Improve the Ranking of your Website without Changing Content

Scarlett WhitehouseTechnical Writer
Tips to improve your website rankings without needing to change content...

What can you do to improve a site's rankings without touching the content (for example, if you don't have administrator access to the Content Manager) so that the search engines give it more attention? As well as earn good positions in the sickle and, ultimately, end up with more traffic as a result. Below I provide a few simple tips on how to quickly improve the position of your site in search results.

[Ed: FTP administrator access to the root folders of a website will still be required to perform the following steps.]


1. Create and Configure a robots.txt file


The robots.txt file, which should be in the main folder, can contain a number of useful rules:


- Closing unnecessary pages (sections) from indexing by the robot.


All sections that should not fall into the index, for example, in case of duplication of content or sections, which can only be accessed by an authorized user (private forum) or the admin panel, it is necessary (and very desirable) to close those pages in the robots.txt file. In this case, on the one hand, you reduce the load on the server and, on the other hand, the search robot indexes only the desired content.


An example of such a file can be:


- Delay Time between Robot Requests.


Yandex and Bing support this directive - Crawl-delay, which indicates in seconds the delay between two robot calls to the server. Very useful when the search robot is visiting a heavily loaded server. How does this directive affect the position of the site? Only indirectly, affecting the speed of pages returned by the server.


For more information on how to use the robots.txt file, see this Google Document.


Here is an example of a robots.txt file in one of its simplest forms:

User-agent: *


crawl-delay: 30



2. Make a Sitemap


Search engines should be given the addresses of all your website pages, what content is on them and how important they are to visitors. If you have a simple navigation, when pages are available with 1-2 clicks from the home page, then a sitemap may not be necessary. In other cases, when the structure of the site is very complex and the resource has many sections, it is desirable to create a sitemap in the form of sitemap.xml or in extreme cases, in the form of sitemap.html.


The use of a sitemap is described in great detail in this Google Learn about Sitemaps help page.

Here is an example of Google's sitemap: in HTML format and in XML Format.


3. Improve the Return Speed of Pages


The speed at which the pages of the site are given by the server is already one of the ranking factors in Google, as well as indirectly affecting other ranking factors in all search engines (for example, the average time a user is on a site, the percentage of failures, etc.).


How to check the speed and, if necessary, speed up your server?


First of all, open the main page and try to follow the links using the navigation. Are you satisfied with the download speed as a user? For an accurate check of the speed, you can visit Google's PageSpeed Insights tool to determine which part of a page is slowest.


You can accelerate the return speed by moving to a good hosting server and by adding page caching, for example, using smarty in conjunction with APC (alternative PHP cache) and optimizing the page code, removing all unnecessary code from them.



4. Glue the Domains with www and without www


For many sites in the index, the pages without the www prefix are duplicated with the same ones as www. You can check this by using special search operators ( site: in Google ).


Once you put links to your site with a www prefix, without it, SERP shows both ( non-www & www ), so it is necessary to restore order. By using 301 redirection with a htaccess file or canonical tag in the header section, you can glue both sites together.


An example of htaccess redirection would be :


RewriteEngine On

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^

RewriteRule (.*)$1 [R=301,L]


An example of redirection using canonical tag would be :


<link rel="canonical" href="" />


5. Create HQ backlinks - Having more Trust Flow


Perhaps you have a row of mirrors and they are not glued together. To improve the viz it would be better if you glue them using the method described above in point #4. Also, creating a backlink for your domain with those sites having more trust flow will increase the authority of the page and help to raise it a little higher in the SERP.


Additional information can be read here.


6. Assign a Region to the Site


Google allows you to specify the domain owner if it does not have a pronounced geo-zone in the name. If you do not assign a domain owner to the domain, then Yandex or another search engine will do it for you (by several signs), but its choice of name will rarely coincide with your desires. Therefore, if you want to be found in the right region, assign your resource to the one in which you promote your website. If you promote a product or service across all or many regions, then look for other exits (for example, make a section for each region).


7. Bring the Scripts and Styles to Separate Files


A good way to create site code is when scripts and styles are rendered in separate files. On the one hand, they stop clogging the code, and on the other, reduce the page size, allowing the server to deliver the page to visitors quickly (including search engine robots). Pay attention to the design (appearance) of the site, but also pay enough attention to the code (interior) as it also affects (even in some cases, indirectly) the ranking and position of the resource in the sickle.


8. Replace the 404 error with 301


On the one hand, when a visitor enters a non-existent address of your site, you need to give him an appropriate message that will be correct in relation to the visitor, but on the other hand, you can without asking, send the visitor to a desired page or, if not, to the home page of the site.

By getting rid of 404 errors and replacing them with the 301 redirects to existing pages, we will increase the weight of the last pages (linking the nonexistent ones with existing ones), and this will help us a bit more in the overall task - to increase the ranking in the search engines.


If you have additional methods to improve the ranking without changing the content of the site - share them with us in the comments below.


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