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Trying to figure out where you should spend your efforts to improve your search engine ranking can be a daunting task. I have provided a Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide to get you going. Employing even some of the techniques can improve your websites ability to reach your intended audience organically (without paid advertising).

7 Words to Improve Page Rank

Ross Hudgens analyzed 7,999 pages and figured out how they ranked to come up with a list of 7 words that improved the ranking. Use these words in your title tag to get more traffic: Best, News, Reviews, Top, Guide, Information, Community. Brian Dean of Backlinko adds these words: Today, Right Now, Simple, Step-by-step, New, Fast, Works Quickly, Easy. Google up-ranks websites that get organic searches.

Improve your Bounce Rate

Improve your bounce rate and improve time on page. One way to do this is to put a picture peaking up from below the fold of a web page. Google doesn’t necessarily rank your website based on bounce rate, but it is an indication that you are not presenting the content they are looking for. Make sure the search phrase is in the meta description and high on the page.

Build backlinks to your website

Backlinks are links on one website that, when clicked, take the user to another site. You gain the most benefit from a backlink when it comes to your website from another website with a higher ranking. There are some great backlink services I use which send out questions from content writers looking for quality content. These are news services looking for experts in their field.

Check SERP listing before using a keyword phrase

Pay attention to SERP features. Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) are the pages displayed by search engines in response to a query by a searcher. The main component of the SERP is the listing of results that are returned by the search engine in response to a keyword query, although the pages may also contain other results such as advertisements. If you choose a keyword that has a lot of advertisements above your keyword phrase then people may not click on your organic link.


Find Long-tail keywords

Find long-tail keywords with searches related to. To find searches related to, type a phrase in the Google search bar and look at the bottom for searches related to.

Use Google Suggest

Use “Google Suggest” to find related long-tail keywords. For example, “Sell your home” brings up: sell your home yourself, sell your home for cash, sell your home to Zillow, sell your home without a realtor, sell your home calculator, sell your home in 90 days guaranteed, sell your home now, sell your home without an agent, sell your home quickly. Also, use YouTube Suggest & Bing Suggest.


Use Google Ads

Use Google Ads to improve click-through rate. You can’t just pay your way to the top. Use different keyword phrases in your Google Ads and check to see which ones provide a better click-through rate. Then you can use these on your website to capture organic traffic.


Use Interactive Resources

Use interactive resources when you can. Loan calculators are a good example or Infographics. This keeps people on your page longer.


In-depth Content

Publish in-depth content is important for your website. Write longer articles that are in-depth about a subject. People naturally see you as an authority because you are able to provide so much information.


Use Multi-media

Tap into multi-media. Use images and video on your pages and posts. I love Pixabay and Pexels for free royalty free images.


Website Search Engine Optimization


Make sure your website is easy to navigate. The important pages should be easy to get to and no more than 3 clicks deep.

You don’t want people to use the back button on their browser because Google penalizes you for that. There should be obvious navigation.

Keyword Phrases

If you want to rank for a specific keyword phrase it should have its own page (Hyperlocal is the term used in the Marketing business). Make sure you complete the meta description for Google to present, keep the meta description within the 155 character limit, and make sure to use your keyword phrase in your meta description. Use your keyword phrase close to the top of the page you want to rank.

Mobile Friendly

Your website should be mobile friendly. Above the fold, you should have a call to action, lead capture, or trust building statement. 

Image Optimization

Image optimization is crucial. The size of an image should be appropriate to the user’s device. We use a tool from WPMU called Smoosh Pro that optimizes every image on your website to the appropriate size for each device.

You should also delay rendering of images below the fold to improve page load speed. We use a process called Lazy Load.

Page Caching

Make sure you provide caching for the pages on your website and for the user’s browser. We use another tool from WPMU called Hummingbird to provide caching, but there are lots of free plugins for this purpose, or you can hard code it pretty easily on your server.

To improve your search engine optimization start with one page or product you would like to optimize, then apply these techniques and see how your analytics improve.