Our Equine Industry clients ask how to get their site to rank higher in search engine results. It is hard to compete with the work that the big players like; www.horse.com, www.purina.com, www.apha.com, www.aqha.com are doing with search engines and there are many factors that get your search engine ranking so it helps to know the tricks of the trade.
Search Engine Ranking Factors:
1) length of time your site has been up compared to the competition
2) the amount of domain names tied to your site with keywords in domain names
3) the number of years you have your horse business domain name reserved out in the future
4) your keywords less than 10 words & how early they are used on the page, like at the top of the page
5) your description less than 200 characters
6) your title tag 10 - 60 characters
7) your content 5 - 20% - (all keywords/ total words) in natural language sentences
8) links to other websites
9) links to your site from other sites (link trading)
10) freshness of new content
These are the factors that rule your placement in the horse industry search engine rankings. No one - no company or SEO specialist, can configure you to rank better than someone else. What they can do is, take a look at your site content, key words and meta tags and compare those with what your competition is doing and make changes and suggestions and submit your site to the search engines but there is nothing they can actually do themselves that will make the site's ranking change. It is all a function of the search engines and they do the rankings based on the factors I outlined and how relative your content is based on the key words you are listing. Equine Marketing is a smaller world than say, Real Estate, your chances of improving your ranking by changing the items 1-10 above are much higher than if you were in the real estate market, simply because of the level of thousands of competing websites.
Here are some factors that will kill your rankings:
1) using invisible text to hide your key words throughout the page
2) duplicating keywords just like website, websites, websites for horses just for the sake of doing it to trick the search engines.
3) HTML code violations - bad code or page errors
4) Text presented in only graphic format - no text - if there is no text, there is nothing for the search engine to spider and index. We have this battle all the time, pretty vs functional....!
Silver Buckle Services has spent money on the ranking services of SEO specialists and not seen any difference in our stats. We have however, seen our website stats change radically when we do Constant Contact (e-newsletter) emailings to our clients with announcements or give aways or even when we use Facebook to talk about a service or when we write on our blog. So at Silver Buckle Services, we spend our time working on those things rather than improving our search engine results. Every client thinks that search engine placement - the higher the ranking the better. I disagree slightly simply because, I think people searching for horse related items take price, and quality more into effect when searching for an item than if it appeared first in the search engine results list. I don't necessarily buy from the first horse products company on the list, I search and look page to page and find what I am looking for, then find the best price, shipping options and quality of what I am looking to buy.
Here are some suggestions:
1) Spruce your home page design - make sure you are using your keywords in real sentences on your web pages
2) Check our keywords and your description on your webpage, make sure you are using the common language a user would use to search for you on your keywords and in your description.
3) Write more content about your equine store, products, or services. Create pages like a equine blog page where you just write about how to use the products, how to clean them, the best way to store them etc. The more natural language you use on your site using your key words in a real sentence, the better your site will rank in the search engines.
3) Use facebook and Constant Contact to spread the news about your articles you write.
4) buy more domain names that are displaying your keyword names like www.affordablehorseblankets.com instead of just getting your company name in your domain name. The more equestrian domains you have tied to your site, the more the search engines tie in your rankings. Example for SilverBuckleServices.com we could also have www.websitesforhorses.com or www.logosandmarketingforhorses.com and www.equinewebsitedesignservices.com
We can't say it enough ----- Content is KING!
Spending time to have good content on your business website is the single most improvement you can make for your business. It not only will help your clients and potential clients learn more about you, it will improve your search engine results in the process. Your website content should be appealing to your audience and written in easy to understand, natural language. When writing about your equestrian company, service or organization put yourself in their shoes, what would they want to know, what would be interesting to them and what would keep them coming back for more, that is the secret to a good website. Notice in throughout this equine marketing blog article, I did something tricky, I included the words, Horse Industry, Equine, Marketing, Horses, Equestrian several times in real sentences, without it being redundant. I also included outside links in the article, those outside links help rankings - this kind of writing is the writing you need to do to be successful in your rankings!