and trusted sites. Pay for a directory submission in Yahoo! BOTW etc. DMOZ is a good free one- the granddaddy of them all but it will take longer to get listed here. I have recently tried out a directory called LookUpPage.com which allows you to add as many links to your blog as you like- for free. There are of course Pro (aka paid) options. Write a short blurb about yourself or your blog and make sure you, link to all your affiliated sites including the social media platforms you are on.

3.     A suggestion  given to me recently is to register with ComLUV.Com and download their plugin. Then use the Global ComentLuv Search to find relevant blogs to comment on. It should return a number of recent posts that will be sent back when you comment on a CommentLuv enabled site, most of which are dofollow blogs. This again will mean dofollow links back to your most recent posts. It is also worth offering to write a guest post for a complementary blog, again with a link back to your site.

4.      Whilst on the subject of commenting, head down to YouTube, find relevant videos in your niche and comment on them with a link of course back to your blog. These YouTube videos are in receipt of thousands upon thousands of views.

5.      When looking for link building possibilities, do not be overly focused on the page rank of the site as there are so many factors that play into that. A highly respected internet marketing  chum of mine suggests a better way forward: to find out if a website is an authority website, find a couple of article titles on that blog and then search for those titles in Google. If the website appears on the first page, it’s a quality website. I recently Googled one of the articles on my blog ‘Four steps to a Content Strategy that really works’ – and guess what…

6.      Have share buttons at the bottom of every piece you write to make it easy for others to pass your content on. I use Addtoany.com.

7.      Make it your mission to get an .edu link or a .gov link. I am told these carry a bit more authority than your run of the mill links. A tip I was recently given (which only works if you are an existing member of a college) is to get a personal page on the University or College’s domain and link back to your site. Sounds a bit like cheating though!  SEOmoz wrote an interesting piece on this you might want to have a look at:  “ten ways to earn an .edu  link”

8.      Another tip which has worked for many people I have spoken to calls for a little of your creative genius (or bought creative genius if you are challenged in that department). Design an error 404 page that will make your visitors smile, laugh or cringe to such an extent that they have to share the page with others. (So you will need sharing buttons on this page). Or make sure that your 404 page redirects your visitor back to a main page. Google ‘funny 404 pages’ for some ideas-you’ll be inspired!

9.      A cyberspace chum of mine focuses on one or two important forums to be active on. If you are not time challenged this is another good strategy for your link building as you can usually put a link to your website or blog in your signature.  Try the forum on Bitsythis, owned by the amazing Emma Jones, small business expert and founder of Enterprise Nation – particularly if you are a service provider, or WeCanDo which is another good one. Commitment is the key to make this strategy work however, so if you do not have the time but can delegate this task, do so!

10.  This last one is one that I am currently working on. How about creating a template related to your business? Create a template for any free CMS system such as WordPress or Joomla. You do not have to be a designer as you can hire someone to build you a template. The advantage of doing this comes from having your branding somewhere on the template, for example at the footer that will stay on all the websites that use that footer. The more creative and attractive the template the more likely it is that others will want to use it. Try companies such as Elance.com to help with ideas, if not the creation of your template.

 How about  outgoing links? They are important too but do not carry the same weight as links pointing to your site. An easy tip is to link an article to a related authority site, as I have done in this post, (searchengineland.com) eg Wikipedia and such like.

 

What are your tips for new businesses who need to get their content found? Email us to share best practice- we'd love to hear from you!

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Member benefits include: It's free! Automatic entry into our Business Directory to legitimate subscribers, our "Getting Started With Internet Marketing" e-book pack delivered to you by email

PLUS An email a day for seven days with tips to help you : Increase traffic to your site, Increase subscribers and raise the profile of your business: Get the results you deserve now!

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ABOUT

Ihubbusiness is an information hub for small businesses who wish to learn about internet marketing. The site was founded by Lola Bailey in 2010. Lola is a member of the Institute of Digital Marketing and has over 20 years sales and marketing experience. She is also a full-time copywriter at www.write-upcommunications.co.uk, a copywriter consultancy which she founded. Email: editor@ihubbusiness.co.uk

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