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How to improve your website's search engine ranking

If your website appears close to the top of page one of search engine results your website or blog will receive a considerable number of visitors.  If your website appears on pages 2,3, etc. of search results, traffic to your site from the search engine will be negligible—and so will the money you might earn from the site.  So the goal of every website owner should be to increase traffic to his/her site by improving search engine results page ranking.  

What is search engine ranking?

Each search engine (Google, Yahoo, All the Web, Bing, Baidu, etc.) has electronic ‘bots’ that constantly search for new or updated websites on the internet.  Each search engine also has its own algorithm—its own formula--to determine how high or low it will rank your website or blog after the electronic bot has found it and retrieved the information on the site. (Bots are also called spiders or crawlers.)

What search engines want.

Here are general rules of thumb regarding what search engines consider when determining how high your website or blog will rank on the search results pages.  It is all done automatically.  No one is sitting in front of a computer screen in Silicon Valley making "Good", "Great", or "Awful" search engine ranking decisions.

1.  Develop a good website focused on a topic that is unusual, local, or with a new angle.  You want to avoid writing on a topic that thousands of people are already writing about.   Say, for example, you plan to write about "fun things to do near Omaha".  The first thing you should do is to do a search on Google, Yahoo and Bing (the Big Three search engines) to see how many other people are already writing about recreational activities and events in Nebraska.  Maybe you discover there are already a few websites on that topic.  So then you know what your competition is and can decide whether or not to proceed. 

2.  Write about one topic per page or per blog post. Using "fun in Omaha" as an example again, your reviews of golf courses in the Omaha area may include one page that lists all the courses with links to separate pages for each golf course.  And include details, such as costs, winter and summer hours, course layout, golf shop, etc.

3.  Frequently update or add to your website or blog.  Search engines all want the newest information to appear on their results pages, so make sure your website is always up to date.  Every time you revise your website, the bots will come to it and snap up the new information or new photos for their listings.

4.  Search engines rank photos separately from the written content of websites and millions of people search those separate photo listings every day.   So include clear, good quality photos that you have resized and labeled in English as to precisely what the photos show.  Do not put photos on your website that still have the coding assigned by your camera.  It may turn out that your photos have a higher rank and produce more traffic to your site than your written words.

5.  Repeat keywords at least 3 times on a page,  Repeat them, naturally, in sentences.   Keywords are the words used to search for information on the internet.  Again using the "fun in Omaha website" example, keywords for the page that lists all the golf courses would be "golf courses in Omaha".    Using this page as an example, keywords would be "search engine ranking".

6.  Links to your website or blog from other websites or blogs can significantly boost your ranking.   This is particularly the case if the other websites linking to you are major authoritative sites--for example, CNN or the New York Times or even your local television station or newspaper.  These links are one of several ways bots determine if your site is important or contains significant information.  

To learn how to set up an online informational website, go here

NOTE:  All names on this site have been changed to protect individual privacy.  The stories are real, the names are not. 

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