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How to Optimize Your Website to Improve Your SEO Ranking

If you own a brand and you have yet to see your website pop up on local search results, don’t be discouraged. All it takes is a few tweaks to your website and a little more knowledge under your belt, and your SEO ranking will be out of this world! You will see your website at the top in no time.

Studies show that the top page of Google has a 33% better chance of getting clicked. This means that if your website is not sitting at the top of Google search results, that you just lost out on a third of your potential traffic! Research also shows that 75% of people don’t make it to the second page of the search results. This means that if your website is not on the first page, then it doesn’t matter where your site is because it will never be seen. 

There are hundreds of simple ways that you can improve your SEO ranking. A few changes here and there will land you a spot on the first page. From there, you will be on your way to more web visitors, increased sales and revenue. Although there are hundreds of ways that you can optimize your website for SEO, you only have to make a few changes to see a huge difference. You’ll be immensely boosting your chances of getting found on Google. Here are five ways that you can optimize your website to improve your SEO ranking.

1. Check your Page Titles 

Page titles are incredibly important for SEO ranking. This is because page titles are the first thing that users see when they search for something online. One effective way to optimize your website is to check all of your page titles. This means that you should check every title on every page, article, and piece of content to make sure that they are engaging, grammatically correct, and loaded with keywords. Your SEO titles should be accurate, meaning that they should accurately reflect what your page is about. Your titles should also be succinct, meaning that they should be briefly and clearly expressed. The most important thing is to make sure that your page titles include keywords.

2. Always Include Meta Descriptions

The meta description on a website is the little paragraph that is displayed underneath the page title in the search results. The meta description is there to provide the user with extra information related to the website, helping users decide whether or not your site information is what they need. One way that you can improve your SEO ranking is to make sure that all of the pages on your website have a meta description. That little blurb of information is more important than you think! Meta descriptions are meant to drive more relevant traffic to your site and keep users sticking around. Make sure that your meta description clearly states what your page is about, contains keywords targeting the right audience, and is written in the right context. 

3. Create Internal Links 

If you haven’t already, you need to be creating internal links between pages on your website. It may seem odd, but linking pages within your website will bring in more visitors and keep them sticking around. Google actually favors websites who have internal links because its web crawlers are able to index the site’s pages much more easily and it creates a better user experience. When you create internal links, you are allowing users to spend more time on your site and locate pages easier. Your users will be much happier, more likely to trust you and also more likely to return in the future. More visitors now will show Google that your page is valuable and will eventually boost your SEO rating. 

4. Insert Alt Text with Images 

Who doesn’t love a good picture with a page of content or informative article? Images enhance the user experience and make your website fun and interesting! But, unfortunately, Google cannot see those images unless you add “Alt Text” or an “Alt Tag” to the image. So, in order for Google to see those images, you have to provide a description, or something that Google can interpret and recognize as a picture. Google needs that text to be able to understand!

Alt Texts are used within an HTML code to describe the appearance and function of an image on a page. To improve your website SEO, make sure that you tag every image that you upload onto your site. You need to make sure that every single photo has an Alt Text tag. This is so important because Google needs to understand the image and index it. Your ideal Alt Text should include keywords relevant to your page and its information. 

5. Make your URLS Clear and Concise

Have you ever paid attention to your page URLs? They actually play a big role in your website SEO! URLs are the addresses on the top of each page. Your URLs actually show up underneath the title in your search results. Because your URLs are actually being seen, you want to make sure that they look clean and easy to read. Messy or cluttered URLs can be confusing to your visitors. They can often appear as untrustworthy, spammy, and unclear. An easy-to-read URL might be your ticket to more traffic, more clicks, and increased sales. The difference between a clean URL and cluttered URL could mean a few extra dollars in your pocket at the end of the year. 

As previously mentioned, there are hundreds of ways that you can optimize your website to boost your SEO ranking. These five tips on improving your website optimization will get you one step closer to seeing your website ranked on Google. Keep in mind that most of this optimization deals with double checking your website for errors and fixing little things here and there. If you don’t see your website or your page of content on the top of the page, don’t give up! Keep optimizing your page and search engines, such as Google, will start to notice. Your website will be on that front page in no time!

The Advantages of Paid Hosting

You may be asking yourself, “Why should I pay for web hosting when I can get it for free?” 

