How to improve your site’s search engine ranking

Want to improve your website’s search engine ranking?SEO

Don’t we all? Improving your website’s search engine ranking is the Holy Grail of modern business: getting found among the internet clamour. Even getting into the top 100 is hard enough; I was pleased to discover my site ranks 91st for content marketing – but that still puts me on about page 8 of Google’s list.

However, my ranking has risen from down in the low 200s since I started blogging regularly, which is why that’s reason number 4 for doing content marketing.

[I’ve also been doing a bit of work recently on other search engine optimisation (SEO) stuff like META tags, with help from a very useful site called Positionly. You can get a 14-day free trial and check out how your site stacks up for your main keywords; it also tells you about any SEO problems it spots, such as keywords not appearing in your META data. It’s another great place to spend several hours, tweaking, but it’s all good for your business so it doesn’t count as faffing 😉 ]

But it’s the regular updating that blogging provides that has helped me rise up the ranks. That and useful, relevant content. Google’s “bots” like both and reward sites accordingly. They’re not interested in content of less than 300 words, so that should be your absolute minimum word-count for a blog, but they’re happy with several thousand if you want to spread yourself on a good meaty subject. They like visual content too, so don’t forget those images – and you can use an infographic instead of words, if you want, as long as it has enough content.

Google has developed its bots to “think” like your readers, so all sorts of things like keyword relevance have changed. I’ll go into more detail about that in a future blog, but the short of it is that they’re looking for text that reflects a keyword rather than necessarily having to find the word itself.

It used to be that you’d get your keywords in as often as you could, whether the result read well or not (aka “keyword stuffing”). That’s now seriously frowned upon, and can even get your website relegated to the Sunday League. There are still a lot of people around who think that’s what’s needed, and they’re the bane of copywriters’ lives!

Relevant, interesting content is what’s needed now. And, as I said, regular updates to give people (and bots) a reason for checking into your site often. Hence the popularity of blogging, and the reason for hosting your blog on your website if it’s relevant to your business. By all means keep a personal one separate, but do make sure your business blog is on your business website or it will only confuse both the bots and your readers.

So your content marketing doesn’t just attract and help your current and future customers. It grabs the bots’ attention, too. They don’t just notice your blog, they pick up on articles on LinkedIn, stuff you share on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and all other written media. I’m not sure whether they listen to podcasts – perhaps you can enlighten me on that? But the more relevant, interesting and visual stuff you write and publish, as long as it points back to your website, the better they’ll like it and you, and the higher your star will rise.

So what are you waiting for? Get publishing!