How Some Websites Gain Good Rankings in Google?
Attracting more organic traffic is a proven way of growing a business or a website. One of the best ways to do it is by putting some effort into SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and achieving a better rank in search engines.
Search engines are constantly monitoring the Internet as they “crawl” through webpages and indexing them.
Look at the Internet like it’s a big city that has new buildings added to it every day. Think of crawlers as people who are tasked with recording every bit of relevant information about these buildings. They look at their address, their color, how well the door is placed, how conveniently can visitors move around in the building, does it have fully functional appliances, basically everything that could contribute to a person’s experience.
Providing the best user experience and the most relevant content to users is a search engine’s ultimate goal. They organize information on the Internet and put the best, most relevant on top, according to a specific search query.
Now, our goal as website owners is to provide search engines with what they’re looking for and they will reward us with a high rank. It’s important to note that nobody outside of Google knows the ultimate formula of search engine algorithms, so search engine optimization remains a sophisticated form of technical art. We aim to optimize our website for the search algorithm robots and human beings as well, that’s how we a solid stance in Google.
This is Why Your Website Needs SEO
Most of the traffic a website receives is driven by the biggest search engines, which are Google, Yahoo! and Bing. Just like you, most Internet users use a search engine to navigate through the Internet.
These search engines provide you with free traffic and marketing forever if you know how to optimize for them and leverage the benefits. You can use them to get highly targeted traffic. People who are looking for what you have to offer will be able to find you in a few clicks. Targeted traffic generated by search engines can provide just about everything your business needs for its success, such as more revenue and greater exposure.
Search Engines Are in Constant Change
Even if we find some solid practices that have proven results, there is always a chance that Google will change its mind overnight and even give us penalty for using a specific SEO strategy.
Google has added a lot of updates over the years, such as the Panda, the Penguin, Google EMD (exact match domain name), the Private Blog Network de-indexing update and the latest Hummingbird update. All of these have brought significant changes to how webpages are being ranked.
There are many known ranking factors to optimize for such as:
- Backlinks (quality and quantity of inbound links)
- Keyword usage
- Social Media Signals
- Website Speed
- Website structure
- Content Quality
- Time Spent on the Website
But the most important rule of SEO is not to overdo it. Keyword usage for example is an important part of On-Site SEO, but stuffing your pages with too many keywords will count as Over-optimization which will end up getting you a penalty.
Just so you know there are more than 200 factors that Google takes into account.
Here, we are going to share some of the most important factors that help you to rank your page better.
Link building is one of the most commonly known and the most acknowledged SEO tasks.
Backlinks are links that point from other websites to your website. They take the user from another website to your site. The task here is to get these other websites to link to yours.
Long ago, you could even use the backlinks you would get from sites that have nothing to do with the topics your site is concerned with. These are low quality backlinks and you should avoid them.
Having a backlink from a website that is relevant in your topic, indicates that your website is popular and provides quality content based that topic. Inbound links are like votes acknowledge your website’s relevance.
Google rewards websites that have high quality backlinks and moves them up on the results page, for being more relevant and trustworthy.
The quality of an inbound link (a link pointing to your website) is defined by the type of content the website has. Let’s say your website is selling running shoes, so receiving a backlink from Nike or Adidas would boost your search ranking by a great deal.
While receiving a backlink from a cooking blog wouldn’t do too much good for your shoe business and might even end up getting you penalized. If you receive links that have the keyword anchor text you are ranking for (exact match anchor), let’s say “running shoes”, can also lead to penalty.
A good way to make a backlink for your online shoe store would be to write an awesome article for a sports equipment blog, write comments or to submit your website into specific web directories.
It’s best to build your backlinks slowly but surely as you continue to pump out quality content.
They are the keywords and keyphrases that best define the contents of your website and provide that information to search engines. Keywords are the elements that connect search queries to your website. It’s the first piece of information you share about the products or services you have to offer. This way, you’ll get the right kind of visitors for your website.
Creating a list of keywords that you want your site to rank for is one of the most important steps in SEO. Doing a throughout keyword research will be your most valuable efforts. By using keyword research tools, you can find out how many searches a specific keyword or keyphrase is getting on average each month. It will let you know what is the most popular and how much competition your website would have.
But the most important thing in selecting keywords is selecting those that answer the problem that you’re going to solve with either information or a product or service.
Once you’ve set yourself the keywords and keyphrases you wish to rank for, you can assign them to your webpages.
Social Media Signals
Google hasn’t acknowledged the use of social media signals as independent ranking signals. They are being treated like any other webpage on the Internet. Google can’t rely on data like relationship statuses, because they are constantly changing. Yet there is a strong correlation between how well your website does in SEO and your Social Media presence.
It’s still up to engineers to find out how they can leverage social media. These online communities help in determining how trustworthy a site is with sharing their content.
