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Simple Website Tips to Increase Your Search Engine Rankings

Mar 27, 2008
Websites these days are an essential part of doing business. Every business should have one - they are as essential as a phone for business success.

But, when people look for you on the web, can they find you? When people are looking for your product or service, they generally don't enter the name of your company or your name into a search engine. They type in what they are looking for.

So they won't type in Mary Jones Premium Furniture, they will type in "leather lounge suites + Sydney".

It is not much use having a website if you are buried on page 250 of Google. Most people will look at maybe the top 5 results from a search engine - that is ideally where you need to be for your search terms.
I use the term Google although there are lots of other search engines as it is the main search engine people use.

Where you appear in search engines like Google is the result of a complex combination of information - but it is one which you have control over.

Here are my top 10 simple website tips to increase your search engine rankings.

1. Delete your flash front page. Flash is a type of coding that creates animated pages. Flash front pages are pretty, but will totally stuff your rankings on the search engines. The reason is search engines look at the front page of your website as the most important page in the whole site. They expect to find information about what the site is about and what it contains. Without words, the search engine spiders can't work out what the site is about. If you have a flash front page then delete it. You will see an almost instantaneous jump in your rankings.

2. Page titles are important. What you call each page is important. If you title your page "Home" you lose rank. Title your page with the most important words about your site. It doesn't even have to be a full sentence Leather Lounges | Lounge Suites | Lounges Sydney is more effective.

3. Clear keywords count. Know what business you are in and work out the words people who are looking for your product or service key in to find you. There are loads of tools both free and paid to help you do this. Keywords are put into what is called "metatags" at the top of your page. You don't see them unless you view the source code. Google is very secretive about whether they look at the keywords in the metatags - but some search engines still use them. Just make sure you use your words throughout your page and in your copy as well. Don't overdo it though otherwise you could fall foul of keyword abuse penalties.

4. Different keywords on each page. Each page on your website is different. You need to use the keywords that are relevant to each pages contents. If you use the same words throughout the site, you are costing search positions.

5. Avoid duplicate content. If the search engine thinks you have the same thing on different pages it won't index those duplicate pages. When it calculates whether or not you are duplicating content the spiders look at everything including your page template, pictures, format as well as words. Make sure each page is sufficiently different to avoid the duplicate content penalty.

6. Pictures have hidden messages. Each picture or graphic on your page needs to have an "alt" tag put in to help vision impaired people read your site (or to describe the content if someone has turned off all photos in their browser). You can use this to add in another keyword. So a photo on my site for example isn't just a "man" it is a "business development consultant".

7. Keep it fresh. Search engines like content that is fresh and updated regularly. Websites should never be set and forget - work out how you can add content in regularly. I have a blog and my newsletters. (I also constantly fiddle with bits of the site - sort of an occupational hazard!)

8. Inbound links. High quality inbound links are important. These can be links from higher ranking websites or blogs than you. The easiest way to do this is through articles and submitting them throughout online ezines. You can also comment on other's blogs and include a link back to your site or social bookmark your site.

9. Important stuff at the top. Google has a nasty habit of stopping at about 3 levels down which means your home page, the next page down and then the page below that. If you have good stuff buried down in your website it may not be found.

10. Keep your navigation clear. Google spiders want to see a logical flow of pages throughout your site. If it can't follow the flow it can't index your pages. Keep your navigation path clear and logical.

Improving your rankings can be as simple as following these 10 steps.
About the Author
Ingrid Cliff is a Freelance Copywriter, Business Development and Human Resources Consultant to Small Businesses with her business Heart Harmony. Ingrid writes a free weekly small business newsletter and Small Business Ideas blog for small businesses.www.heartharmony.com.au
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