How to improve your search engine rankings

Getting listed with the search engines is an integral part of guiding individuals to your website. Most of us would love to see our websites attract lots of free, natural traffic from significant search engines. Search engine ranking is one of the most competitive areas of the Internet. Great success will not come without a major effort on your part.

It can take a few weeks – even months – to get your site listed on Google, Yahoo and Bing. This process is entirely out of the control of HostPapa or any other web hosting company. However, we can offer some general tips to help you maximize your efficiency while working on your website’s natural search results listings.

Unless you have a very niche requirement for your customer search keywords, you will find that natural search engine traffic and listings are hard to come by.

For example, let’s say you would like your site to rank for [Toronto Men’s Dress Shoes]. At the time of writing, a search of Google for [Toronto Men’s Dress Shoes] results in 221,000 web page listings. In other words, you are competing against 221,000 web pages for the #1 spot!

Now, a search for [Men’s Dress Shoes], a much broader term, yields 4,930,000 web pages. You have much more competition and much more work to do to be #1 for these search terms.

For the best natural search results listings, you should consider three things:

  1. Your domain name should reflect what you want people to search for. Is your domain name or is it less tied to your chosen keywords?
  2. Ensure certain areas of your website are tied into your preferred keywords, including title tags and the content on each of your pages. A good webmaster can assist you. You can also check out online forums to learn the vocabulary and what to do with your site to maximize your efforts. Search “SEO forums” on, and you’ll hit on multiple forums to research.
  3. Inbound links are the third and most crucial aspect of your search engine marketing strategy. These link from other websites (with related content or interests similar to your site) back to your site. Here’s how to gather inbound links:
    • Review who shows up in the top 10 to 100 results for the keywords you hope to rank for.
    • Contact the owners of those sites to see if you can negotiate a way to get your links posted there. 
    • If possible, those text links should contain your chosen search keywords: a text link that reads “Toronto Men’s Dress Shoes” and links to is ideal. 
    • Keep in mind: obtaining these links is a manual process, and the more time and energy you can allocate toward getting them, the better your results will be. 

It can take a fair amount of time to get listed naturally in the search engines (it used to take up to three months to be listed in Yahoo). There are three major search engines (Google, Yahoo and Bing), and then there are many smaller ones, which drive far less traffic to websites.

Here are a couple of other resources if you wish to read more about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), how it is done, and how it affects your website:

You may also use services such as those listed below to submit your website to various search engines and directories:

HostPapa is a web hosting provider, not a web marketing or search engine optimization (SEO) service. As such, we do not control what information is collected (or “spidered”) by the various search engines, and we cannot submit your website to the various search engines and directories.

If you need help with your HostPapa account, please open a support ticket from your dashboard.

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