I have put a few pages on the site, but we are still quite far down the google listing. Any idea how we can get higher?

Search engines generally do not rank new sites highly in the beginning, so your ranking will certainly improve with time. That being said:

1. The best meditation site is most likely to be be the first site in rankings

The number one thing you can do make sure the site is a place where you yourself, as a seeker would like to visit. Many of our meditation sites still look ’empty’, years after they have been created.

As well as the essential content (details of classes, Sri Chinmoy etc), a really comprehensive meditation site should include a comprehensive section of pages on meditation tips and techniques, stories and videos by Centre members, details of books and CDs – in short, try to be THE authoritative online resource for meditation in your city.

Try to make each page inside your site as much as possible the very best page on the internet about that topic in your language. Given that Sri Chinmoy has offered us so many writings, video, music, and inner experiences, this should be achievable. It will make other external sites link to our pages, which helps tremendously for people to find us. Journalists will call you and companies will ask you to give classes in their lecture rooms.

Ask yourself – is the site usable and attractive to visitors? Search engines are really looking how much time people spend on a site and if they really like that site.

2. Write regularly

Regular adding of content (eg articles) indicates a dynamic, happening site – something Google also takes into account. For example, it is no coincidence that Sri Chinmoy Races is one of our best performing sites, as there are race editors adding and updating content there almost every day.

3. Don’t copy pages

Copying pages wholescale from other sites hurts both you and the site you copy from. If we see a copied page, we will take it down (and maybe even temporarily take down the sites) to protect our other sites

As a rule of thumb, you should have at least 2/3 “original content.” “Original content” means writing which is not found anywhere on the web. Published disciple articles and Guru’s writings at Sri Chinmoy Library do not meet this criterion. But the remaining 1/3 can be “copied material.” Writers are encouraged to quote from Sri Chinmoy Library and other sites as long the 1/3 or less copied material guideline is maintained, and the writings are appropriately credited (with a link back to the site).

4. Build a site that people can rely on

When visitors search the web for meditation, they may not know so much about meditation, and they may be misinformed about certain stereotypes that exist about meditation. By writing articles on your own meditation experiences and on practical meditation tips and techniques, by showing videos and music, the user can see that we are a genuine meditation group that have benefited tremendously from our years of meditating with Sri Chinmoy, and are more inspired to get in touch.

If you look behind all the algorithms and updates you hear about from time to time, search engines are essentially looking for trusted ‘authoritative’ websites on topics that people search for. So first create a website that seekers can rely on in terms of advice.

and now for the practical how-tos:

How do I write an article?

Writing articles is very easy: go to ‘Post > Add New’ in the left sidebar. It is the same as creating/editing a normal page.

How can visitors see my articles?

Initially you can make your articles available as follows:

  • Your articles can be viewed in blog style form here: www.yoursite.com/meditation-articles
  • You can also add a sidebar ‘widget’ showing all of the recent articles listed, ensuring that your articles can be reached from every page. You can use a ‘fixed’ sidebar to ensure there is always another article available for the user to read once they are done with their current one.
  • You should also make sure that the most recent articles are reachable from the front page

However, as you make more articles, you will need to do a little planning to make all the articles available to the users.

  • We encourage you to make categories that reflect popular meditation topics – ‘Tips for beginners’, ‘Free meditation music’, ‘Meditation experiences’
  • You can then make front page sections showing the most recent articles in each category

What kind of Articles should I write?

