How to Legitimately Boost Your Website's Search Ranking for Free in Just Two Weeks
You can have the most beautifully designed site, bursting with useful information, but if no one can see it then it’s not worth its hosting fee. Luckily, there are hundreds of tips and tricks out there to (legitimately) boost your site’s ranking on Google and the other search engines. Here is a pick of the best:
1. Text is Best
Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft and the rest of the search engine crew categorize your site by ‘spidering;’ sending out small robots called spiders to read your site’s Hypertext Mark-up Language (HTML). In other words, they read text. In light of this, you must never, ever use a single picture, flash image or animation as the front page of your website. Doing this in effect puts up a wall between you and the search engine trying to read your site. In general, when it comes to websites, simple is best. Don’t believe me? Checkout the websites of some top blue chip companies such as General Electric and Walmart and you’ll rarely find some fancy animation - just plain old text and images.
2. Don’t forget those key-phrases
So you have a nice chunk of text on your front page, job done right? Wrong. The text you have on your site – particularly your front page – is possibly the most important factor in determining where you rank in search engines. Here we enter into the world of ‘keywords’ words users type into a search engine when searching for something, (although since recent research has shown that people, on average, type three words when searching, a better description for this is ‘key-phrase.’) It is essential that your website has the right key-phrases for its subject. How do you find this out? Well, one way is to use Google’s free Adwords tools to see which words people use when searching in your category. Using this tool, you can also check the websites of your competitors to see which key-phrases generate their traffic. If they have a particularly popular key-phrase, then add it to your site. The rest of your key-phrases are normally found through trial and error, asking your users, and plan old common sense. For example, which words would you type when searching for your site-category? The beauty of the websites is that if something is not working, then it’s easy to modify, so don’t be afraid to experiment.
3. Links from other sites
Search engines have realised that link popularity is a great way of determining the relevance and quality of a site. Therefore, the more links you have to your site, the more important your site will be considered. Beware, however, because not all links are equal. If the site linking to you has a lot of other sites linking to it (such as news sites or Wikipedia), it will be deemed more important by search engines, giving its links greater value. Equally, if a page has a lot of links-out to other sites such as web directories, search engines will downgrade the importance of a link to your site.
4. Meta data
Meta data (your site’s description, and key-phrases embedded within its HTML) is not considered so important these days, as search engines find content a much more accurate way to categorize a site. However, it’s still important to keep this updated, particularly your site description, which can often be seen in the search engine result pages (SERPS). If you don’t know HTML , get an expert to help you.
5. Deep linkage
Internal links – particularly from the front page - help your site get categorized right the way through as spiders use links to find other pages. It’s a great technique, however don't add too many as search engines will place less importance on each link.