Boost Your Search Engine Ranking: The Inside Scoop

By Don Campbell, founder of DJ Campbell Marketing

When you research a topic using a search engine such as Google, Yahoo! or Bing, you get a list of websites to click on. You probably already noticed that the top few listings, and those along the right side, look somewhat different than the rest of the sites on the list. That is because they are paid listings or ads. Bing and Yahoo! display them in a box. Google identifies them with an icon. The ones below these paid listings may seem to be in no particular order. Actually, they are not at all random. These listings are known as organic search results, and the ideal location for your company’s website is right up on top. So what determines the order, and how do you get your site in one of those prime spots? Search engine optimization (SEO) and social media optimization (SMO).

Here’s a quick look at how a search engine works. The leaders – Google, Bing and Yahoo! – use “crawlers” to find relevant sites in response to an entered search term. The “crawlers” operate according to a sophisticated and frequently changing set of algorithms. A number of SEO methods ensure the “crawlers” will identify your site as relevant to the search and place it in a prominent position on the searcher’s list. Here are a few examples of SEO tactics:

– cross-linking between pages of the same site, specifically to the site’s key pages

– writing content that includes frequently searched keyword phrases, making the site relevant to a wide variety of search queries

– updating content regularly

– adding relevant keywords to a web page’s meta data

SMO is similar to SEO in its goal to drive traffic to a site. Search engines are now using the recommendations made by users of social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to rank websites on the results pages. A “like,” “share” or “retweet” on a social network is viewed as a “vote” or endorsement of a webpage’s quality. Search engines are using such “votes” to rank a site on their results pages. A few important tips for boosting SMO include:

– reviewing analytics to determine what kinds of posts get “liked” and “shared”

– tailoring content to your target audience

– increasing the number of followers

– scheduling posts and tweets frequently to ensure consistent visibility

Although the algorithms utilized by search engines are ever-changing, the tips above will help in optimizing your company’s site for SEO and SMO. I hope to see you at the top!

Please reach out to us with questions. You can reach Caryl Communications at 201-796-7788 or Don Campbell at 908-262-7070 and