Increasing SEO – Search Engine Optimization
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and refers to the art of modifying and optimizing a website in order to improve its rankings on search engines. When referring to increasing their SEO, what most people mean is, how to increase search engine ranking. Search engines rank sites based on a number of different factors including the following:
- On-site optimization
- Off-site optimization
- Social recognition
How To Increase SEO With On-site Optimization
On-site optimization refers to the steps taken to improve the content of the website as well as user experience and search engine readability. Search engines are extremely appreciative of quality, unique content. Giving clear explanations, helpful information, and descriptive terms via the website’s content and verbiage will help search engines identify what it is that you do and what key terms to list you under.
Also, search engines will consider the user experience; search engines will rank the sites higher than they think the searcher will prefer. User experience has to do with fast page-load times, clear and grammatically correct verbiage, no broken links, no misguided information, factual statements, and helpful information.
Finally, there is search engine readability which means, how well search engines are able to read your site. This has to do with setting up a sitemap, robot.txt, and internal linking. A sitemap is used to list every page of the site, kind of like a website’s blueprint so that search engines are easily able to find all the pages. A robot.txt file is used to communicate to the search engines which pages they should ignore, such as login pages or admin pages. Internal linking is used to link between different pages on the site, such as related content or articles and is an effective way to improve your search engine ranking.
How To Increase SEO With Off-site Optimization
Off-site optimization refers to the work done outside of the actual website you’re trying to optimize and primarily deals with backlinking. Backlinking is the method of creating links from other sites that direct to your site. In the past, search engines considered backlinks the highest level of authority in search engine ranking, resulting in thousands of different spamming methods being created. SEO companies would create programs that would automatically spam thousands of websites in the form of links that are all directed back to their own site. This would increase SEO ranking significantly, and very quickly, but fortunately, search engines caught on to this and now give backlinks a much lower preference.
Backlinks now only help to increase your SEO rank when they appear to be valid, non-spam, link references. For instance, if your company is featured in an online magazine that links to your website, that is considered a valid, quality backlink. Or, perhaps, you are a writer and you volunteer to write for a blog or news site and create a valid link referencing helpful information from your site, that would be a valid backlink.
When creating backlinks though, you want to avoid spam linking, like the plague, as it will severely decrease your SEO rankings. Never buy backlinks, and don’t create backlinks from a bunch of forums. The best backlinks are the ones that come naturally, such as your previous customers recommending your services by linking to you.
How To Increase SEO Rank With Social Recognition
Social media, while not as influential in regard to search engines, is a great way to brand your business, increase exposure, and bring traffic to your website, all the while slightly helping to increase your SEO rankings. Social media recognition consists of creating social business profiles for your company on sites such as Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and others, and then sharing information and keeping your clients updated on your business. Most social media services are free to use and are a great way to share updates, promotions or deals, or helpful information with your audience.
While it’s great to keep your customers informed and spread promotions, you also want to avoid spamming. Constantly adding posts to your Twitter or Facebook news feed will likely anger your followers and drive them to stop following you. Search engines also like to see that you are offering useful information and beneficial deals to your customers while updating on a regular but non-excessive basis.
SEO Ranking & Age
The least important factor of SEO ranking is age; this refers to not only the age of your domain name but the age of your website content. The longer that you’ve had your domain name and website online, the better it looks for you as search engines would prefer to list a company that has been around for a long time in an attempt to prevent fly-by-night companies from ranking on top.
Content ranking refers to when you post new content on your site in relation to similar content posted elsewhere. If, for instance, you hear something on the news that directly applies to your industry and you create a blog article on your site talking about that news release, then a week later several other sites also create posts about that news release, your website is going to get more credit for being the first person to talk about it.
Need Help With Increasing Your SEO Ranking?
There are quite a few very simple things you can do to help increase your SEO rank, but when attempting to compete against a competitive market it can be extremely difficult. Search engine optimization suddenly becomes a full-time job and requires years of expertise. For that reason, many companies will turn to an experienced SEO company to provide the expert service of search engine optimization.