If you want to optimize your online presence, get more traffic, and see more posts from your site at the top of search engine results the one rule or thumb you should follow is create Google friendly content!
Here are seven strategies guaranteed to improve your website’s search engine rankings and breathe new life into your online presence into 2013 and beyond.
1. Feed Your Website Quality Content
If you are not adding fresh content to your site, or if you have a website with very limited content, you are likely to drop in the ranks of Google while your competitors march ahead.
Go above and beyond with the posts you write, and include plenty of visuals.
Be as consistent as possible and try to post new content on a weekly basis, at the same time each week, if possible.
Write for readers, not search engines, and strive to create content that is so compelling that people have to share it.
2. Optimize Your Content for Search Engines
I recommend building out your blog on a self-hosted WordPress platform, and optimizing for SEO with the WordPress SEO by Yoast Plugin.
The beauty of Yoast’s SEO plugin over all others I have seen is that it makes it easy for on page keyword optimization gives a live preview of what your page snippet will look like in Google search results.
Below is a snapshot of what the Yoast SEO plugin widget section, which enables you to customize the way your snippet will appear in Google.
This plugin also enables you to choose a focus keyword and then does an instant scan of your post to see if your on page SEO is all in check.
2. Listen to Your Customers
Bad reviews on popular review sites and on your social media profiles can dent your image very badly.
So, you must be able to handle irritated customers with care, finesse and humility.
If potential customers get scared by negative reviews, you lose out on the chance to get more social shares, which in online marketing terms means, lesser traffic and a negative impact on your search rankings (social signals and shares will continue to play an important role in determining a site’s search engine rankings).
One way that you can hedge against bad reviews is no make it easy for people to recommend you. When you have a satisfied customer or client get them to leave positive feedback on Twitter or your Facebook page.
On Facebook you can encourage your fans to leave a recommendation directly on your timeline, or create a recommendations app where people can recommend you.
3. Focus on Improving Your Local Presence
Did you know that 97% of consumers search for local businesses online. Be there when they’re looking for you with Google Places for business – a free local platform from Google.
This means if you haven’t bothered with a Google Local listing yet, it’s time you did!
In fact you must look at creating business listings on other platforms relevant to your niche.
With Google Places you can get found on Google free of charge.
4. Invest in a High Quality Web Host
Yes, choosing the hosting company and plan for your Small business is crucial.
If you have a plan that gives your site dedicated hosting, that’s a good thing, since there are no other sites sharing an IP address with you there is no need to worry about other sites dragging down your search engine rankings.
It costs more for dedicated hosting, but if you can afford it, you should go for it!
Website speed is a factor in Google’s algorithm and dedicated hosting is much faster.
Choose a quality and reliable hosting company (I recommend Bluehost) to ensure your best chance of success.
5. Never Let Your Bounce Rate Go Up Up and Away!
Google and other search engines have started giving a lot of importance to user experience.
So, a high bounce rate would have a negative impact on your site’s rankings, since users spending less time on your website suggests, you don’t offer relevant content.
Poor loading speed of your site can also contribute to a high bounce rate.
How do you reduce your bounce rate? Make your website sticky with good content.
If your content is high quality and accessible people will naturally want to click around and explore the content you have to offer.
6. Keep Your Link Profile Squeaky Clean
Google hates link buying and getting into link networks (organized rings where websites link to one another to honor an agreement) because it manipulates page rank and SERPs results.
So, do your bit to make the search engine giant happy and focus on building natural links by creating engaging content, guest blogging on quality sites, and social sharing, etc.
Agreed, it’s a longer road, but it’s a safer and better one for long terms success.
7. Get Google+
If you do not have Google+ already you should take action and get it!
Once you have Google+ any articles you publish will have the option of being combined with Google Rich Snippets.
You can also get a free Google+ business page for your business or website.
With a Google Rich Snippet your author information will be displayed with the description of the article, and this has been shown to result in a 50% increase in article clicks!
Below is an example of what a Google Rich snippet looks like.
Lesson of the Day
The buzz is that a new Penguin update is on it’s way and this one is probably going to be bigger and meaner than the previous ones. So, the best way to ensure that your website has a good year is to steer clear of shady link building practices and stick to classic and clean white hat techniques. Good Luck!
About the Author
The author of the post Emma-Julie Fox writes blogs and quality content for a Canadian SEO company Pitstop Media. If you’d like to know about the company’s white hat SEO services, please visit www.pitstopmedia.com.