Attaining an Affordable Search Engine Ranking
The Internet is overflowing with SEO firms promising to help you optimize your website for Google and improve your rankings. It's a jungle out there and finding a reliable company to help you with SEO can be an overwhelming task.
This isn't strange though because anyone who has the knowledge and skills required to get top rankings could earn more ranking their own website(s) than working for others if they were offering their services cheap.
So what's the solution if you don't have a massive budget?
It's simple, you do your own SEO.
Getting good search engine rankings at an affordable price is not especially hard to do but it does require some time and effort, and you do need to understand how Google works in order to work on the things that really matter.
Getting a good “organic” ranking in Google through Search Engine Optimization (SEO) basically means that you need to get the search engines, and Google in particular (since they drive the majority of the search traffic online) to like your site.
But it isn't just about how well the search engines like you that counts. What they seek to determine your ranking is how well others like you. This is known as “off-page” SEO factors. How do they measure how much others like you? They look at several different factors including the following:
Off-page Ranking Factors
* How many “incoming” links you have coming in to your site from other websites.
* What type of pages do those links come from, (i.e. are they authority pages and are they relevant to your site), and what do these links say about your site, (i.e. what anchor text is used and what is the text surrounding the anchor text).
* What is the “social media footprint” of your site and how much is it talked about on social media. Having a lot of social media “signals” indicate to the search engines that your site is relevant and interesting and therefore Google starts taking note of your site.
* How do users interact with your website once they have found it in Google. With Google Chrome and Google Webmaster Tools, The Google Toolbar and in loads of other ways Google is able to look at how users are actually interacting with your website.
Do they seem to find what they are looking for once they have found your website after a particular search query? What is your bounce rate for various keyword terms, and how does that bounce rate compare to your competitors.
These are the main off-page ranking factors that affect your rankings in Google, although there are also others.
At first glance it may seem hard to do imagine how you can improve on any of these things in order to get better rankings, but there actually IS a lot you can do. Here are a few tips on how to improve your off-page ranking factors:
1. Start offering to guest blog on relevant authority sites in your niche.
Contact webmasters with good websites in your niche and offer to write them a high-quality blog post for their site. Explain that it will be unique and of the highest caliber, and on a subject of their choice. You might want to offer them a couple of ideas for a blog post, and even do a short summary what you would write about. At the end of the blog post you'll have a short snipped about yourself with a link back to your site.
2. Build a community on social networking sites
Increase your social signals by creating communities on social media sites. Create a Facebook fan page and a Facebook Group around your website and the topic you are covering. Promote your business on social media sites and keep posting regularly and consistently, even if the results are not immediate from this.
Create some simple YouTube videos that you then link back to your website. Some can be purely commercial and others can be more informative and helping people in your niche. You can link to your site both below the video in the description and in the video itself by using an annotation with a link. This will build incoming links and help increase the social media footprint for your website.
4. Try to decrease the bounce rate for your website, especially for traffic coming from your main keywords
If you are targeting the phrase “tips for making money online” make sure that when people land on the actual page that is targeting this keyword they find the information that they're looking for! You need to use design and content to your advantage and do everything you (ethically) can to get users to stay on your site as long as possible.
5. Create link bait articles on your site
Link baiting is a great way to build valuable incoming links, although it's not always the easiest thing to pull off. If you manage to produce a really popular unique post for your site, then other people may want to link to it, and this will generate valuable incoming links for your site.
By implementing the above mentioned tips you will improve your off-page SEO factors and thereby your search engine ranking.
On site SEO optimization is a lot easier to do, but here are a few tips:
1. Install the Yoast SEO plugin on your site
This is a great little plugin that makes on-site SEO so much easier to do. Just follow the instructions in the plugin and you will automatically optimize your site well.
2. Remember that content is king
Try to produce really valuable content for everything you do on your website. Content is king, and by creating valuable content based around the keywords you want to rank for you are giving both your visitors and Google exactly what they want.
Spend some time creating relevant and interesting titles for all your pages. The title should be both keyword rich and create a sense of curiosity for the reader, urging them to want to read the article. Remember that the title is what people see first in the Google search results, so by creating an interesting title you will improve your click-through rate from Google, and thereby your rankings since Google will see your site as relevant for that keyword.
4. Use search engine friendly URLs and check for canonicalization issues
Make sure you use your keywords in your URLs, but if you followed step 1 and installed the Yoast SEO Plugin this shouldn't be a problem. Also check for any canonicalization issues and decide if you are using http://www or just http:// on your site. If http://www.YourSite.com is your preference, then http://YourSite.com should redirect to it.
5. Give each page a focus on a single keyword phrase.
Don't try to optimize a page for many different keywords that aren't really related. Focus on one single keyword phrase and use relevant valuable content built around that phrase. Make sure the content is written for the user, rather than search engines. Google is using “semantic indexing” and therefore it's useful to use similar words and phrases that are related to your main keyword phrase in your content, but it has to appear natural to the reader.
I hope the following article has given you a good understanding of the basics of SEO, and inspired some confidence that you CAN do the SEO for for your website yourself. Remember that you don't need to do it all at once, small improvements over time will go a long to towards improving your rankings.
Rob is an online marketing expert and he's made more than $6 million online from building simple small websites that bring in big recurring income streams.
His VIP Membership is probably the most comprehensive online marketing training available anywhere online, and the SEO training he offers is the best I have ever found online.