How to improve your search engine optimization (SEO) for higher positions in ranking pages

Google logo with magnifying glass

Search engine optimization (SEO) has become a buzzword in the world of internet marketers. For a reason of course, because making sure people can find your website via search engines usually is one of the most important online marketing objectives. Scoring high in Google often equals a lot of organic traffic to your website. But how do you start an effective search engine campaign and which points do you need to focus on? We are happy to explain the basic principles, so you can immediately apply SEO improvements to reach higher positions!

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the part of marketing whereby a website is optimized with the primary goal to reach a high position in the results pages of a search engine. This shouldn’t only concern optimizations for the search engine itself, but also optimizations in the context of usability. That’s to make sure that the real users are also satisfied. Their importance is often underestimated, but we think – luckily together with lots of others – that optimizing for both search engines and real users should go hand in hand.

Why you should pay attention to SEO

It is clear that search engines, especially Google, often act as starting point for internet users. Is your website left unnoticed by the search engines? Then you will miss out on a lot of traffic. For that reason alone, you should make it as easy as possible for search engines to process your website and get onto the search engine results page. Search engines are advanced and smart, but they do need some impetus to allocate you a high position. The whole idea of search engines obviously is to present the user relevant web pages after a search query. Whether or not your website is amongst them, depends on a lot of factors which we will discuss shortly hereafter. Do you want to know more about search engines in specific? Then consult our article about how search engines work and what kind of role algorithm updates play.

Content, technique and authority

Reaching a higher position in Google depends on 3 factors that all go hand in hand: content, technique and authority. During an effective search engine campaign, you should arrange all these factors optimally to reach a top position. It does however require an investment of time to make significant improvements. Also, SEO related adjustments usually do not immediately lead to improvements in the rankings or more visitors. Nobody said it would be easy, right!?

Picking low-hanging SEO fruit

Luckily, lots of minor improvements do make a difference. And often it’s possible to quickly profit from low-hanging fruit: small adjustments that can yield major results. Let’s discuss these ‘quick wins’ first, so you can make sure the basics are all right and you can directly make some gains.

• Include the keywords of your page into the page titles
• Include the keywords into the H1-titles
• Include the keywords into the alt-texts of your images
• Write a catchy text for your meta descriptions and make sure it starts with the keyword concerned
• Check your links and delete or adjust dead links
• Add internal links

The action points above are relatively easy to process. But, be aware: make sure your website doesn’t become too spammy when adding keywords. Google sees right through this and attaches more value to context. That’s why you should also use synonyms for the keywords. Don’t have any inspiration right now? Then have a look at how your competitors deal with it, and especially those who rank the highest. Apparently they are doing something right. No need to re-invent the wheel. However, don’t go on a copying spree, because it is very likely Google will regard ‘your’ new content as duplicate content and you will run the risk of being awarded a penalty. So be aware! Nothing wrong with getting some inspiration, but always make sure to keep it real.

Web of linking profile with rank statistics

SEO tools can provide clear insight into the link profile of your website

Reaching the top in Google with strong content

In the early days, the focus at SEO lied on including as many relevant keywords and content as you possibly could. Nowadays however, Google awards penalties when excessively using keywords. So, you could say that one and another works more refined now. Just as well for the search user. For you - as an internet marketer - it means you have a whole different challenge to face: creating original content of the best quality. Google’s algorithm (a smart mathematical formula) now looks at the context and quality of a text, whilst in the early days mainly the presence of relevant keywords was checked for.

Reaching the top with excellent technique

If your website is completely in order technically, the spiders of search engine can index your website without any problems. Apart from the fact that search engines love speedy websites, real visitors too will appreciate a website with a smooth navigation and short loading times Tips to make your website faster:

• Make sure your images are compressed
• Use browser caching so files don’t have to be exchanged over again
• Use (WordPress) plugins for a faster website

You should also think about the connection type: will a HTTP suffice or do you want to offer your visitors a safer, encrypted connection with HTTP? Guess which connection search engines prefer. Exactly, HTTPS, because: the safer the better. Lastly, having a responsive web design is a must. If your website doesn’t automatically adjust to smaller screens, it’s considered not to be mobile friendly resulting in penalty points.

Higher authority with link building

Have you correctly arranged content and technique? Then you are well on your way! Still, a websites authority also plays a prominent role. Search engines like Google wonder how well-known your website is on the web, because this is valuable to visitors. The domain authority of a website is determined by visitor numbers, but also by the extent to which your website is mentioned on other websites i.e. link profile. Of course, you’re already working hard to increase your visitor numbers, but you can undertake all sorts of actions to get mentioned. That’s what we call link building. Think of a strongly written blog, including a link to your website, that can be placed on a relevant website with a high authority. When indexing that website, the spider will also come across your page, likely increasing your authority. Watch out: incoming links from dubious websites will be punished severely. Do you want more information on link building? Then check out our article about optimizing your link building for higher rankings.

The right, valuable SEO tools

Are you looking for a tool that gives recommendations for SEO optimizations to reach a higher ranking? Then you can read more about SEOprofiler, because this versatile program offers valuable insights thanks to functions as ranking monitoring, website audit and web page optimization. In addition, the tool compares your website with better performing competitors so you can optimize goal oriented to beat the competition. A similar all-in-one SEO tool is SEO PowerSuite, which is also easy to use and multifunctional causing it to be a successful pack for both new, unexperienced users and professionals. Another allround internet marketing tool is Searchmetrics, which for instance shows exactly via which keywords you receive traffic and its potential.

Searchmetrics' Visibility graph

Searchmetrics Screenshot

Conclusion SEO improvements

We cannot stress enough the importance of optimizing your website for search engines. Because without high rankings in Google and other search engines you will miss out on a lot of organic traffic, making it unable to attract a lot of visitors without spending serious budget. Search engines do not conceal how their algorithms work, so the art of optimizing is very much a grey area. You don’t always know what effect your adjustments will have. That’s why it is so important to have the proper tools, so you can constantly monitor, improve and evaluate. On the other hand, there certainly are several ‘quick wins’ that give results quickly and form the basis of a good findability. In short: read everything you can about the different SEO factors, use the proper tools and try and learn! You will be a SEO guru within no-time!

Have a quick look at the all in one SEO tools we have tested and reviewed. Or check out the official website of SEOProfiler to directly start optimizing!