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Five Tips to Improve Your Search Engine Ranking

Provided by the International Finance Corporation


Wondering how you can make it to the top of the search results? Search engines use complex algorithms to filter search results, requiring you to optimize your search engine strategy regularly.  Improve your ranking with these five tips. 

1.     Care about content

Content is king for search engines. Make sure you have some rich content on your website explaining what your business is about, and also include articles or blog posts related to your business. Search engines favor websites that include details and use natural language over websites that present thin content filled with keywords.

Make sure you also build up and update your content continuously. Adding content just once will not help.  Regularly updating your site with some quality pieces will be rewarded over time.

2.     Include and receive high-quality links

Enrich your content by including both internal links that connect different content pieces on your site, as well as external links to high-quality websites. In turn, have some well-known sites that are relevant to your industry include a link to your website. When doing so, think quality rather than quantity! Search engines will trust your website more if other well-established sites refer to it. In addition, these links may drive user traffic to your site.

Research the top sites in your industry and market, and establish contact with only a few to negotiate a link exchange. Consider also offering thematic posts to other websites and asking for a link to your own site in return.

Given you are offering high-quality content, links will grow naturally once you start link-building activities. Be patient, though, as this does not happen overnight.

3.     Work with the right keywords

Search engines work with keywords, and so should you. Choose words that are relevant and specific to your business—ones that a potential customer may use when searching for your product/service. Include the keywords in page titles, subtitles, text and image descriptions.

Use keyword research tools available online to identify the most popular search keywords in your industry and test your selection running a search in major search engines. By analyzing the top results, you will know if your keywords or search terms are useful to find the right websites. At the same time, you will learn who your main competitors are.

4.     Improve the user experience

User friendliness is another aspect that search engines pay attention to when ranking search results.

  • Make sure your site has a clear and easy structure and has an appealing design.
  • Enrich the site with pictures and videos or other elements such as infographics.
  • Most importantly, pay attention to the speed of your site.  Test your site externally from your hosting network to see if there are any pages or content that is loading slowly.  Slow sites are considered user-unfriendly and will be ranked significantly lower in search results. There are many possible reasons for a slow website, from images with large files  to problems related to your server. You should get an expert´s advice to determine and fix the problem.

5.     Be Mobile Friendly

You need to ensure that your website is as mobile friendly as possible. As more search engines searches are now performed from mobile phones than from desktop computers, search engines increasingly give more importance to websites that are well adapted to the mobile sphere.

In website design, pay attention to the technology that you will use and choose a design that will work well with different devices – desktop, tablet or mobile. If you have had the same website for many years, it might not be mobile responsive and updating may be necessary.

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© International Finance Corporation [Year of First Publication].  All rights reserved.
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The material in this work is copyrighted. Copying and/or transmitting portions or all of this work without permission may be a violation of applicable law.  IFC does not guarantee the accuracy, reliability or completeness of the content included in this work, or for the conclusions or judgments described herein, and accepts no responsibility or  liability for any omissions or errors (including, without limitation, typographical errors and technical errors) in the content whatsoever or for reliance thereon

2121 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20433, www.ifc.org

The material in this work is copyrighted. Copying and/or transmitting portions or all of this work without permission may be a violation of applicable law.  IFC does not guarantee the accuracy, reliability or completeness of the content included in this work, or for the conclusions or judgments described herein, and accepts no responsibility or  liability for any omissions or errors (including, without limitation, typographical errors and technical errors) in the content whatsoever or for reliance thereon.

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