Top 5 Tips to Improve Your Search Engine Rankings

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Everyone wants to rank better in Google, but few people know how to do it.  Well in this post I will give you my top 5 tips to improve your search engine rankings.  The subject of search engine optimization is complex and is usually based on more theory then fact.  The reason for this is Google does not divulge exactly what their search algorithm is, therefore nobody really knows.  Sure, there are experts out there that speculate on how they choose who ranks #1, but the truth is nobody knows for sure except people on the inside.  If you use the internet as much as I do you start to notice what works and what doesn’t.


Top 5 Tips to Improve Your Search Engine Rankings

picture of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and search engine rankings

1. Write for Humans Not Robots

A lot of websites out there will just throw up junk keyword stuffed blogs and attempt to rank on the first page.  This strategy worked well in the 90’s during the early days of the World Wide Web, but the artificial intelligence has gotten smarter.  If you write junk blogs you will have high bounce rates and other issues that will show to the search gods that your content sucks.  The trick is to put out less content, but put out better content that is well written and specific to your niche.  This means you will actually have to put in effort and write posts people will want to read.  If your not a good writer I highly suggest either learning to write good by taking classes, or hiring out content writers with sites like Elance and others.  You can even buy niche related well written content from people on the web.


2. Keyword Research is Critical

I have found over the years the keywords you think are the best for your website may not be the words people actually search.  This is why it is important to do keyword research prior to starting your website and adding content.  Google makes a great tool for this called Keyword Research Tool and AdWords.  This will allow you to see what the most popular search terms are and position your site correctly.  Remember, short phrases might not be possible to rank for because the competition may be too high.  This means you should find “long tail” keyphrases that have less competition and will convert better.  For instance, if someone is searching “Paleo Diet” they might be just researching the diet and not interested in buying anything.  If someone is searching “Buy Paleo Diet Instructional DVD” they are most likely more interested in buying.  This might also be a less competitive term so you win both ways.  This will allow you to rank for this keyword easier than the shorter version.


3. Fill Out Your Google Business Listing

This seems simple, but Google has changed their Google+ area so many times that it can be confusing.  The best way to do this is to make a Gmail account, then Google+, then Google Page.  Once you find the area to set up a business listing then add your photo, address, phone number, pictures, and hours of operation.  If your a local company and have a physical address this will allow you to be listed on the map when people search in your area.  If the competition for your niche is low you may also appear locally in the Google 7 Pack listings.  This will also enable customers to leave reviews about your product and service.  There are techniques you can use to get your listing to #1 in the google pack but those are too complicated to explain in this blog.  If you interested in having this done you could hire one of the best Portland seo services and they will add citations for you.  The general rule of thumb is the more citations you have, the better you will rank in the listings.


4.  Become an Expert in Your Niche

The internet is all about niches, which is different then how you would position yourself in a small town.  In a small community you would create a store that’s more general and caters to many different niches.  If you tried to be very specific in your niche you might only have a few people in the town interested in your products.  If you did a general store catering to many different preferences then you probably will have a bigger customers base.  The internet is more like a really big city.  Since the internet is world wide people go there and expect to find their exact interest represented.  The big companies like Amazon, Ebay, and Overstock have already taken over the general market.  If you want to slice of the pie then you must get specific and carve our your own niche.  These niches can be found in areas the giants too big to care about.  For instance, I like the health food segment because it’s a growing market and a lot of the big companies haven’t focused in on it yet.  What ever you do the most important thing is to become an expert and bring value to you customers.


5. Use Photos and Videos to Rank

More and more photos and videos are playing a larger roll in the world wide web.  Some people are just plain too lazy to read a long blog and instead prefer to watch a video so they can just watch and listen.  This is why I love to make videos that explain a subject like a blog post but instead it’s spoken word.  I know for me personally when I get home at the end of the day I prefer to go into a vegetative state and watch videos.  The other factor to consider is internet speeds are getting quicker and in the future video will play a larger roll.  The key to using video and photos to rank your webpage is to tag them correctly.  I prefer to tag my photos before I upload them because studies show the Google spider is crawling this information for text also.  I deploy the same strategy for videos by naming and tagging them before I upload them on to YouTube or Vimeo.

That’s my list of the top 5 tips to improve your search engine optimization and beat your competition.  If you interested in more advice keep reading this blog as I may give away another marketing secret soon.  You can also follow the Portland SEO Twitter for daily tips for smart webmasters.  If this blog seemed too complicated for you it’s probably best for you to search out a qualified and professional SEO company in your area.



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