Building a strong trust and credibility is what will get links to your content and it is also the pillar of a powerful brand image. Having a good social media following will give you that trust and credibility and it will be much easier to get inbound links.
Being active on social media will also put a brand and a website’s content in front of more eyes, which will increase the likely hood of you getting more links. Social media offers means to reach out to your customer and engage with them, which is much better than just sitting around and waiting for them to find your site.
If we consider that Google seeks to provide the best possible user experience to people, than its only natural that they would want those sites to perform as well as possible. Google has even announced that slowly performing websites will be penalized.
The reasoning behind this is fairly obvious. Slowly performing websites offer a poor user experience thus leaving users unsatisfied. Page rendering speed has proven to be linked to user satisfaction and thus sales and conversions. Yet we cannot state what the exact correlation is.
While the time it takes for a document to render, probably affects search engine rankings in some way, there aren’t any direct conclusions that we could walk away with. We only know that it affects user experience.
So the only thing we know is that, website’s loading speed comes down to simple technical factors that contribute to the back end performance. These are the type of servers you’re hosting your website on, the type of network connection you’re using, database servers and different back end applications. The best one can do to improve their website’s speed is choose their web host wisely, optimize database queries and their website’s code.
Also, it’s very important to ensure that your webpages load as fast as possible on mobiles, because Google will be rolling out with the mobile first index in a few months. They already reward websites that run fast on mobile devices and for obvious reasons. Even your grandma has a smartphone and probably uses it to browse the Internet and more people are using smartphones every year.
As a solution to this, Google, hand in hand with other technology companies have created the AMP (accelerated mobile pages) project. It promotes the use of high speed mobile pages that take less than a second to load, taking the mobile experience to the next level.
The most technical answer to the question, whether Brand is an independent ranking factor, would be NO. Technically, branding doesn’t and shouldn’t affect your Google ranking yet, just as we saw in social media signals, there is a strong correlation between branding and search engine ranking.
Google’s ranking algorithm doesn’t use a “brand” as an input but a lot of things that are used as Google’s ranking factors, are in correlation with brands. It is only logical that the better your brand does the higher ranking it will eventually reach.
The goal of brand building is to create something that Internet users already have a positive association with. Having influenced an individual before seeing a link to your website or any of its content will make it much more likely for him or her to click.
Almost everyone comes across the statement “content is king” after doing a bit of research. But the notion of “quality content” is still a bit foggy, because quality content is different for you and me and each individual who would look at it.
Even Google doesn’t give straight guides to what is considered “quality content”. Everyone aims to create unique, quality content, which is basically content that is “good enough”. It answers basic search queries, helps users find the information they’re looking for and they won’t throw up after reading it, so it’s good enough!
But the good enough bar is a weak measure of success and won’t help you in ranking your website. To ensure that your content is achieving the best results possible, the sky is the limit in content quality.
Do you provide something of value, something that keeps visitors on your page for more than a few seconds?
Content shouldn’t just be good enough, it should be the best out there. You should be creating content that is hundreds of times better than the best you would find right now with typing a particular search query. So the goal in content creation is to achieve the highest level of content quality every time you make a post.
There are a few rules to apply to content creation that will make it more engaging for users.
Make it easy to read
Sentences should be as short and as full of information as possible. Even seasoned readers like to put their teeth into solid information as soon as possible. Furthermore, the use of readability checkers is on the rise. There are algorithms that can look through your content and decide how easy it is to read and what reading level it is on.
The information you provide should be well structured and comprehensive, making it easy for users to scan through and take what they require.
Enhance it with different media
A picture can say a thousand words and videos can say even more. Users want to consume the information as fast and as easily as possible, which is why they would prefer watching a video over reading long lines of texts.
Having info graphics, pictures, graphs and videos in place for complimenting written content will ensure that your content appeals to a wide audience.
Know Your Audience
The key is to know what makes your audience tick and make them tick harder.
Knowing your audience is the key to creating optimized content. It is something that even professional marketers invest a lot of time into and you should do as well. Analyze and interpret all the information you can to provide your users with content they really want.
Using your imagination and your own original ideas to create something entirely new is what’s called creativity. It is a trait that provides great value in any field.
Naturally, creativity plays a huge role in a game like SEO. Staying on top by providing content of the highest quality that others didn’t think of or didn’t create. Being the only one to offer a specific piece of content, information or product will make you a top player in any field and providing the newest and the best is what will keep you on top.
But to ensure that what you’re offering hasn’t been provided by anyone else, do some thorough keyword research and do your best to add more and more value to the piece of content you seek to promote.
SEO is a constantly changing puzzle that has many moving parts. There are number things you can be sure to affect your SEO and you can find so many tips that you couldn’t even implement all of them. What we have yet to find out remains in Google’s box of secrets.