Many experts argue there is no greater driving force on the internet today than search engines. Platforms like Google help organize the web allowing users to quickly and effectively find the information they’re looking for and, ultimately, make the internet usable. Without search engines, the web would be no more than an unnavigable mass of data, impossible for any human to make sense of or use.

This almost complete reliance on search engines makes ranking high in these platforms vitally important if your site is to generate traffic and footfall. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) describes the highly complex and intricate processes involved in pushing sites higher up the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) under keywords and phrases most likely used by prospective visitors. However, while SEO is normally best performed by specialist web marketing firms, there are still a few tricks you can try yourself which are proven to bring success.

Tips to get ranked on search engines (particularly Google)

Google now accounts for over 92% of all search engine-generated traffic so it’s the platform you should target when considering your SEO. Nonetheless, the tactics listed below will also work for all other search services.

Research target keywords and key phrases

The Google search bot aims to mimic human users as closely as possible, trawling the internet for content most suited to the searches its users make online. By targeting specific keywords and phrases at the start of your web development journey, you’ll be far more likely to feature in searches made under those terms.

Having a clear idea of what your site is about, the audience you hope to attract and the likely search terms your users (prospective and existing) might make to find information like yours will give you clear focus when writing content, deciding on page headers and naming the pages on your site – all of which will help push your site up the listings.

Stay flexible with your direction and be prepared to adapt

No matter how much research and planning you do at the outset, it’s likely you’ll find your initial ideas on your site direction will change as you start studying user trends and how people are accessing and interacting with your site. By staying flexible with your direction and adapting to new data, you’ll be much better positioned to offer the precise type of content your users are looking for.

Website production used to be a fairly regimented process – plan, design, develop, deploy – however, web marketers are increasingly realizing the considerable limitations of this rather staid approach. Instead, you should look at staying adaptable with your design, direction and content and take a GDD approach that allows you to easily change direction.

Earn the trust of your users and the search engines

Google (and other search engines) like nothing more than high quality, regularly updated content. Indeed, the engine’s search spiders now increasingly use Artificial Intelligence (AI).

They have become so smart they can even ‘read’ content much like a human – to the point the platform can now study text for grammatical accuracy. If you want the best chance of pushing your site higher up its rankings (and staying high), you should ensure you always publish verifiable content, written with an air of authority.