Lab 99 Web Design

Skip the navigation

How to Improve Your Website's Search Engine Rankings

Lab 99 logo

Without giving away too many trade secrets, there are several ways to increase the search engine rankings of almost any website.

Technical Adjustments to Your Website

Most websites contain relatively poor–quality HTML code, which often hinders the search engines’ exploration of a website. A few improvements to the code will usually help the search engines to:

Essential Improvements

There is normally scope for improvement to parts of the head section and the mark–up within the body of the page. The most important areas are:

Optional Extra: the Keyword Element

One thing that isn’t really worth bothering with these days is the meta keyword element. This list of suggested keywords was originally a way for a website’s owner to tell the search engines what each page was about, but of course it soon began to be abused. For a while, it was also used in order to identify alternative spellings of words within a web page. So if you wanted a page to rank for the phrase Oswald imposter in Mexico City, for example, and the page used the ‘imposter’ spelling consistently, you could have included the alternative spelling, ‘impostor’, within the keyword element to let the search engines know that the page was relevant to any searches which used that spelling. There is no longer much benefit to be had from this; search engines nowadays are pretty good at recognising (or recognizing) alternative spellings in English. You can use the keyword element if you like, but Google stopped paying attention to it years ago.

Spreading the Word: Links to Your Website

The biggest single factor in a website’s search engine rankings is the number of links to it from other websites. Links are treated like votes of confidence. The more links to each of your website’s pages, the better, provided that they are from relevant, authoritative websites.

External Links Must Be Relevant

Links from websites that have no relevance to the subject matter of your own website are very unlikely to have any positive effect on your rankings. Links from what are known as ‘link farms’, websites that contain little more than lists of links, will probably worsen your website’s rankings and may even cause your website to disappear altogether from the search results.

Authoritative Links

Some websites are considered by the search engines to be much more authoritative than others. You have probably noticed that Wikipedia consistently appears close to the top of Google’s rankings, even when a particular article doesn’t really deserve it. A link from a website that is considered to be especially authoritative, such as Wikipedia or an academic institution, will normally provide a significant increase to a website’s rankings.

Internal Links

Within a website of any reasonable size, internal links can be used to strengthen the status of individual pages. It can be difficult to attract links from elsewhere, but it is easy to link to other pages within your own website. Internal links must be relevant, and should not be excessive.

Find Out More

About half of our business involves creating brand new websites. The other half comes from improving the appearance and search engine rankings of existing websites.

Contact us now to see what we can do for your website!