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How To Improve Search Engine Rankings By Improving Your Site

If you want your site to rank well in the search engines, receive lots of traffic and actually make you money, it needs to kick ass. If your site isn’t full of great content that genuinely helps people, it’s not going to last in the long run.

So you need to focus on making your site high quality. It needs to provide true value, more value than any of your competitor’s sites. The question I receive all the time is “does your site need to be excellent to rank well”? The short answer is… No.

Site quality doesn’t really have anything to do with its rankings. Meaning you can’t exactly outrank your competitors by simply writing better articles. But I strongly believe in building high quality sites that provide value to its visitors. You “could” slap up a 5 page site full of spun content right now and get it to the first page of Google.

But; if you’re trying to sell anything or influence your visitors in any way you’ll fail. So bottom line, you need to focus on your site. You need to pay attention to your analytics account and study your visitor’s actions closely.

Using Google Analytics you can identify your best and worst performing pages and figure out how to improve the bad ones. Ever since the Google Panda updates started, site quality seems to be becoming more and more important.

I could go on for pages about how you can improve your site, but I decided to break it down in bullet points:

    1. Get rid of duplicate content – If you have lots of duplicate content on your site – get rid of it all!
    2. Get rid of duplicate content off page – Other sites stealing your content can greatly damage your overall site’s rankings. You should run your site’s pages and posts through copyscape to see who else is using your content. Contact the sites stealing your content and have them remove it at once.
    3. Improve internal linking structure.
    4. Take down/add to any thin pages on your site. Thin pages can have a negative impact on your entire site’s rankings. (By thin I mean little content)
    5. Decrease Bounce Rate.
    6. Decrease Load Time.
    7. Work On Increasing Avg. time spent on site and Avg. page views per visitor.
    8. Fix crawl errors – Use Google Webmaster Tools.
    9. Increase user engagement – Encourage visitors to leave comments, bookmark, visit other pages and return to your site.
    10. Get social – Setup a fan page, dedicated Twitter account and more. (Make sure you syndicate your site’s content/blog posts on them as soon as published)
    11. Post regular content – Lots of content is vital right now, Google wants active sites pumping out fresh content.
    12. Use social media icons – Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus One buttons.

To accomplish all of the above, use these tools:

Relevance

Relevance is one of the keys to better search engine rankings. You need to keep everything on your site as relevant as possible. Google ranks websites based on just two things: relevance and popularity. The popularity part boils down to social media and link building.

The relevance part is content and on page optimization. So whatever you do, don’t start posting irrelevant content on your website. Your entire site should have a theme and all of its content should be closely related. To accomplish relevance you need to structure your site properly.

You need a set of categories and posts under each category. You should never post any content that can’t be filed under one of your categories. Unless of course, you want to start a new category that fits your site theme.

Content Structure And Internal Linking

How To Improve Search Engine Rankings

That image above is called an SEO Silo structure. That’s exactly how you need to structure your site and its pages. By using categories and sticking to them. Categories should essentially be sub niches of your main site niche. Your site should target one core niche and your categories should cover sub niche topics.

So you can publish content under each category and create a massive resource of information for anyone looking to learn about your niche. Content structuring is important when it comes to keyword research and SEO.

Your home page should target the massive niche keywords, your category pages should target sub niche keywords (competitive ones) and your posts should target long tail (low-medium competition) keywords.

Content/site structure and internal linking go hand in hand. Throughout your site you need to internally link to your other pages and posts. Doing so creates an even distribution of your site’s page rank and authority. Your home page should link to your categories and your categories should link to your posts/pages.

And… Your posts and pages should point back to your home page and categories. Setting up your site this way will allow you to easily rank in the search engines. It creates the perfect flow of link juice. The majority of your link juice should go to your home page to help it rank for the mammoth niche keywords.

Then your home page passes link juice to your category pages to help them rank for the competitive keywords and your categories pass link juice through to your pages/posts to help them rank for the low competition keywords.

The strategy works.

In Prosperity,

David Wood

P.S. Leave me your thoughts, comments and questions below. Also opt-in to the email list on the right for more cool SEO tips, tricks and secrets.

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2 comments
Sarah
Sarah

Loved this article! I think many people misunderstand how SEO works - but I couldn't have said it better myself!

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