3 Easy Ways to Improve Your Search Engine Rankings

2013 is upon us and everyone is looking to make changes to ensure a successful and prosperous year so here is a list of three easy ways you can improve your search engine rankings with just a few changes to your web site.  The easiest, but most often overlooked, way to move above your competition is to simply tell the search engines what your website is all about and this is done by having a quality page title, meta description and custom page name for every page of your website.

What is the page title and why is it important?
Every web page should have a unique “page title” because this is what search engines display in search results as the main description of that page.  A page title should grab attention and accurately describe the content so visitors know what they’re about to click on.  Including your main search phrase in your page title should come naturally as this should be the most concise way to describe what that page is about.  When users search for your main target phrase and it is in your page title then your web site becomes a more relevant result for that search and you should appear higher in the search results than websites that lack the phrase in their title.

What is the page description and who sees it?
You can enter a “meta description” for each page of your website to further describe what people can expect to see when visiting that page of your web site.  While visitors don’t generally ever see the page description, it does play an important role in how visitors see you in the search engine results.  If you have your primary search phrase included in your page description, as you should, and that is what someone is searching for then a snippet of your description will be shown in the search results just below the other site information.  You can use the description to further encourage searchers to click your link by reminding them of special deals or services you’re offering.

Do custom page names really matter?
While it can seem like a pretty minor piece of the search engine optimization puzzle, a custom page name can be the extra push that gets you onto the first page of results.  Just like the title and description, the page name further reinforces the theme of the page by describing what it is about, an example would be something like, custom_silver_jewelry.html.  Search engines like to see descriptive page names and will include the full url in the search result so visitors can easily tell what they’re about to surf to.

Below is a sample of search results for the phrase “dog boots” and you can see how the top results have made use of this strategy.  The larger blue text is taken from the page title, the green text is the page url and the black text is the meta description.  Notice how the target search phrase, “dog boots,” is included in a natural way and not simply repeated.  Repeating your target phrase too much can be viewed as spam and can actually hurt your efforts so just stick with what sounds natural and descriptive.

search engine results example

 

So how do you make these changes to your website?
The InstantEcom content management tools allow you to easily update this information for any of your pages by simply going to your “my pages” area and click on “properties” for whichever page you need to edit.  That’s it!  I highly recommend you take the time to update this information for all the pages of your website but especially your homepage as this is the most important page in terms of search engine visibility and relevance.  If you have lots of pages to update then start with the ones in your main menu and then tackle a few a day after that until you’ve caught up, it’s time well spent and will get you one step ahead of the competition.