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Search engine optimization is not difficult. Following the simple SEO tips below will help you rank higher on google, bing and other search engines.
Over the years I’ve studied, tried and implemented many SEO techniques. Some were good, some useless.
Ranking higher on google and bing can easily double or triple your website visitors, generating more income.
The internet is filled with tips on how to rank higher on google and bing and other search engines.
Some of these tips are clearly meant to make you buy some product or service.
In this article, I am not going to sell you any SEO product or service. I am simply telling you what works for now and will work in the future.
There are many SEO products and services out there that promise you higher google rankings. If you have the cash, go ahead and try them.
I, on the other hand, will show you how to rank higher on google and bing for free, using simple, smart, and common sense approaches.
If you do not have a website or blog, but would like to create one, please read my article on how to create a blog first.
Transparency: Some links on this page are affiliate links to services that could increase your rankings with google and bing. We get paid a small commission at no cost to you if you signup.
Tips on how to rank higher on google and bing and other search engines.
1-Make sure your site is visible to search engines.
Search engines like google and bing rely on automated software agents called bots, crawlers, etc. These agents scan each webpage and gather information about your site.
When people search for information on the internet, via search engines like google and bing, the best results are displayed according to the search engines own algorithm.
If your site is blocking these bots, then search engines will not be able to collect information about your site and index it.
Every site should have a robots.txt file. When bots or crawlers visit your site to index pages, they first look for your robots.txt file.
How to create a robots.txt file?
Simply copy the below text to notepad or word pad.
This will tell all search engine bots that they have complete access to your site and are free to index everything on your site.
Save the text file as robots.txt and upload to your servers root directory.
Go to www.yourwebsite.com/robots.txt and confirm you have uploaded it properly.
If you use WordPress, you will have a virtual robots.txt created for you, but you cannot edit it.
If you need to edit it, install a plugin called Yoast SEO and click on the tools option.
Yoast SEO will also help you optimize your site for search engines which will get you higher rankings with google and bing.
How to block a page or directory in robots.txt
If you wish to block a certain page or folder or directory from being indexed and crawled, then copy the below lines to your robots.txt file.
Let’s say you want to block a folder named private and a page named test.html or test.php
This should only block your private folder and test page from search engine bots and allow access to the rest of your site.
Please note that it is up to each search engine to respect and honour your robots.txt file.
If you’re using WordPress, make sure the Search Engine Visibility option is not checked under settings-reading option in your WordPress dashboard.
2-Optimize your website for speed.
No one likes slow websites. People are looking for information quickly. If your website takes long to load, you will lose visitors.
Optimizing your site for speed will help you retain visitors and will also help you rank higher on google and bing and other search engines.
How can I make my website load faster?
One particular web host called WpEngine is dedicated to WordPress. If your site is built on WordPress, then WpEngine is the best bet.
2- Implement a content delivery network – CDN
A Content delivery network will help speed up your site and decrease your server load.
How CDN works?
A CDN stores cached versions of your pages and images on their servers around the world.
When a visitor accesses your site, the CDN server nearest to the visitor will send requests back at lightning speed.
Maxcdn and Cloudflare are good choices if you choose to implement a CDN.
3- Reduce the number of images and videos on your page.
Each image and video increases the number of requests made to your server and decreases your site speed.
It is also beneficial to cut down on the size of your image.
Remember a fast loading site will help you rank higher with google and bing and other search engines.
4- Install a caching plugin.
A caching plugin will cache copies of your pages and deliver them to your site visitors faster.
Wp Rocket is a well know caching plugin bent on increasing site speed. Other alternatives include WP Fastest Cache, W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache. Read our tutorial on how to install a plugin on WordPress.
If you considered hosting with WP Engine, you need not worry about a caching plugin as they cache your site as part of their service.
5- Cut down on the number of WordPress plugins.
The more plugins you install, the slower your site gets.
Choose your plugins wisely and only install what you need.
6- Go with a super fast theme.
There are numerous WordPress themes out there, but not all created equal.
Buy themes from companies that make speed a priority.
Read this guide on how to install a WordPress theme.
7- Install an AMP plugin.
Accelerated mobile pages look great and load quicker. If you have a high number of visitors accessing your site via smartphones, then you need to consider AMP.
AMP for WP is a well-known plugin, which will certainly help you rank higher on google and bing and other search engines.
3-Write content for users and not search engines.
When you write content, your users should be your number one priority.
Write content that is optimized for users and not for search engines.
Tips on how to write SEO content for your website.
If you want your content to rank higher on google, bing and other search engines the following tips will help.
1- Create awesome title tags.
Title tags are very important if you want your post or page to rank high on google and bing.