Your decision to use free or paid hosting is completely dependent on your website goals.  Let’s say that you wanted to start a blog. You would most likely benefit from using a free hosting service. Maybe instead, you want to start a business website, where you intend to sell products and services. In this case, you will need paid hosting. 

Think of it like this: You wouldn’t show up to a race wearing flip flops, right? And you wouldn’t show up to the beach wearing a snowsuit, would you? No, of course not! You’d show up to each occasion prepared for what each activity requires you to wear. In the same case, you wouldn’t use free hosting if your goal was to create a booming business. You probably also wouldn’t purchase hosting if you were not going to utilize all of the benefits.

The type of website you want to start completely depends on your goals. A free website might sound great in the moment, but if it doesn’t fit your website needs, you would be wasting your time! 

Before you make your decision, you should know the differences between free hosting and paid hosting. In a previous article, I listed the advantages and disadvantages of free hosting, which will help you better understand the concept of free hosting. To help you better understand paid hosting, I’ve listed the advantages and disadvantages below. Although, paid hosting has many more positives than negatives. One of the biggest upsides to paying for hosting is that things are headache-free from the very beginning. 

  1. No Advertisements 

One huge advantage to paying for a web host is that your website visitors will not be overwhelmed by ads! Ads are usually displayed on “free” websites in order to cover the cost of the free site. Web providers are able to give away free hosting because they make money from the ads on their free websites. The disadvantage of ads are that they can make your website look unprofessional. With paid hosting, you won’t have the deal with those distractions. Instead, you can focus on improving other parts of your site. You actually have the option to include ads on your paid hosted website if you so choose. You’ll even make money on them! But, it’s up to you to decide whether you want them on your website or not. You have the control!

  1. Better Customer Service

When you are paying for hosting, you are also paying for exceptional customer service. Most, if not all, web providers are available to paying customers 24/7/365. This means that if you have a problem with your website at 2 a.m., you can call your provider and they will assist you with whatever you need. It really means anytime of the day, week, month or year. Free hosting does not usually provide this asset. For example, the Hostirian Customer Support team is available 24/7/365 for all customers!

  1. Control Over Domain Name 

Paying for a web host also means that you have control over your domain name. This means that you can choose your domain name, without worry of having to use the subdomain of your free host’s name. This will ultimately free your domain name of any ads, help you rank higher in searches, and leave more room to be taken seriously as a business. It also shows that you have total ownership of your website. It has also been proven that businesses are taken more seriously when having a “.Com” domain extension. So, let’s say that your domain name is (yourname).com. You will have hit the goldmine!

  1. More Disk Space and Bandwidth

The great thing about paid hosting is that the disk size is almost unlimited. It may not seem too important when you start your website, but disk space will be incredibly necessary down the line. Paying for a web host will secure unlimited space on your website so that you can get creative, add more pages, images and things to make your website YOURS! Paying for a host also guarantees you more bandwidth (which allows for more people on your site per month). A paid site legitimately allows you to grow and expand as a business because it gives you the resources to do so.

  1. Better SEO 

Using a paid hosting service gives you a better chance at being ranked on search results. For starters, those who pay for hosting receive access to tons of plugins to help with SEO! This is a great deal because better SEO will ultimately increase your traffic and make you more money. Those with better onsite SEO, such as using high-profile keywords, have a better chance at ranking higher in search engines. Being ranked higher in search engines will give you a much better chance at being found when people search for similar products to yours. The more visitors you have, the more likely you are to convert those visitors into customers, resulting in more revenue per month. 

  1. It’s Not as Expensive as You Think 

Paid hosting is not as expensive as you might think. You don’t have to spend hundreds on hosting to receive all of these awesome benefits. There are some rather inexpensive hosting packages that you could use that would be better than free hosting. Before you choose your paid hosting package, do some research on different providers and packages that would fit your needs. But, we REPEAT, you do not need to spend a fortune per month or per year to receive the benefits of paid hosting. 

There are many more advantages to paying for a web host which include accessing Google Analytics, having unlimited plugins and themes, and having the option to add Ecommerce to your site. You may be on the fence because you are trying to avoid having to pay another bill per month (we get it!). But, believe us when we say that it is worth it! The only disadvantage of paid web hosting is that it requires you to pay for the service. Before you choose a paid hosting service, be sure to do some research to find a company that best fits your needs.

