Everyone knows that the first page of Google is where you can make the most money. Approximately 93% of people don’t click past the first page. And of those first pagers, 70-80% of people ignore ads and focus on the organic search results.
If you want to see the best results from your website you need to hold a top-ranking that will drive in the bulk of the traffic from your chosen keyword search.
In the present state of search, we’re facing more competition than ever making it increasingly important to put together the most important aspects of a website that performs well in the search results.
Here are 6 factors that will get your company to the top of the results and drive more traffic to your website.
Backlinks still remain one of the top three ranking factors that search engines use to rank websites. They act as “votes of credibility” from referring domains to attribute credit in the content you publish. They have been and will continue to be evidence of approval from other websites making the quality and quantity of backlinks you receive a major ranking factor.
According to Google, linking should occur in the most natural way without manipulation. In a perfect world, every time you published your content, people would find it and link to it from their 90+ DA website to catapult you to the top of the first page of search results.
However, we all know that it doesn’t happen anything like that and acquiring quality backlinks through accepted methods of link building is somewhat of a labour-intensive initiative.
Use white hat methods for link building to safely build the authority of your domain and internal pages. White hat methods include but are not limited to guest posting, outreach campaigns, link reclamation, unmentioned brand links, scholarship link building (from quality resource pages), donating to charities for links, broken link building.
Stay away from paid links (unless they’re no-followed) and other forms of link building methods designed to trick search engines. The risk of being exposed in any type of link scheme isn’t worth your site being penalized.
Satisfy search intent
The ability to provide the solution to a specific query is a major criterion for being considered in a search result. Google looks for websites that demonstrate authority, expertise and trust in addition to having quality content that is able to leave a user satisfied.
The increasing sophistication of search engines and how they are able to assess your content has put more emphasis on publishing high-quality pages packed with information. Addressing the issues that are closely related to the query can assure that visitors who land on your page will have all of their questions answered.
Make sure you perform adequate keyword research to develop a good understanding of the related terms that are popularly searched for that are connected to your keyword.
Incorporating these topics in your content can provide the additional evidence of your page’s ability to connect related ideas and satisfy the potential questions and outcomes a user is looking to find.
The level of engagement your users have on your site affects how search engines view your relevance to a keyword search. The engagement signals Rankbrain uses to rank sites are the length of time spent on a page; click-through rate; and the bounce rate.
The length of time spent on your site will affect your website ranking. If people are spending more time on your site than any other it’s an indication of what they are enjoying your content or finding it more useful than the average site.
If people are backing out of your site the moment they land on it, this will contribute to a higher bounce rate. This particular value is compared to other pages that rank for the same keyword.
Look to increase your visitor’s engagement by taking note of what pages they gravitate to the most. You can then build more content around that specific topic.
When people are clicking on your site more than others, Rankbrain will move your site up in rank accordingly. The click-through rate your site generates can be improved by creating compelling headlines and enticing meta descriptions to get more people to click on your page.
Although page speed was an official ranking year ago, it is important to maintain the load time of the pages of your website. People get impatient and will back out of your site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
Make it a point to periodically test the speed of your pages by using a tool like GTmetrix. Improve the speed of your pages by reducing the size of images and deleting unused plugins.
Make use of plugins that will help to improve site speed. There are multiple options for plugins that allow you to leverage browser caching and minify code.
Google rewards site speed. Every industry has a different average speed but regardless of your industry, it’s recommended to get your load time to less than three seconds.
More than half of the searches performed on a search engine originate from a mobile device. It’s clear that if your site isn’t mobile-friendly you aren’t making a very enjoyable user experience for approximately half of the visitors that land on your site.
Google provides a mobile-friendly test where you are able to identify the issues that might be affecting usability. Keep in mind that apart from improving the technical issues that could be dragging down your ranking there are engagement statistics that will improve with a more enjoyable experience. What’s good for users is good for search engines and it will reflect in your ranking.
The competition we face today has never been as strong and it will only get stronger as more businesses actively pursue more aggressive levels of SEO. In order to rank highly for a specific keyword or phrase your on-page optimization should be up to par.
Make sure your target keyword is in all of the expected places that will help summarize your content. Use your keyword in the title, URL, within the body of content and the image alt tags. Use keyword synonyms and LSI text in your subtitles and sprinkled throughout your content.
The more clarification you provide to search engines in communicating what keywords are most relevant to your page, the more likely you will rank higher in the search results for that target keyword.
Give your website the best chance of reaching the first page of Google by addressing each of these top-ranking factors. There are hundreds of additional improvements you can make to boost your ranking but paying attention to the factors that have the most impact will give you the most notable results and drive the most traffic.
Guest post by: Christian Carere is an SEO expert who works primarily with SMBs on traffic generation. His company, Digital Ducats Inc. offers SEO services designed to improve website performance and productivity.