Making your website rank higher in the search engines does not have to be hard. It will however largely depend on what terms you want to rank for. Some terms are very competitive and almost impossible to rank for unless you are a large company with large resources.
Examples of terms that are almost impossible to rank for includes many loan and mortgage terms, legal terms and financial terms such as stocks, day trading and binary options. Trying to rank for these are a fools errand unless you already have a lot of experience ranking websites.
Most small business do however not have do rank for these extremely competitive terms. Most business should target a lot less competitive terms and local terms. Trying to rank for the more competitive keywords will be a waste of resources and will bring you a lot less business then you think. Targeting local searches performed by local customers is the best way to attract more business online.
Not all keywords are created equal
The first thing you should do before you start to try ranking higher is to research which terms you should try to rank for. Very competitive terms are seldom a good idea. They will require a lot of work and will produce a lower ROI than more targeted keywords. Try to think like a customer. What would you search for if you were a customer looking to buy the service or product that you sell. The service/product your offer combined with the city name where you offer it can often be a good idea. If you live in a large city it can be better to target your local area. Not the entire city. It can also be good to target keywords related to the problem you can help your customer solve. Ie if you are a plumber it might be profitable if a client sees your company if they search for information on water leaks.
Very targeted terms are often easier to rank for and more profitable then more general terms.
Optimize your content
Once you know which terms you want to rank for you are ready to optimize your content. Do not make the mistake of trying to create a page for each term you want to rank for. That technique no longer work. Google is a lot smarter these days and you can rank a single page for a large number of related terms. Focus on making good content that contain all the information the visitors needs on a single topic on one single page. Do not divide it over several pages. Include on page on every topic that you want to cover.
Make sure that each article is well structured and that it uses headers and sub-headers. Avoid writing any passage of text that is longer then 150 words and make sure that there is never more than 300 words between each header. Use the headers to identify often search terms and common questions. Make sure you answer those questions in the text below.. You should make sure that you include all terms and phrases you want to rank for at least once in the text. Two or three times are often. Do not stuff the text with a lot of keywords. Use synonyms and related language instead.
Make sure to use images and multimedia to illustrate the content.
Optimize the website
Make sure that the website itself is well optimized and free of junk code. You can read more about how to do that in one of our other articles.
If you have an optimized website with content that is optimized for the terms and phrases you want to rank for then you are ready to start building links to your website and getting media attention to your site. Links is the main factor that will help your website to rank. It is not the number of links that will allow you to rank well. It is the quality of the links and the anchor texts used. Building links is an art. Done well it can boost your website. Done wrong it can dome it to oblivion. The topic is too complex to cover here but will be covered in other articles.