Search engine optimization or SEO is the collective term used to describe the different methods applied for websites to appear higher in the search engine results pages or SERPs. The goal of SEO is to increase the visibility of a site so that it gains traffic through organic or paid efforts. It is therefore important to optimize a website and its contents in order for search engines to pick it up and rank it high.

Here are the things your website needs to improve its ranking:

1. Proper Keyword Utilization

Keywords are an integral part of SEO, not only to please search engines but to help internet users as well. When looking for keywords or search terms, always think like a searcher yourself. Use keywords that people are likely to use when they type a term on the search bar.

You can also use tools to check which keywords are commonly used by online users when looking for a product or service. Trending keywords yield better traffic. Use them naturally in the content maintain good proximity and density.

2. High-Quality Content

Don’t think for once that search engines will tolerate garbled words and poorly written articles stuffed with keywords. You can’t trick algorithms any more. Your content should be relevant and engaging, with a headline that matches what’s actually written in it.

Originality is also crucial; Google penalizes sites with duplicate content. Your content should look like it’s written by a person, so give priority to its readability. User-generated content will drive more traffic to your site especially when it’s shared and often backlinked by trusted websites or media personalities.

3. Observe the Competition

The online marketplace is one huge network of competitors who all want to rank high on search engines. Depending on your niche, know who your competitors are and do your best to outperform them. There are tools you can use to analyze their metrics and know what SEO methods they used have worked what didn’t. Considering your search terms may be similar, explore the ways in which you can drive more traffic to your site. Employ tactics that will make your site a standout to rank way higher than them.

4. Effective Backlinking

Backlinking has changed a lot over the past few years. Back then, it was normal for website owners to enlist the help of other sites to build links directed to the owner’s homepage. These days, however, corresponding pages are more effective, as algorithms require a more specific link building profile. Be mindful of the websites that use your links though. Google will only honor authority sites that are trusted by many before they put you up on the pedestal along with the greats.

5. Give Your Pages a Name

Search engines display search results as a link using the webpage’s title, which means you should write it the way you want it to be read. Something that shows up as ‘untitled’ is highly questionable, looks unprofessional, shady, and unattractive. It’s important you give each of your pages a descriptive name or title and make sure there’s a keyword in it. Make sure the title is relevant to its content, too. If you’re writing about seagulls, why would your title have flamingos in it?

6. Search-Friendly Images

A lot of people seem to think that relevant images are enough. What they don’t realize is that how the image is filed matters as well. Your images must be search-friendly, which means it must have an optimized description. With a proper descriptive title, your images will end up in search engine image searches, which could help drive more traffic to your site especially if people see it first. For example, if you use an image of a camel, don’t upload it with a file name that says ‘image49.jpg.’ Google won’t understand that.

7. Social Media

Social media is all the rage these days. Everybody’s on it — even your nana. For this reason, it’s a good place to gain more audience and start driving more traffic to your site. You don’t even need to spend money if you have several accounts. You only need to update regularly to gain a good amount of followers. Your followers will help you spread content, and if you have followers who are blogger or site owners themselves, it will even help you more. There’s a chance you can organically grow your link building profile, and you can do the same thing for them as well.