As long as there are search engines, smart online marketing professionals try to rank sites higher than their competitors with SEO. Every day there is a race going on who is at the top of the search results. That makes sense because 95% of people don't click through to the second page when searching.
Among online marketing professionals is a well-known joke about where to hide a corpse. Their answer is on page two of Google because no one ever gets there.
But what can you do if you already have a site but none of your pages generate a lot of traffic or rank high in the search results? What can you improve and adjust so that you are ranked and found?
Ranking is more than just producing content
The internet is full of knowledge on every subject you can think of. The basic principle behind SEO and ranking is that you produce and publish better content than the site that ranks number 1. But more is needed to be the best in the eyes of Google.
Google also wants to see that you maintain your site and keep it up to date. Because the worst thing that can happen to Google is to present old and outdated information to its users.
Even if you're not technically literate you can often improve a lot and your site and content will rank higher. Think of the following things:
1. Optimizing your main page and landing pages
2. Optimizing your meta title and description
3. Optimizing your menu structure and URLs
4. Update articles with new information
5. Publish new articles
6. Cleaning up and creating internal links
7. Backlinks request to acquaintances and (business) partners
Optimize your main page and landing pages
Before you buy a book you first want to know what the book is about. It takes more than just a nice title. The same goes for a site. Search engines need a clear title and description on your main page of what your site is about.
A tool like SEOquake gives you a quick insight into how search engines read your pages. Thanks to the handy word cloud you can see at a glance if the right words come up or if you need to tell something more.
The word cloud should give enough information for someone who doesn't know the site to understand what the site is about. Make while writing an article or blog post smart use of the H1's, H2's, and H3's.
Don't forget to also optimize your landing pages. Your landing pages are as it were the chapters of your book. Each chapter should be a logical part of the whole in terms of title and content.
The order of information on a page is important for SEO.
Many site owners find it fun and important to show all customer reviews before giving information about what the site is about.
As a result, search engines often have to dig through a load of words like "thank you", "great" and "see you soon" before they get the real information. Put this kind of irrelevant information at the bottom of the page or on a separate page, because search engines can't do anything with a site that in their eyes is about "thank you".
Optimize your meta title and description
Many beginners forget to fill in the meta title and meta description. This is a missed SEO optimization opportunity because this is preferably what the search engines show in the search results.
If you don't fill this out you are asking the search engines to come up with a promotional text for your page and search engines can't do that. The result is that you will see a vague or cryptic description if your page is already ranked at all.
There are still site builders that don't give images a title and meta description. This is also a missed opportunity because images are ranked much easier than pages. But if you don't give a clear description to your images, no search engines know what the image is about.
Optimize your menu structure and URLs.
Every search engine uses the menu structure and the naming of URLs to understand what the site is about. A button in the main menu titled "blog" and the URL "/blog" is far too generic.
Tell the search engines what the blog is about by using a specific name and URL. For example: "on holiday in Greece" and the slug " /holiday_in_Greece".
Another common mistake is to make a very large menu with all kinds of sub information. If you are a coach who also writes books, gives lectures, does running guidance, and can solve relationship problems, don't put all this in your main menu.
All these services belong to the main group "coaching services". Make that a landing page and tell the rest on different subpages.
Takes into account the number of clicks within a menu for SEO
The pages that can be reached with the fewest clicks from the homepage are considered by search engines to be the most important. The more clicks a page needs to reach, the less relevant.
Therefore make sure that your top 5 pages can be reached within 1 click from the home page.
Update articles with new information
Search engines are addicted to the latest insights and information. That's why updates to articles and pages are rewarded by looking at and ranking the information again. Even supplementing an article with a new link is seen by search engines as an update.
Updating content does not necessarily mean that you will rank higher, but if you don't update you will rank lower in the long run.
Publish new articles
New articles or other forms of content always contribute to how high you rank. That has the following reasons:
1. Visitors stay longer on your site because you have more to tell.
2. The more content the more chance you have of telling something that someone else hasn't told you yet.
3. You expand your domain knowledge.
Some people can produce and publish an article of 2000 words every day, but very few can. Search engines don't look at the quantity but at the quality of the published content. That's what makes it so difficult to publish content regularly.
That's also why you should look before you write something that others have written about it. Check for yourself whether you can do this better based on at least the following criteria:
1. Is my information more up-to-date?
2. Can I tell you more about it?
3. Can I add something special to it?
Cleaning up and creating internal links
Internal links are similar to the aisles of a supermarket. If you turn them into a maze, the visitors and in this case the search engines get lost.
Internal links from articles to other articles are crucial for SEO. You cluster and structure information so that not only the search engines but also visitors can find their way.
Backlinks request to acquaintances and (business) partners
A backlink from another site to your site is very valuable for your SEO ranking. At the start of Google, it was even the main criteria of how high you could rank within the results. Nowadays this is still important, but other factors also play a role.
Try through friends, acquaintances, employees, and your network to get as many high-quality backlinks as possible. The larger and more visited a site is, the more important the backlink can be for your ranking.
There is one condition: the links must be relevant for both sites. A car mechanic who has a link on his site to a site about lingerie is not logical and can even result in a penalty.