  • The main question people ask is – what do I write about? Any question that might get asked during meditation classes/by a seeker can make a good title for an article. See below for a list of title suggestions.
  • Bear in mind that many people coming to your site have no idea what meditation is, they may only have a vague idea that it might be good for them. So articles like ‘What is Meditation?‘ or ‘The benefits of meditation‘ can provide crucial background information, as well as providing SEO-friendly content.
  • Find out what people are searching for. A page may be ranking in first place for “meditation my city” searches, but still get only very few visitors (20 or less/day). What happens is that seekers don’t write “meditation my city” when they do searches. They are more likely to write “how to meditate”, “music for meditation”, “guided meditation”, etc. So you have to make pages that will comprehend their searches. Usually one page for each search (or keyword) is ideal.There are tools which tell us how people are phrasing their searches on search engines, or how popular is a certain phrase. Using them, you can better serve people in their queries. For example, “benefits of meditation” has 15.000 searches per month, while “meditation benefits” has 8.000, half the amount. On the other side, it is possible that there are also less pages written about “meditation benefits”, so there will be less competition. If you have the energy, you can write both pages even.
  • In the end of this file there is a list of suggested keywords in English language. (You might have to research them again in your language.)
  • One free tool to help with choosing which page to write is called Google Keyword Planner. Normally we would not recommend Google products, but Google is one of the search engines we are targeting. You have to sign in (free), and there you can try all kinds of keywords, based on language, city, country, etc. It also gives you suggestions about similar or related keywords. (after making a search in Keyword Planner, click the “Keyword Ideas” tab in the middle of the page).

Some suggested Titles for Articles

  • How To Get Started With Meditation
  • What Does Meditation involve?
  • How to Improve Your Concentration
  • Benefits of Meditation
  • What is the aim of meditation?
  • 7 Steps to Meditation
  • 7 Tips for Meditation
  • Relaxation Exercises for Meditation
  • How To Be More Peaceful in Modern Life
  • Is Meditation Practical?
  • The Art of Meditation
  • Meditation and Music
  • How to quieten the mind
  • How to live in the heart
  • Simple meditation exercises

Tips for writing articles

  • The ideal is minimum of 1500 words (or, at bare minimum, 700) in your article. MS Word has a built-in word-counter to help with that. You can write more, of course! That will be good. Research shows that the 10 best ranking pages on any topic are usually 2000+ words. Over time, you learn the art of structuring your longer pages with nice images, video etc so they are always nice to read. On the longer pages, try to have the best information in the beginning so that people can get the essence even if they don´t read the full page.
  • However don’t let length put you off. One successful strategy is to start off by writing shorter pages, see if any of them start to get popular, and then work on making them better.
  • They don’t have to be all paragraphs. You can also intersperse a series of tips or instructions in bullet point form (like this section!). May people find this format easier to write.
  • If possible, its good to have someone read / review article before publishing for typography and also for suitability.
  • It is good to have at least pictures with an article. A photo e.g. of person who wrote article can definitely help. Pages might include a link to an audio and/or embedded video on Sri Chinmoy TV and/or Radio Sri Chinmoy. You can also include exercises-to-try taken from Guru’s writings. Kindly credit Guru and cite the book and page number if possible. Links to books being sold at bookstores/amazon, etc, are also welcome.
  • Link to related pages inside your site (for example, your “music for meditation” could have a link to your “how to start meditation” along its text.)
  • The “Keyword” concept: If you are writing an article on a definite phrase that people are searching for, try to keep the page focused on that topic. The keyword should be in the title of the page and you have to repeat it quite a few times in the main body of the text (let us say at least 5 – 10 times for a 1500 word page).However, this should not be forced, or get in the way of you writing naturally. A good suggestion is just to write the article with that topic in mind, and then come back after finished writing and see where you can use that keyword naturally.
  • It is good to divide long pages into subsections for easy reading. You can use related topics or keywords as subsections in your page. For example, in a “Meditation music” page, you can also make sub-headers such as “Meditation music downloads”, “How to meditate with music”, “Music meditation exercises, etc” all inside that same page.
  • Additionally, if inspired to write more, you can make individual pages on those topics too and link to them from this page. If an article is successful, articles on related topics will also tend to do well.
  • Here is a useful example of usage of keywords, topics and subsections http://www.meditate-now.org/inner-peace/how-to-find-inner-peace/. Another successful site is Meditation at srichinmoybio.co.uk.

Involve your Centre

  • Writing meditation articles can be a good project to get your entire centre involved in. One approach which has worked for some centres is to have a listing of articles that need to be written posted up in the centre, with a space beside each article for people to put their names to volunteer to write that article. Then you can set a deadline of, say, a week.
  • Another idea is to have regular ‘columnists’ who are able to commit to writing at least an article a month. Nominate someone with the task of sending people gentle reminders.