Before you do this, check out the provider’s reviews, website, packages they offer, and overall reputation of the company. Chances are, if other people say they like the company and have had success, you will too. The Hostirian team is proud to offer two different hosting packages that have been molded to fit the needs of our customers! Check them out, below!

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Free Hosting

The day has come! You have decided that you are finally going to start your own website. How exciting! After some research, you come to find that you need a web hosting plan. To your surprise, there are two options: free hosting and paid hosting. While you are staring at your computer screen, mentally analyzing the differences between the two, you immediately begin to think “Well, what’s the difference?” 

You may be thinking, “I just need a website… The free version will do!” 

For those new to the world of websites, the “free version” may seem like the better alternative because… well, it’s free. But, think again! There are a handful of obvious differences between free hosting and paid hosting that may cause you to consider dishing out a few extra dollars per month. 

What is Free Hosting?

Free web hosting is just how it sounds. It is a web hosting service that is offered free of charge to the public. A majority of free hosting plans include free server space, global reach over the web, a free domain name, and other limited capabilities. All this sounds great, right? Well, it comes with a catch… or a few. 

The only real advantage to using a free hosting service is that it is free! A free hosted website is really just a limited version of what you could really do with a paid plan. But, let’s get something straight. Anything that is considered “free” online actually comes with a price. You are not legitimately getting any service for free. If you are not paying for the product, then you are the product. This includes free web hosting. If you are not paying anything for your service, then you are accepting that there will be some kind of exchange. The option to sign up for a free site is just a way to get you to upgrade for their paid plan. For this reason, almost every feature of the free plan is limited in some way or another.

5 Disadvantages of Free Hosting

Expect to deal with these five things when signing up for a free hosting plan.

  1. Ads- EVERYWHERE

You will be seeing many more advertisements on your website when you sign up for free hosting. As annoying as ads can be, it is actually a fair trade. The service is free because of the potential money that the web provider could make from you. Every time you click on an ad on your site, your web provider makes money. Since you are not paying for any kind of service, they have to make money on you somehow, right? Your web provider has to pay for the space and equipment to host your site. Because of this, your website is basically an advertisement. If you don’t mind the ads around your content, this might be a good route for you.

  1. Limited Access to Customer Support 

With a free hosting plan, you can expect to receive limited access to customer support. Most web providers that offer free services say that you will receive 24/7 support. Though, take that promise with a grain of salt! That’s not to say that you won’t receive help if you need it! But, your free site will most likely not be their #1 priority. Customer support was created for the convenience of the paying customer. Paying customers will have their website issues figured out right away, while you may be waiting a while to get yours fixed. 

  1. Domain Name Branding

Free hosting plans will not provide you with a real domain name. You will be given a sub domain name that includes their name in your URL. For example, let’s say you created a free website with WordPress. Your domain name would include “WordPress” in the URL: such as, Janedoe.wordpress.com. Web providers do this for branding and advertising purposes. With a free hosting plan, you do not have complete control over your domain name. Remember, your domain name is an important element of your brand. If you don’t mind sharing your domain name with your web provider, then this plan might be for you. Your web provider will always give you the option to upgrade to a hosted plan to receive a real domain name, if you so choose.

  1. Limited Features

Surprise, surprise! Your free hosting plan comes with limited capabilities. Many free plans restrict the number of free pages that each user receives. With a free hosting plan, you may only receive a few pages that you can utilize for your website goals. Once you have used up those few pages, you will be given an option to upgrade for a low price. With this plan, you will also receive limited bandwidth. The bandwidth is the amount of visitors allowed on your website per month. If you use more bandwidth than you are given, most web providers will force you to purchase a paid plan. Lastly, you will have limited data transfer speed. This means that your site might be slower due to sharing the server with many others. 

  1. Nearly Impossible to be Indexed  

Unfortunately, it is pretty difficult to optimize a free website. Google’s ranking algorithm includes many different pieces that all work together to get websites ranked at the top of the page. Things such as web speed, mobile-friendliness, security, the domain name and much more play a part in being ranked. Those things, and many more, are not possible with a free site. Part of this reason is because free sites are more vulnerable to spam content, which Google blocks and prevents from being indexed. Because of these reasons, and more, search engines prioritize paid hosted sites over free hosted sites. Free hosted plans may also restrict your access to site analytics. Some web providers may give you access to some free statistics about your website, but sites like Google Analytics won’t allow free websites to hold an account. 

