Health IS Technology Blog

Quick Tips for Improving Your Site’s Ranking


Website owner Working to improve her site's ranking

 

These days everyone has a website, and everyone goes on websites. Because there’s so much content out there, it’s important that you know how to make your site stand out from the rest. Below are six quick tips on how to improve your site’s ranking now.

1. Keep up to date on your site’s ranking

Your process of improving your rankings should begin the same way you begin improving just about anything. You have to know where you stand. If you don’t know where you are now, how will you ever improve?

The first thing you want to do is figure out what you want to rank for. Is there a keyword or keyphrase you especially want to rank high for? Think of it, then conduct your own investigation of your site’s ranking. Because of what is called personalized search, certain users are more likely to see your site based on their interests and search history. For example, if you are a coffee shop in Tampa and someone in Tallahassee searches for coffee shops, the odds are that your business will not be very high in their results. Similarly, if you often visit your own website and you search for it, the likelihood of it being high in your results is greater than if someone who has never visited it were to search.

Woman using Google search on her iPad to check her site's ranking

Use search engines to check your site’s ranking.

To check your ranking without the bias of personalized search, make sure you are signed out of your Google account before searching.  Also make sure to open a new tab for every new search, as Google has algorithms to guess context and serve you results based on such. You can also use an “incognito” or private window to conduct your search.

Once you have conducted your own investigation, there are a couple of resources that will help you check your status even further. Sites like Moz.com and Serps.com have keyword ranking tools accessible to use, either a few times for free, or nearly unlimited for paid subscribers. It’s tempting to opt for the free options, but if site ranking is something that’s important for your business, taking the committed step of becoming a paid subscriber to an SEO resource like Moz might be the best investment you make this year.

You can find tips on how to use the Moz rank tracker here and the serps.com keyword rank checker here.

2. Have a tool to keep track of your site traffic

Charts and analytical data on a tablet screen

Have a tool to keep track of your site traffic.

Google Analytics is a great tool for keeping an eye on your site’s traffic. You can set up individual SEO dashboards within Analytics to track specific things even more precisely. Google Analytics is a very helpful tool, and most helpful tools are pretty complicated, too. There are endless online tutorials available for you to learn from, but starting from the Google Analytics help page is your best bet.

When looking at the users coming to your site, try to focus most on your organic traffic. These are the visitors coming from search engines like Google or Bing. To improve the numbers of your organic search traffic, you’re going to have to polish up on your SEO knowledge. This blog has a lot of resources on different SEO practices that you can view on our SEO tag.

3. Do keyword research to generate new ideas

Now that you know your current site ranking, and you have new perspective on how people are finding your site, you need to start generating new ideas. A great way to do this is through using the Moz keyword explorer. The keyword explorer is a great tool for doing keyword research. Analyzing the potential and difficulty of each keyword is a great way to brainstorm new content for your site. Here is a video from Moz in which the founder Rand Fishkin explains how to use the keyword explorer.

Remember that users without subscriptions to Moz have access to only two free keyword searches in a day. This is just another reason you may consider investing in an SEO service.

4. Integrate your keywords anywhere you can

Search engines look at every inch of your site in order to rank you. This includes even your graphics and media.

Descriptions of any image you insert on your site are required, and should be entered as the “alt attributes”. These are read by screen readers, which assist the visually impaired, and they also increase search engine visibility. Be mindful of your alt attributes. If your keywords apply to the image, make sure you’re including them in the alt attributes. Not only will this improve your site’s ranking, but it will help the visually impaired better understand your content.

Remember, though, not to try and play any tricks on search engines with keyword stuffing. Google is an incredibly advanced and intelligent system full of experienced algorithms. Include your keywords often, but only when they are relevant.

5. Links, links, and more links

yellow links enter key and silver chain icon.

Be mindful of your hyperlinks.

Having outbound and inbound links are important in establishing your site’s ranking. But did you know that the way you phrase your hyperlinks can impact how you rank? The visible text displayed in hyperlinks is called “anchor text”. Search engines like Google will look at your anchor text as a basis of what your page is about. It’s easy to use anchor text like “click here”, but it might do you well to think carefully about what you do choose as your anchor text.

It’s also notable to know that the anchor text other sites use to link your site can impact how Google ranks you. Of course, you can’t control this aspect, but you can control how you link others.

6. Create unique, thoughtful content

The most important thing you can ever do for your site is to nourish it with quality content. It may seem easy to stuff your copy with popular keywords and thoughtful hyperlinks, but the fact is, no one is going to enjoy your website if that’s all it is. Google’s algorithms are not human, but the users you create your website for are. If the users aren’t staying on your site, enjoying it, and sharing it, then your rank will likely not get any better. At the end of the day, nothing will ever help your site’s ranking more than good, interesting content.