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glenn carstens peters 203007 1

Everyone wants to be #1 — on Google, that is. When your website is ranked high in search engine results, the usual result is more visits to your website. But how does one get to the top? That, my friends, is the age old marketing question that every marketer out there is trying to solve. The good news is there are some tried and true ways to do it. Some are more labor intensive and/or expensive than others, but there are also some simple tasks you can do right now that will help to improve your website's rankings.

Use keywords people are searching for

Keywords are fundamental to the search process. They're what we use to search the Internet and they're also what search engines use to find your website. The key (pun intended) is to use words that people are actually searching for. Ask yourself the question, "What would I type into Google if I was searching for my product or service?" Be as specific as possible. There are several keyword tools that can help you find the right keywords to use, including Google's Keyword Planner. Once you have your keywords, look for ways to incorporate them into your website's content. Your main keywords should be included in your homepage copy as close to the top of the page as possible. Important note: Don't try to trick the search engines by resorting to "keyword stuffing". It simply won't work and, in most cases, does more harm than good. Adding a keyword more than 2-3 times usually has little to no impact at all on search engine results.

Optimize your images

Although great photography is an essential part of most websites, search engines often ignore them because they can't see them. A search engine is only capable of cataloging HTML text. The solution is to add alt tags to your images, which gives search engines a text description of the images. Again, don't stuff the alt tag with keywords. A simple 1-3 word description of the photos will do. Another way to optimize your photos for SEO purposes is to make sure they are sized appropriately. Search engines don't like websites that take forever to load. By scaling your image to the exact size you want it to be, search engines can easily load and index your website.

Pay attention to your page titles

...because your visitors certainly are! Titles are the very first thing a person sees about your site in a long list of search engine results. They also describe to search engines what your site is about. If every page on your website has the same title, you're probably not being indexed for the variety of services you offer. Google recommends that titles be accurate and descriptive. You'll want to include keywords here, but you also want the title to make sense, so — once again — avoid keyword stuffing. The best thing about these three SEO tips is that you don't have to be a web master to do them. You can complete them in one afternoon! And, while they shouldn't be the only efforts you make to improve SEO, they are an easy start that can make an impressive difference.  

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