If you are still on the fence about spending money on a hosting plan, then consider the differences. Think about what you want to accomplish with your website and then choose your plan from there. Chances are, you will accomplish many more of your goals with a paid hosting plan. A free hosting plan would be perfect for someone who wants to learn the basics of creating and operating a website. If you don’t expect much traffic to your site, you’re not bothered by the lack of webpages, you don’t mind the ads, or the domain name, then this would be a perfect option for you! Though, if you are a brand or a business who needs to establish an online presence, you will be much better off paying for a hosting plan!

What are Keywords? Why Are They Important for SEO?

Let’s face it, there are so many facets to owning and operating a website. On top of keeping everything functioning perfectly and providing an aesthetically pleasing web design, you also need to make sure that you are drawing in more customers with strategic marketing techniques. We say that it can be a lot because… it can be! Oftentimes people forget how important it is to always be optimizing your website for growth, in every way possible. One thing that is incredibly important, and can oftentimes be swept under the rug, is keywords. Keywords are key for the growth and success of your business. If you need help with keyword insertion, online listings, or improving your search rankings, click the green button above! It’s free!

What are Keywords?

Keywords are ideas and topics that define your content. Ultimately, they help search engines find businesses through relevant topics, content, and terms. They also help businesses get noticed through words or phrases that searchers input into their search engine. People use keywords to optimize their web pages as a part of their search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. As much as they are words, keywords can also be phrases, known as long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are three or four words strung together to create a specific keyword phrase. Website owners, marketers, and searchers use long-tail keywords to narrow down their search results as they look for products, services, and information. 

As a website owner, you want your website to show up on the first page of the search results. When your website is listed on the first page, you are more likely to see tons of traffic! But, to see your website listed at the top of the search results page, you need to include keywords into your website. Those keywords will help searchers find relevant products and information that match your brand’s products and services.

There are several factors that influence your search ranking. Though, if you include keywords into your website content, you will be one step closer to appearing high on that list

Why are they so Important for SEO? 

Keywords are important for SEO for a variety of reasons. 

  1. Improve search engine rankings by helping Google (and other search engines) understand web page content
  2. Drive more relevant traffic to appropriate web pages 
  3. Increase conversions by helping customers find your website first (before your competitors)
  4. Get content in front of the right people at the best time 
  5. Communicates to Google that a website is a match for a query
  6. Helps understand your target market’s language

How to Use Keywords

Keywords are important, therefore you should learn how to use them effectively. Optimizing your web page for SEO does not mean you should use the same word/words on your website as much as possible. You should write and create content for your site as naturally as you can. You should also avoid copying someone else’s content. When you’re creating content and adding pages to your website, do not try to mislead your audience or trick them into going to your page. Do not use words that don’t exactly describe the contents of your page. You should also avoid awkwardly inserting keywords into your website. By this we mean that you should make sure that your keywords make sense with the rest of your content. You should always make sure that you choose your keywords based on your audience and objective of your brand.

Search engines have become much more advanced over the years. Search engines, such as Google, are always learning and analyzing how people utilize the Internet. Because things are ever-changing, it is more important to focus on writing quality content around each keyword term than to focus on the number of words that you are inserting into your website.

What keywords should I use? 

So… We know that keywords are important, but how do we know what words to use for maximum optimization? There are four things that you can start doing right now to create the most effective keywords for your website. The first thing you should do is brainstorm a list of ideas that describe the products or services you offer. Next, consider using a keyword research tool. There are plenty of free tools online that will give you data on some of the words in your list. A keyword tool will give you the actual words that people search when researching products and services. Once you know the exact words that people are searching for, you will be able to expand your original list to something more effective.

The last thing that you should do is research your total list of keywords and examine the websites and businesses that end up at the top of those search results. If you see other websites that sell similar products and services to yours, then you know you are doing something right! Don’t forget to continue inserting keywords into your content so that your website stays relevant and easy to find when searchers look for similar products.  

 

Keyword search ultimately helps you understand how your target market describes your products or services. Knowing this information will help you understand what words to use on your site so that you can attract more relevant traffic. Knowing these different keywords may even help you come up with some new ideas for content! A little search and web optimization can improve your chances of appearing on the first page of search engine results. This also might also be a good opportunity for product expansion if you notice that your searchers are looking for things that you don’t currently offer. You can further optimize your website by fixing these five things! If you need help with keyword insertion, business listings, or improving your search rankings, click the button below! It’s free!