Nowadays, getting to the top of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page)  means that you need to earn it.  Long gone are the days of tricking search engines, as they’ve grown better at detecting these tricks and their ranking algorithms are continually updated.  If there is a trick that works today, it may not work tomorrow. Using SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tricks may even get you penalized in some cases, resulting from your site being knocked down in the rankings or even removed from the search engine entirely.
So, how can you earn a high search engine ranking?  There’s an entire profession devoted to determining the factors that a search engine uses to rank pages, but there are two main factors that everyone should consider: “votes” and “on-page content”.

The content on your web page is a major factor used to rank web pages. So have really good content! Here are some tips to make sure your web page’s content will rank well:

  • Your site’s structure should make sense, even to a machine.  If your page has sections, make sure each page is in the correct section. If your page has event listings, make sure the listings are in the “events” section.
  • Your pages should link to each other in a way that makes sense.  If you run a restaurant website and you’re home page talks about pizza, link to your pizza menu using this text.  Don’t link to your content using phrases like “click here for the menu”.
  • Content on your website is easy to find.
  • For local businesses: Include your phone number and address on each page.  This will help you rank better for users who are in the city that you serve.

In the next post in this series, we’ll cover what “votes” are and how you use them to improve your search engine rankings.