It should, of course, go without saying that search engine optimisation (SEO) plays a major role in the marketing strategies of any competitive business operating today. Put simply, the higher your ranking within Google’s search results, the more traffic your site will receive.

It is interesting that, given SEO is something everyone agrees is important, surprisingly few people know how to effectively improve their rankings.

If you are trying to reach the top of Google’s search results, take a look at our top tips for how you can make the most out of SEO:

Know Your Keywords

Knowing what keywords the people you want visiting your site are using is a key step in improving your SEO ranking. Once you know these keywords, you need to introduce them organically into the copy of relevant pages on your website. Remember to use your top keywords in your page title, a search engine’s favourite part of any given page, as well as the page header and the name and alt tag of images.

You should also make a note to frequently visit the websites of your biggest competitors and track the keywords they are using on their site. You can also look for any gaps in the market your competitors haven’t noticed and use them.

Get external links

One of the holy grails of SEO is the external link. It is very important to get links to your site from other websites, because search engines directly equate the number of external links a page has with how trustworthy it is.

Think quality over quantity, and make sure you aim for trusted, high quality sources rather than a great deal of lesser trusted sources or link farms, because Google is sophisticated enough to know the difference.

You should also be providing internal links within your own content to relevant pages from your own site.

Prioritise Quality Content

At the end of the day, as Google and its competitors develop ever more sophisticated algorithms to fine tune the results on their search engines, one of the best practices a company can adopt to improve its SEO ranking is to produce the highest quality content possible.

This means that the content on your site should be concise and easy to understand, and keywords should appear organically and be woven into the copy.

Make it easy to use

No only should the content be of high quality, but it needs to be presented effectively as well. Make sure your website is easy to navigate and everything is laid out in a clear, intuitive way, and be aware that particularly bad coding on websites has been known to have a negative impact on SEO rankings.

Track your progress

Remember, improving and maintaining your SEO ranking takes continuous work, so get into the habit of monitoring your search engine rankings so you can see if your SEO techniques are having a positive or negative impact, and adjust your SEO strategy accordingly. Use an analytics program such as Google Analytics or any alternative to make sure you get an accurate image of your website’s performance.