Since the number one listing on Google received 33% of all clicks, it’s important to have great website ranking. It’s been said that less than 10% of consumers search on the second page. This article is designed to help you get listed on page one. Here are ten tips that our experts outlined to rank in the first position on Google today!
Focus on Content
One of the most important aspects of ranking high on Google comes down to the content that you have on your website. More specifically, make sure that the content you are putting out is specialized and focused on your area of expertise. This is far more valuable than just mass-producing loads of content about various different topics. With the Hummingbird update (one of the most significant algorithm changes on Google), it became even more important for brand or companies to focus on the quality of their content, not just the quantity.
The Hummingbird update allowed Google to really focus on the meaning and context of what you are writing – not just search for specific keywords within the page. This is all the more reason for companies to focus on writing quality content on their area of expertise in order to rank high on Google.
Another way for you to rank high on Google is by using your relevant keywords within your title tags, description tags and image alt tags. These components of your website serve as a function to tell Google what each page of your website is about. First, it’s important to decide what keywords are most important and relevant to your business. Then, make sure you are incorporating those into the metadata on each page of your site. The title tags and description tags are the little bits of information that populate on the search engine results page as the headline and body copy of your listing.
These are incredibly important because if they are not optimized around what your website is about, the likelihood of a user actually choosing your listing decreases immensely. Users want to know that your website is going to offer them the answer or solution they are looking for. Writing metadata that immediately answers those questions is a great way to provide them those insights.
Use Google Search Console
This free service offered by Google is an incredible way to stay aware of how your website is performing in terms of SEO. Ultimately, Google Search Console allows you to see both how your site is performing and also how search engines are viewing your website overall.
Some ways you can use Search Console is to make sure Google is able to access the content on your site, submit new content to Google to crawl, tell Google what you do not want crawled, monitor spam issues, see what queries made your website appear and see what types of sites are linking back to you. These are just a few ways you can take advantage of the robust tool.
Take Advantage of Long-tail Keywords
If you are having trouble getting your website to rank high for short, competitive keywords, you can look to long-tail keywords to help you rank for those super relevant and niche queries. For example, a retailer may have trouble ranking in the first spot for the keyword “shoes,” but they could make a much more significant impact by optimizing their website to rank for something more specific and niche like “buy running shoes in Boston.”
The key with focusing on long-tail keywords is to make sure that they are specific and relevant to your business and that they also have enough search volume to warrant your effort. You don’t want to spend time optimizing your website for keywords that people are not actually searching for!
Gain Backlinks from High Domain Authority Sites
Getting other websites to link back to your site is incredibly important to your SEO efforts because it’s a strong signal to Google that you are a trusted source of knowledge on that particular topic. However, it’s much more important to get high quality links than it is to get a large quantity. Sites with high Domain Authority, like a credited news source or well-known blog, will go much further in improving your rankings than getting multiple links from small websites.
If you’re having trouble deciding what keywords you should be focusing on, one way to get started is by finding out what keywords your top competitors are ranking for. If they are also relevant to your website, that could be a good area for you to start focusing efforts on. Additionally, even if you don’t immediately outrank the competitors, it’s great brand recognition for your website to be ranking up near your competitors’ websites.
This is similar to point number five, but in the reverse. In the same way that you want credible, high Domain Authority websites to link to your site – you want to link to them as well. You can do this in many forms. An easy way to start is in blog posts. Are there known, accredited sites that are well-respected thought leaders on your particular business or industry? You can user hyperlinks to link to their website within your own blog posts. The more correlation you can create between your site and other high Domain Authority websites the better.
In today’s world, mobile is only getting more and more important. Bottom line, you will have trouble ranking well on Google if your website does not have a good user experience on all devices. To take that a step further, you should actually design your website with mobile first, not just mobile friendly. By doing this, Google recognizes that and rewards your website accordingly. The same is true in the opposite – you are penalized when you do not have a mobile friendly website. This doesn’t just affect your mobile rankings – it affects your desktop rankings just as much.
If you have a physical location in the town you are targeting, it’s really smart to take advantage of Google Maps. The advantage of having your business appear towards the top of the results when someone is actively searching for your product or service is incredibly significant. Two ways to do this are by having a map on your actual website and by creating and taking advantage of the Google My Business profile. The map on your website allows Google to see exactly where you are located and determine if you should be shown in the Google Maps results.
The Google My Business profile allows you to input your physical address and contact information exactly as you want to be seen on the map. The Google My Business profile also allows you to target the specific categories that your product or service fall under – even further qualifying your website to appear in the Google Maps search results.
It’s imperative to your ranking on Google that you improve your site’s load speed. If your site takes longer than three seconds to load, the vast majority of users are going to bounce from the page without ever seeing what you have to offer. Even worse, they may go back to the results page and click on your competitor’s website instead.
Aside from just losing traffic, Google also penalizes sites that load too slow! So, you are really hindering your ability to rank well if you do not improve the speed. Some surefire ways to improve your page load speed are to reduce server response time, minify and combine files, reduce image sizes, allow file compression and reduce the use of external scripts. There are various other technical ways you can reduce your page load speed, but those are a few that you can get started on right away.
These are ten ways you can immediately influence where your website ranks on the search engine results page. Ideally, you would always want to be in position number one! However, realistically, it’s important to focus on the key areas that are the most important for your business and your bottom line and start by optimizing those areas first.
One of the great things about Google is the number of free tools available to users to take advantage of. There are endless resources for businesses or individuals to take advantage of them – and many of them are completely free! There are tools you can use that will show you which pages of your website are missing metadata – this frees up your time to focus on those pages first! Google also offers a Keyword Planner tool that will let you type in the keywords you are thinking of targeting and it will provide you with data around those keywords. (like if people are actually searching for that!). There are also tools you can test your page load speed for free and it takes less than a minute to do.
Since SEO can take time, it’s recommended that users get started as soon as they can on implementing these changes to their website. Soon your website will be ranking high for your top-priority keywords and you will be seeing the return on investment you desire!