Your title tag should include your keywords and be no more than 65 characters.
Your title tag should also accurately describe what your post or page is about.
Each title tag should be unique to each page.
It is also a good practice to include your brand or company name after the title tag, separated by a hyphen or a vertical dash.
Spend some time thinking about your title tags as they no doubt help you rank higher on google and bing.
Descriptions tags for each page should also be informative and should attract users to click on your link.
Though not a ranking factor, good description tags can increase your click-through rate and bring more visitors to your site.
2- Use heading tags wisely.
Heading tags like h1, h2 and h3 are important when writing content. They are used to add structure to your content.
What are the best practices for using heading tags?
1- Use H1 tag just once in your content. It is mainly used for your title tag.
2- H2 tags can be used more than once. They are used to break your content into different sections.
3- H3 tags can be used under your H2 tags to further divide content.
4- Use keywords in your heading tags when it seems natural to do so.
Heading tags do help with SEO and could be a Google ranking factor.
3- Optimize your images with alt tags.
Adding images to your blog posts not only make your post look better but can also drive more traffic through google and bing image search.
The alt tags of your image should describe what your image is about.
4- Use the right keywords.
Visitors normally type in keywords or search queries in google and bing to search for information.
Depending on the search query and many other ranking factors, search engines display a list of search results.
By using the right keywords for your topic in your content, you have a better chance of showing up higher in search results.
How do you add keywords to your website?
1- Put your keywords at the beginning of your title tag.
2- Put your keywords in the first 100 words of your content.
3- Add long tail keywords in your content. A long tail keyword is a phrase that has at least three to four words.
4- Use variations of your keyword in your content.
5-Use keywords in your image alt tags, heading tags when it seems natural to do so.
6- Do not go overboard with keyword density. Your keywords should fit naturally into your content.
How to find keywords for SEO?
1- Look up google and bing search for keywords and phrases people are typing in for your topic.
2- Make a list of all those searches and phrases.
3- Look for keyword variations people are searching for.
4- Incorporate these terms into your content in a natural way.
There are many other keyword planner tools out there which could help you find relevant keywords.
Using the right keyword phrases in your content is extremely important and will definitely help you rank higher on google, bing and other search engines.
5- Write unique content.
Search engines like unique content. Your content should be so unique that search engines have no choice but to show your content in their search results for user searches about your topic.
How to write content for a website?
1- Stay on topic.
2- Use short paragraphs.
3- Break your content into subtopics.
4- Start with an introduction, then the main content and then a short conclusion.
5- Make your content exciting.
6- Use proper grammar and spellings.
7- Your content should be easy to understand.
8- Your content should be of good value and very informative.
9- Link externally to posts of similar topics.
10- Long content gets higher rankings, so make sure your content is long.
11- Do not ever copy content from another blog.
Great unique content is a big ranking factor, so do it right and you will rank higher on google, bing and other search engines.
A good menu will help your visitors navigate your site and find the information they are looking for.
A good menu will also help search engine bots index your site faster.
Create an HTML sitemap for your users.
An HTML sitemap of your site will help users find information quickly and also assist search engines in crawling all your blog posts and pages.
How to create a HTML sitemap for users?
To create a sitemap for users, simply create a new page and insert links to important content.
If you have a large website you can break up your sitemap into additional pages.
Sitemaps for users should only contain text links and there should be no more than 50 links per page.
Create an XML sitemap for search engines.
An XML sitemap is a list of all URLs of your website. It tells search engines when your post or pages were published, modified and updated.
Search engines like google and bing read this file and accordingly crawl your site.
XML sitemaps contain all posts, pages, images, audio files and videos.
How to create a XML sitemap?
There are many plugins in WordPress that will help you create an XML sitemap.
Just install the plugin and it should automatically create one for you.
XML sitemaps are specifically made for search engines, so don’t forget to submit them to google and bing.
Log on to your google and bing webmaster account and submit your sitemaps.
5-Make sure your site is mobile friendly.
An increasing number of people are surfing the internet on their smartphones.
Making your site mobile friendly will increase your chances of being found on smartphones.
Search engines like Google reward sites that are mobile friendly. This means higher rankings on Google.
How to make my site mobile friendly?
1- Choose a mobile-friendly theme.
Choose a WordPress theme that is mobile friendly and can adapt to different mobile devices.
2- Create an AMP version of your site.
As mentioned above download the AMP for WP plugin and make your site AMP compatible.
AMP versions are preferred by Google and will help you rank higher on Google.
3- Create a mobile version of your site.
If your WordPress site is not mobile friendly, download the plugin WPtouch and create an awesome mobile version of your site, specifically designed for mobile users.
6-Secure your website.
HTTPS appears in the URL when a site is secured by an SSL certificate.
