How to Improve Google Rankings

Getting your website ranked high in search engines like Google does not happen automatically.  In most cases, it is not enough to just create a new website.

Who is your competition?

To get an idea of what you will need to do, you first need to know who you are up against.  Run a Google search of your keywords and see what comes up.

When I search “Web Designers” I get over 98 million results!  In recent years, Google has improved on its search results by trying to serve up more relevant local results even for the most general keywords like “Web Designers”.   Even so, 98 million results from websites that have been online longer than yours is a lot to overcome.

The age of your website can be a double edged sword

Age is just one key factor in how a website will rank.  A website that has been around for several year and is kept up to date with relevant information will be given more weight than a brand new site.  On the other hand, an old website that is not being updated will fall in the ranks because Google may see it as no longer relevant.  A website is not a set it and forget it solution.  If you forget about your website, so will Google. 

How to keep your website relevant in the eyes of Google

Simple.  Keep updating it.  Even if you just make small changes to the content, Google will see that it’s been updated recently and will give it the attention it needs.  Make sure to use the keywords you are targeting and keep the content relevant.

What keywords do I use?

Obviously, you want to choose your keywords based on what your site is about.  For example, I sell website design, so my keywords will be focused primarily on website design.  Because website design is a fairly broad term with millions of competing websites, I will want to narrow my focus.

Who am I targeting?  Finding a niche is a great way to narrow your keyword focus and improve your search engine rankings.  I target Long Island.  The keyword “Long Island Website Design” is a lot more specific and will get better results in search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo.

But I can do better than that.  I don’t market myself to large corporations.  My customers are generally small business owners.  Add that to my keyword I have “Long Island Small Business Web Design.”  I still have some competition, but my chances of being on the top page of Google are quite good.

How long does it take?  With active marketing and aggressive tactics such as outside link building and continuous site updates, if you have a fair amount of relevant content, it could take a few weeks to a few months to get to page one on Google.  There are many variables at play.  Your keyword.  Your competition.  What your competition is doing.  The age of your domain.  The amount of content on your website.  The type of content.  The list goes on and on.

Can you guarantee top placement?  No.  Nobody can.  If someone tells you they “guarantee” number one placement in Google, they are either a scam or are using “black hat” SEO to get you there.

What is “black hat” SEO and if it works, why don’t I want to do it?  “Black Hat” SEO tactics are generally frowned upon by search engines and can get your website black listed.  That means you could have the best content available, but Google won’t give you the time of day.  Some black hat tactics include keyword stuffing, hidden text, and duplicate sites.  Google likes to see unique relevant content and will reward you with better placement if you follow the rules.

If you break the Google rules, you may find yourself in the top spot quickly, but once you’re found out, you will lose your spot and may get your site removed from the results entirely.

Truly, the best way to win favor with the search engines as well as your visitors, is to provide the most informative information you can in an easy to follow format.  Your visitors will thank you for it.  What good is top page ranking if once someone gets to your site all they see is keyword stuffed text that makes no sense, and they can’t find what they are looking for?

If you have questions about SEO or are interested in having me take a look at your website, feel free to give me a call or drop me an e-mail.  No pressure.  Promise!  (516) 670-5757