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The basics for page #1 search engine ranking

Updated: Nov 1, 2018

Five years ago, getting good ranking for your website, or a page on your website was a much less complicated affair than it is today, yet actually the changes in the Google algorithm and that of other major search engines only reflect the public's need for the simple matching of a search query to the most accurate and relevant results available.

It is therefore possible for most businesses to achieve a good ranking for their web pages, it takes some knowhow, but the most important aspect is to deliver the best possible information on a product or service, with enough good copy and a logical order of the elements on the page that ensure it is not penalised for breaches of good online etiquette.

One of the most recently talked about changes, is that of Google penalising sites that are not mobile friendly. This makes sense given that since early 2014 more searches are now made via mobile devices and tablets than desktop computers, so it naturally follows that a user will want websites that look good and navigations that they don't have to struggle with when viewing on a mobile device. Google want to keep up with this trend and so will now favour responsive web designs, i.e. ones where the information floats into different viewing formats so that links, scrolling and buttons can be managed by finger swipes and touches.

Aside from a mobile friendly website, that is virtually going to be a must within the next five years, what else can be done to get a good ranking on Google and the other major search engines?

Here are the top areas to get right, follow these and update your content regularly and you will have a much better chance of achieving a #1 page ranking.

1, Decide on your geographical catchment area. This matters alot as there is no point trying to get #1 ranking nationally if you only really need to attract customers in the local area. If your strategy is definitely local, that's good news as it's much easier to get local and regional ranking. Ensure you have a listing on G+ for your business and a Yell listing, both of these can get you a first page ranking, albeit indirectly, but the added traffic will help your rankings.

2, Ensure each of your pages has a good page title, this is the title of the page that appears in the top tab on your browser on roll-over, as opposed to a main headline on the page. A good title will have the main keyword or keywords for that page within it. it should be short and to the point and make sense. Don't repeat the same words and check all spelling is correct.

3, Ensure each page has a relevant meta description, this is the short snippet of information that appears in the search results on Google, but is not visible on the page of your website. A meta description should be short, under 140 characters and should include your main one or two keywords for that page. It should make sense to a reader and be appealing and informative.

4, Page headline - this is the visible main headline for the page, that is usually in bold or larger type, it should be be in a HTML font, so that search engines can crawl it. It should contain one or two of your main keywords. Again, don't repeat words and ensure it makes good sense to the reader for what the page is about.

5, Page body copy - Ideally, there should be 500+ words on the page that is a good write up for what the page is about. Keep the copy tight and keep checking that it is not running off at a tangent subject wise. It is probably natural that this copy will include some of your keywords but don't load the page with too many or it could be penalised. Keep in mind that the copy should ideally be a perfect match for what you think the reader would want to know about the product or service, so include features and benefits and make the copy persuasive so the page is more likely to convert to enquiries.

6, Images on the page should include image alt tags, these are the snippets of words that become visible when the image is rolled over. they should give a description of the image, and by definitiion this will usually include a keyword.

7, Have a page on your website that is a site-map, this is a good discipline for usability and is also rewarded by search engines. Remember that search robots love logical organisation of information that is easy to reference, so a site-map is a vaulable search engine optimisation tool.

8, Generation of backlinks - All of the above are onsite SEO techniques, but for more competitive business areas, it is also necessary to generate quality backlinks to your page. Google and other search engines consider your website to be of greater authority on a subject if you are linked to from other highly regarded websites, so in effect you are sharing some of their popularity. It's usually a good idea to buy in this service, as it can be time consuming contacting and liasing with bloggers and forums and then handling the liaison and negotiations that follow.

9, If you do have a regional or local strategy, then you will include references to your town or towns, cities that you operate in. this should be inluded on all the major pages particularly in the title tag, meta description and body copy of your page. Always ensure you do this with balance as you will be penalised for the repetition of words that affect the readability and relevance of the page.

10, Include an email sign-up on your site. This will enable you to build a prospect database of people genuinely interested in your products and services. As you generate good content to share you will then get better engagement and the possibility of further inbound links to your website, further strengthening the authority of your site in the online marketplace.

Want to discuss your own online strategy? need help with implementation? We are a full service marketing company, give us a call any time on 01772 378 330

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