SSL secures your site and encrypts all data being transferred.
This protects your data from hackers and also helps you rank higher on google and bing and other search engines.
How to secure a website?
To secure your website, you must install an SSL certificate on your server.
Let’s Encrypt offers free SSL certificates. You can contact your web host to have them install the certificate on your server.
Secured sites protect your data, help build user confidence and also rank higher on google, bing and other search engines.
Do not use any deceptive methods to rank higher on google, bing and other search engines.
Backlinks are links on other websites that link back to your website. Backlinks play an important role in Google rankings and Bing rankings.
The more backlinks you have from quality sites, the higher your site will rank on google and bing.
How to get quality backlinks?
1- Write awesome content that other sites would love to link to.
2- Contact other quality blogs in your niche and ask for a backlink.
3- Create social media pages that link back to your site.
4- Write articles on other blogs with a link back to yours.
Quality backlinks are a major ranking factor and will help you rank higher on google, bing and other search engines.
What you should avoid.
If you want to improve your rankings on google and bing, please avoid the following.
1- Buying links
2- Selling links
3- Automating your link building.
4- Joining link exchanges.
Avoid cloaking or doorway pages if you want to rank higher on google, bing and other search engines.
Cloaking is a search engine optimization technique that will get you banned from search engines.
Webmasters sometimes program their web servers to show different content to search engines and users in order to improve their rankings.
Do not use hidden or invisible text in your content.
Doorway pages are low-quality pages stuffed with specific keywords.
These pages are made especially for search engines in order to rank higher in search results.
Avoid creating doorway pages at all costs.
Avoid any type of deception. Do not try to trick search engines. Google and Bing are smart enough to catch you.
8-Use structured data.
Structured data is the extra piece of information you see in search engines results pages like for example, ratings, hours of operation, address, pricing, etc.
Although using structured data does not improve rankings on google and bing, it does provide more information to search engines about your site.
Structured data markup helps google and bing understand your site better and also helps with your website click-through rate.
Schema.org is a good source to learn more about structured data.
How to implement structured data?
The best way to implement structured data on your website is to download a structured data plugin from WordPress.
We use Yoast SEO, but you can try out other plugins.
Structured data is most useful for news sites, blogs, shopping sites and local businesses.
Don’t forget to test your site with Google’s structured data testing tool to make sure it is valid.
Interlinking SEO is another great way to increase traffic and sales.
By linking the different pages or post in your site you will decrease your bounce rate.
Linking to other pages in your website will also help search engine bots find and index your site faster.
How to interlink blog posts or pages?
You can interlink your blog posts and pages in different ways.
1- Install a WordPress interlinking plugin.
Install a WordPress interlinking plugin and link to other pages and posts using different keywords.
2- Manually interlink your site.
When writing a new blog post, you can link to other posts or pages that enhance your visitors’ user experience.
3- Install a related posts plugin.
Installing a related posts plugin will also help you offer related content to your users and help with interlinking SEO.
Linking to other pages on your website will not only increase page views but will also increase rankings on google and bing for free.
Nobody likes broken links and 404 pages. It just frustrates your visitors and creates a bad impression.
Search engines like google and bing want to send their organic search users to links that are working.
A visitor will lose trust when they encounter a dead link and may never return to your website.
Fixing your broken links will increase your website traffic and offer a good user experience.
How to remove or fix broken links in WordPress?
1- Install a broken links checker plugin.
WordPress has a number of broken links checker plugins. Download the one that is best for you and either fix or delete your broken links.
2- Install a desktop broken links checker software.
If you don’t want to install a plugin you can download a desktop broken links checker software on your computer.
Xenu links sleuth is what we use. Install the free software on your computer and scan your entire site for broken links.
Check for broken links on your website monthly. In doing so you will provide your visitors with a good user experience and also rank higher on google and bing and other search engines.
You can also check your google and bing webmaster tools account for broken links reported by them.
A website free of broken links will help you rank higher on google and bing and other search engines.
11-Make your site voice search friendly.
Voice search optimization is here to stay. People are now using their voice to search for information instead of using their keyboard.
How to optimize for voice search?
Here are some tips that will help you optimize your site for voice search.
1- Use long tail keywords in your content.
2- Ask and answer user questions in your content according to your niche.
3- Make your site mobile friendly.
4- Put your local business on the map with the help of google maps and bing maps.
5- Create a frequently answered questions page (FAQ).
The number of people using voice search is growing daily. If you want to rank higher on google and bing and other search engines, optimize your site for voice search.
Finally read through Google’s webmaster guidelines and Bing’s webmaster guidelines.
Follow their guidelines, and your site will rank higher on google and bing.
All the best.