How to improve your website ranking without paid SEO?
Having your website rank in a search engine has been a hot topic for as long as I can remember. Getting visitors to your website is one of the most important aspects of an online presence. Therefore, improving the ranking of websites has emerged as a new business model and there are a lot of players promising the world. This new industry is all to do with SEO, Search Engine Optimisation.
What is “Search Engine Optimisation”?
Search engine optimisation is the process of “optimising” a website so that popular search engines will list the website closer to the top of their results for keywords or search terms.
How SEO has changed
When I first started building websites in the mid 90’s, search engine algorithms were simplistic. If a search engine detected that a website mentioned a particular keyword a lot, that website would rank higher for that word.
Obviously, this made is easy for charlatans to cheat the system and exploit the search engine metrics. Tactics included keyword stuffing, white text on a white background not seen by visitors but by the search engine; keyword spamming of meta data and page content; link building pages implemented to gain back links to real websites. These tactics were often employed by dishonest SEO agencies, and unbeknown to their clients damaging online reputation.
To mitigate this, search engine providers developed more sophisticated algorithms to determine which sites were genuinely the best results to return. Now we find ourselves without a set list of strictly defined tasks but a loose set of rules regarding best practices. Unfortunately, far too many SEO providers are promising the world and charging you for the privilege of attempting to get there.
Useful content is key
To legitimately increase the ranking of your website you need to improve your content. You need to have useful information about your products and services that will engage visitors to come back to your website. It is important to analyse your keywords and mention these keywords within your content in a useful way.
There is no way to trick the search engines into ranking your website higher. You need to create content that is relevant, include information that is engaging and products and services that are useful. Improving the quality of your website for the people that are looking for what you offer will increase the ranking of your website. They will stay longer, and search engines will notice. This is a signal to them that your website has valuable information and should be recommended to their users.
The importance of maintenance
To improve or even maintain your website’s position in search engine results you need to implement a regular review. You need to analyse what is working, keep your content up-to-date and actively nurture your presence online. Think of it this way; if you had a physical shop would you never change the window display, review the stock, or update your pricing? I am guessing not, therefore your website should be treated no differently.
If search engines can see that your website is being actively maintained, they are more likely to consider it is more up-to-date than other alternative websites that have been static for long periods.
Useability is crucial
Like your content, the performance and useability of your website can affect your search engine results. If your website is over five years old and hasn’t had a lot of maintenance, it is highly likely it will be difficult for the end user to navigate. A well-made website built with the end user in mind will improve your search engine results.
There is another way
Instead of throwing money away on SEO, focus on your marketing and branding. Put this money towards a marketing or advertising campaign that has a purpose and will deliver results.
Investing in your branding allows you to define how your business or organisation is perceived. As you build brand awareness and more people engage with your brand, traffic to your website will increase organically. Search engines like Google will notice the increased traffic and start ranking you higher.
Through the development of good marketing material, you can build trust and educate consumers about who you are and what you do. Trust has not been established when someone visits your website because they found you at the top of the search results.
How we can help
- Review and improve your website content
- Use of your chosen keywords in an informative way
- Develop a website for the user experience so time on your website increases
- Implementation of a regular review to ensure content, framework and functionality is up to date
- Development of on brand marketing material for social media, campaigns, and advertisements
“Our business is over 22 years old and a leader in its field. We have had many consultants offer services over the years, mostly style over substance. Fiona’s experience and expertise really cut through and we were able to map out a plan after our initial consultation.”
Spend your money on marketing rather than on SEO. Let people know your Unique Value Proposition. Search engines want to deliver content that is useful and appealing to their users. Investing in a strong consistent brand, professionally developed marketing material and a well-built website will have visitors spending more time on your website and reading your content.
Have a question? We are here to help improve the online presence of your business, give us a call.
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