Promoting your articles

Ask friendly sites, seekers, aquaintances to make links in their sites to ours. Link from your personal sites and divine enterprise sites to your meditation site (ideally make a page about meditation inside them and then make the link from this page to the meditation site). Search for sites which suggest events to people (event sites, classes sites, free learning sites, lyfestyle sites) and ask them to link to our sites. You can also write for them like a guest journalist would write for a newspaper and put links to our sites in your article.

Time is essential.

Sites and pages also take time to “mature”. So the older your site, and the more time your pages have been up, the better they might rank. It also means don´t wait and start writing right now!

Appendix: popular search topics

Here is a list of suggestions you can try as page topics. Below each main keyword are related keywords you can also try, or use as sections inside your page. But please note you might have to research again for your language, and also they change from year to year.

Besides each keyword is the number of monthly searches by people (ex.: 135k = 135.000 searches per month). Example:

how to meditate 135k
-how to start meditation 1k
-how to do meditation 12k
-learn how to meditate 1k
-how to meditate properly 4k

For example, you could write a page with the title “How to meditate”. When article is finished, go back and see can you naturally insert this word 5-10 times in your article. You can also use the other words like “how to meditate properly” as sections inside your article. Other keywords:

meditation music 165k
– free meditation music 3k
-indian meditation music 2k
-meditation music mp3 3k
-meditation music online 1k
-meditation music free download 4k
-meditation music youtube 8k
-meditative music 2k
-music meditation 2k
-meditation cd 10k

mantra 368k
-mantra meditation 6k
-meditation mantras 3k
-mantra definition 15k
– mantra download 1k
-morning mantra 3k
-gayathri mantra 10k
-gayatri mantra meaning 6k
-gayatri mantra download 15k
-gayatri mantra mp3 15k
-gayatri mantra free download 15k
-powerful mantras 5k
-mantra om 8k
-sanskrit mantras 3k
-mantra examples 2k
-mantra mp3 1k
-mantra japa 1k

mindfulness meditation 60k
-mindfulness 368k (include alternate spelling -mindfullness 27k)
-mindfulness exercises 15k
-mindfulness based stress reduction 15k
-mindfulness training 10k
-what is mindfulness 8k
-mindfulness for beginners 4k
-mindfulness techniques 4k
-mindfulness definition 3k
-mindfulness at work 1k
-mindfulness meditation exercises 1k
(please be a bit careful with this one – we dont want to misrepresent ourselves in any way)

meditation for beginners 27k
-beginners meditation 1k
-how to meditate for beginners 10k
-meditation techniques for beginners 4k
-guided meditation for beginners 1k
-beginners guide to meditation 1k

learn to meditate 2k
-learn how to meditate 1k
-how to learn to meditate 1k
-how to learn meditation 1k
-learn meditation 1k

meditation techniques 33k
-relaxation techniques 27k
-meditation techniques for beginners 4k
-easy meditation techniques 1k
-best meditation techniques 1k
-meditation techniques for concentration 1k
-meditation exercises 3k
-simple meditation 1k

guided meditation 90k
-guided imagery 9k
-guided meditation sleep 8k
-guided meditations 3k
-free guided meditation 3k
-guided meditation script 3k
-guided relaxation 2k
-guided meditation audio 1k
-guided meditation cd 2k
-additional subtopics of your liking

breathing exercises 27k
-pranayama 50k
-diaphragmatic breathing 15k
-breathing exercise 3k
-pranayama breathing 2k

yoga meditation 8k
-what is yoga 18k
-yoga and meditation 6k
-types of yoga 22k
-hatha yoga
-bhakti yoga 10k
-karma yoga 15k
-jnana yoga 4k
-integral yoga 5k

benefits of meditation 15k
-meditation benefits 8k
-health benefits of meditation 1k
-the benefits of meditation 1k

meditation tips 10k
-tips for meditation 1k
-meditation tips for beginners 1k
-meditation tricks 1k

meditation videos 6k
-meditation video 3k
-relaxation video 1k
-how to meditate video 1k
-meditation videos free download 1k