Paid listings, referred to as Pay-Per-Click (PPC), are advertisements that bear resemblance to the organic listings. Sometimes they appear at the top of the main column and/or in the right-hand column. Google identifies them with an icon that says “ad.” The great thing about organic search rankings are that they are free. If you improve organic search rankings, you are marketing your product on search engines for free. So, why not improve organic search rankings.
Ready to begin to improve organic search rankings?
1. Make sure to list your site in search engines to improve organic search rankings.
For your website to get ranked in search engines, it must first be found by them – Google most importantly. Yahoo! and Bing share the same search results and are both powered by Microsoft’s Bing search engine.
There are at least three ways to get listed in Google:
- Submit your site’s URL via Webmaster tools (this is the easiest way).
- Submit your site to “Places for Business.” (We’ll talk more about this in point #5.)
- Create a sitemap (See #7 for details on creating a site map.)
Bing’s site submission process is simple, requiring only that you input the URL of your website into a form.
2. Determine the best keywords to use on your site to improve your organic search rankings.
This tip comes courtesy of Business2Community.com.
- Open up an Excel document and create three columns: Page, URL, Target Keyword.
- Go to your website and list the top 25 pages in your site in the first column.
- Next to each page, copy and paste the corresponding URL in the adjacent column.
- Next to each URL, type in the keyword phrase(s) you want to target for that particular page.
If you are unsure about which keywords to use, Google’s Keyword Planner tool can help.
3. Add metadata to your site pages to improve organic search rankings.
Metadata is information about the website that appears in the header portion of the page; the part only search engines see. Every page is an opportunity to lure in a visitor and should, therefore, have its own unique metadata. Metadata is a great way to improve organic search rankings because they tell search engines what your pages are about. When a search engine knows what a page is about, it can serve it to the correct audience.
Metadata is categorized into individual meta tags, each of which include unique bits of information. There are two to consider:
Title tag: This is perhaps the most important meta tag. It’s what search engines use to determine the title of your page and is the first thing people notice when they conduct a search. As such, it should definitely be optimized with keywords. Not too many mind you, but a few. Use keywords that are unique to each page.
Meta description tag: This provides a brief description of your page and is the content people see when they do a Google search. Some suggest description tags have little impact on search engine ranking but they are significant in that can influence whether a person clicks on your listing in search engine results.
Another important piece of metadata are “alt tags” (“alt” stands for “alternative text”), which are added to images on your site. You should do this for two reasons. First, it’s required by law that images be identified so that those with visual handicaps can “read” them using a page scanning device that interprets the content on the page and reads it aloud to the person. Second, and more to the point of this post, you can add keywords to these tags in order to optimize them for search.
4. Create a Google Webmaster account.
Google Webmaster tools provides a free and easy way to make your website more Google-friendly. It enables you to see your website the way Google sees it:
- View which of your pages are included in Google’s index;
- See any errors encountered while Google attempted to crawl or database your site;
- Find search queries that list your site as a result;
- Find out which sites link to yours.
5. Sign up with local listing directories such as Google, Local, Superpages, and others.
This is especially important if your business depends on local or regional traffic.
There are several local sites you will want to add your business to:
Google Places for Business – Formerly know as Google Places, Google recently updated this site and added more features.
This is critical because it adds additional information about your business to Google.com search, Google Maps, and other Google properties. If you do nothing else, do this.
Other local directories you’ll want to add your site to include:
6. Set Up Google Analytics.
Google Analytics is a free web analytics solution that provides insights into your website traffic and, if applicable, online conversions. It is relatively easy to implement and provides many benefits to your online marketing initiatives.
Google analytics provides insight into a site and its visitors including:
- Keywords and search engines used to find the site;
- Geographic location of visitors (based on IP address);
- Pages viewed and path that visitors take through the site;
- The number of new and repeat visitors.
7. Add a sitemap.
A sitemap is a hierarchical list of pages of a web site. It is basically a map that enables search engines to crawl your entire site quickly and easily. A sitemap also gives the search engines direction on how often the website is updated so they will know how often to come back and re-index the site.
Here’s an example of what the Bizzuka sitemap looks like.
8. Start a blog to improve organic search rankings.
Blogs are important for two reasons. First, they help communicate your company’s message to customers and prospects in a more personal manner. Second, a keyword-optimized, frequently updated blog will help your increase your exposure on search engines. If you want to improve your organic ranking, then you'll want to create your own unique content that will rank.
So, by all means, consider starting a blog.
9. Social media
Although many think that social media is a place to personally hangout online, you can find your future customers online. If your website has social signals, like social share buttons, then you're more likely to have someone share your blog content with others. A share and a like are like votes. If someone likes your content, they're recommending it to their friend. When their friends are in the marketing for your products, then they'll remember a friend's recommendation. Adding social sharing buttons is a quick way to encourage word-of-mouth advertising.
10. Core Vitals
Website core vitals are a new search engine optimization strategy that you can't ignore. Search engines are getting smarter, and they know when a user has a poor experience on a site because they bounce, that is leave the site. If your improve the overall user experience on your site (page speed, images, content, text, etc.) then you will organic search rankings. Search engines like sites with well optimized core vitals, and if your site has strong core vitals, then you'll rank better than a site that is not optimized this way.
You can use these 10 tips to start optimizing your site right away. However, if this sounds like more work that you care to tackle, Bizzuka can help. Contact one of our SEO specialists today to learn more.