Friday, 4 May 2012

Five top tips to improve Google ranking from an SEO expert

Alison in action at a conference
I first heard of Alison Rothwell through the blog network British Mummy Bloggers (recently rebranded as Britmums). She set up a free SEO group and taught us lots of tips. Nowadays she is a very busy, successful lady indeed and I hope she doesn't mind if I post this "oldish" article - on the web  everything goes at the speed of light. I feel it's still relevant and it shows up her great coaching skills. 

Improving your Google PageRank will, of course, have a knock-on effect on your position within the natural search results. But don't make the mistake of concentrating solely on PageRank. Improving PageRank should be a part of a well-organized SEO strategy. With that in mind here are five top tips to help you improve your Google PageRank.

1. Create a Google site map
Google has a great number of free tools you can use. So if you don't already have one, head on over to and create a free account, then follow the instructions to create a sitemap. While you are there, take a look at some of the other free tools they offer.

2. Get good back links
It's common knowledge that the more links you have, the better it is for your PageRank. But while it's common knowledge, it's not entirely correct. It's not so much the quantity of links you have, but the quality. All links should be from relevant sites, preferably with a high PageRank themselves. A good way of getting quality back links is to post in relevant forums. Answer any questions that may have been posted and include a link back to your site offering more information. DO NOT spam these websites with links,  though, or you'll be banned.

3. Mind your spelling
Sorry, but Google doesn't like spelling mistakes. So always make sure your content and titles are spelled correctly. It was once common practice to optimise sites with misspelled words for popular search terms to try and fool the engines. Those days are over, if your site has misspelled words on it, your PageRank will be penalized accordingly.

4. Check out what your competitors are up to
Do a search in Google for the search term you want to rank for. The people at the top of the list are doing something right, so let's take a look at what they are up to. Type the following search string into Google "", replace with the url of the top ranking site. You will now see a list of sites that are linking to that particular webpage. Make a note of the links and try to get them to link to your site as well.

5. Don't forget the rest of your site
PageRank, like the name suggests, is an indication of the quality of the page you're on, not of the website as a whole. A common mistake is to concentrate on increasing the PageRank of your homepage, thinking that it will filter down to the other pages on your site. Well no it won't, try to get links into the whole of your site, for a number of different keywords. Do all this correctly and soon you'll start to see the fruits of your labours.

 Alison Rothwell is an online marketing expert who prides herself on helping small businesses achieve their full potential. Whatever the size of your business, visit to find out more about her SEO workshops and social media expertise. 

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