Search Engine Optimization, otherwise known as SEO, is a world of its own. Its waters can be challenging to navigate due to its crafty nature. It’s also moody and fickle, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it work to your advantage without delegating your SEO to outside sources. The key is to have it broken down into easy to understand language instead of some magical and mysterious abyss.

Do a Little Homework
Think about how you perform searches on Google then apply that to your website by making a list of three to four keywords or phrases that you would use to search for your business on Google. Ask friends and family how they would do the search as well.

Type the keywords/phrases into Google search and pay attention to where your page is ranking. If you’re going past the third to fifth pages in the rankings, stop right there. If you cannot find your website, then no one else is going to find it.

Pay attention to other businesses whose websites rank higher than yours. If they are your competition, you need to consider doing what they are doing to rank better.

Do away with the keywords/phrases that lower your ranking and use those that will lift you up. This is an ongoing process. Use this filtering system.

  • Low rank – Low competition: This is a good place to start. Using these key phrases properly can give you the edge.
  • Low rank – High competition: These cost more to compete with other websites, but these are ideal for piggy backing off of other higher ranking sites. Watch to see if they perform better.
  • Higher rank: Higher ranking keywords/phrases are your first and best line of defense always. These should be the phrases and terms you count on when your lower ranking keywords/phrases are not doing the job.

Check Your Description
Every website has a text description used to identify it for organic search purposes. This area of your site needs to contain the best ranking keywords/phrases. You may have to experiment with this process for a few weeks or even months before you see improvement, but it’s worth it.

Keyword Basics
Keywords should be used only once every 100 words. For instance, if you have a blog post or article with 300 words, use each keyword no more than three times throughout the content. Make sure it has good readability and flow or your readers will not be interested.

Review Your Page
SEO also involves using your keywords/phrases in your page titles, URL, and descriptions. Use these elements for optimal results:

  • Does it accurately describe what you are promoting or selling?
  • Is it attention-grabbing and aesthetically pleasing?
  • Does it provide the main concept of your website contents?
  • If you see two descriptions, compare them and decide which on you would choose.

Your page title, URL, and description should be formatted for ease of reading, attractive, and uniquely yours.

Keep Content Fresh
SEO isn’t a set it and forget it ideal. You’re trying to grow your audience, which means you have to keep evaluating and creating new relevant content on a regular basis. Textual content like blog posts and articles, videos, podcasts, and images are all types of content you need to be using. Don’t let it get old and outdated. Keep it maintained with fresh content every two or three days at least.

Don’t Be a Slow Poke
People are not patient when it comes to pages that load slowly. Whatever you can do to improve the speed of loading time for your website; do it. The speed at which your site loads will affect your ranking. Faster websites rank better and convert better. How can you fix loading problems?

  • Get rid of large landing page images.
  • Remove extraneous Javascript.
  • Reduce http redirects using sprites instead of little images.
  • Change your site hosting service to a faster service provider.
  • Use Google PageSpeed.
  • Look for a CDN (Content Delivery Service) to boost your speeds.

Don’t Forget to Register
Finally, don’t forget to register your website for Google Webmaster Tools. It takes a bit of time and effort, but if you want to make your website rank higher and your business grow, you’ll do it now, without hesitation! Even though Google knows what’s on your website whether you register or not, it’s still the best thing you can do for your website. You also have to follow the rules set out by Google, but you have to do that anyway to rank, so you have nothing to lose by registering.

So why register? The Google Webmaster Tool evaluates and analyzes your website and notifies you of issues and errors that you need to address and correct. When you make the changes for your site, your ranking will start moving up and that’s reason enough to register.