It’s a call we get at least once a week: “No one can find my website – can you help?” The fact of the matter is, website rankings are of huge importance to almost every business on the web. A website that can’t be found is like having a storefront without a sign or a front door – unless you know exactly where you’re going, you’ll never find it.
According to the Pew Research Center, in 2014, 87% of the U.S. population were internet users. Among the connected portion of the population, about 59% of adult users use to search engines on a regular basis. With these numbers only expected to rise, businesses have good reason to value where they rank on the search engines.
How To Do SEO
There are several factors that play a role in determining a website’s rankings on Google and other search engines. The four main ones are:
Search engine companies have made their fortunes by being able to direct searchers to content that most accurately relates to what they’re looking for. The algorithms search engines use to deliver results are incredibly complex and kept secret, which makes it difficult to know exactly how they rank pages. There are, however, a few tried and true SEO methods that can help you rise in the rankings.
1. Write Good and Relevant Content
Back in the early days of search engine optimization (SEO), many people resort stuffing their pages with every relevant keyword the could think of. This is a tactic known as “keyword stuffing.” Every key phrase that was even remotely close to what they wanted the page to rank for was spammed across the page. Many of the same words were repeated throughout the page, making the content boring and repetitive. Some would use what’s called the “hidden keyword method” so that users wouldn’t see all the spammy keywords but the search engines would.
Thankfully, a lot has changed since then. Search engines are much smarter now and no longer fall for these tricks. While it’s made doing SEO much more of a challenge, users have benefited from a dramatic improve in content quality on the web.
Whether you’re writing content for your website or uploading a video, creating good, relevant content for your website is key to ranking well on search engines. It doesn’t need you to win the Pulitzer, but it does need read well and stay on topic. Making sure you include your keywords is still important, but there’s no need to over do it. In fact, search engines will more than likely penalize your rankings for overusing keywords.
2. Use Original Content
Right now you may be saying to yourself: “I’m not a writer. I’m a business owner. I don’t have time to sweat over every word.” So instead of taking the time to write out your own pages, you decide to copy the content from someone else’s website and paste to yours. This is a big mistake. Not only is this copyright infringement, you are also putting yourself in a detrimental position with search engines.
Search engines today keep an eye out for duplicate content across the internet. Your site will be penalized for copying some else’s content. You can even go to Copyscape to see if someone else is using your content. So make sure that what you write is all your own.
3. Be Patient
The other elements of SEO are bit more technical and require some in-depth knowledge to fully understand. But we felt it was important to mention one other thing about SEO; it takes time. Just like in life, there is no magic bullet to ranking well on search engines. If there was, everyone would be doing it. Still, there are many techniques that can be used to improve your results if they are implemented regularly and kept consistent over time.Many companies are promising these unbelievable results for your website: “Be at the top in Google”, Reach Number 1 in the search engines Guaranteed” etc, etc.
Many business owners, however, lack the patience that’s needed to climb the search engine results page. Instead, many turn to SEO companies that promise them unbelievable results like: “Be at the top in Google” or “Reach #1 in the search engines, guaranteed.”
Look out for these guys. Any company that promises particular results in organic search engine rankings is almost always selling you a lie. Rankings in the main search results (organic rankings) are impossible to guarantee, no matter how good you are. As we just mentioned, if it could be guaranteed, then everyone would be doing it.
However, it’s still possible to have a company design and implement a well-thought out SEO plan that can bring you results over time. The takeaway here is that SEO has become a long-term investment that pays off through rising rankings and increased traffic. Every website should have SEO performed on it, but it shouldn’t be relied on as the ultimate means of success.