We have a useful checklist below to help you boost the chances of higher ranking on Google. Run through this guide with tips and see how it could makes a whole lot of difference on your Google results.
#1 Google Rank Means Money, Money, Money
Before we get any further, let’s agree why you should work on a Google top rank in the first place. There is only one answer to that and you were right all along. It is nothing else than money, money, money.
#1 ranking on Google attracts a lots visitor clicks. Obviously, it gets considerably more clicks than the one on the #2 position and the next few listings in the search engine results page.
Heavy visitor traffic translates to potential sales and an increased reputation for your business.
But wait; it is not enough that you website is placed first. It is also crucial that your web post’s snippet or title is as clickable and appears to be relevant to the search query.
The truth is, it is not as easy to climb the top spot on Google results page and maintain that position for long.
The search engine, for one, changes what is number 1 in SERPs pretty often. There is also the fact that Google is trying to balance out the amount of organic listings compared to sponsored ad listings, from which they take bigger profits from.
If you are in a competitive industry or niche, you might need to pay Google to deliver traffic to your website by means of Google Adwords.
This will keep you on the top spot through the use of competitive keywords and keypharses.
Why Google Rankings are Constantly Shifting
To be number one in Google page rank, you need to adjust your website, always. That’s because, as mentioned earlier, Google changes what’s number one quite often. Here’s why:
· Google is not one big super computer. It is about different super computers that collect data and data at a time. One thing that affects the efficiency is the fact that data centers are located in various parts of the world and not just in one single location.
· The DNS-based data sharing impacts in a way that the Google data center you connect to at the moment; may not be the same Google you were connected to a few minutes ago; different IP addresses provides different sets of results.
· Even Google engineers are not privy as to who will be number one from time to time at a specific data center or specific IP address.
With Google constantly changing ranks and showing different results every single time, there is much need to produce highly compelling and engaging contents that will keep users interested.
If your Google ranking is declining with frequency, there must be something wrong about the website that cannot sustain its visibility.
We, however; discourage making drastic measures unless your website disappeared from the first page completely.
The declining ranks may just be because the data from other centers are not yet loaded.
The Elements of a Google Top Rank
We will start laying down the elements that could help boost your chances.
1. Keyword is King
You read that right. The buzz about keyword is true. Keyword is that one important element that can unlock the secrets to online business success.
The bad news is, it is not as easy to formulate a word or phrase that Internet users would use when looking for some information.
For example, you are writing an article about the best toys for small dogs, you need to think up a relevant word that most people would search to get to your page.
To help make things easier for you, there’s the Google Keyword Planner, a free tool that could estimate results for search phrases.
It will give you an insight as to how popular the keyword you are planning to use so you can easily make a decision whether it is a good choice or not . Although the tool is absolutely free, you need an Adwords account to access it.
Yes, keyword is so important. Then again, you should not miss the fact that proper use of keywords actually does the trick.
It is not enough that you singled out that one word that users will certainly search for. You must also work to inject your keyword properly onto a relevant and well-written web posts.
2. Study your Competition
Chances are, you are not the first person or company who thought of writing the same keyword article.
What you can do is to go to Google.com on private browsing mode, type your keyword on the search bar, and hit enter.
Going private will not only protect your identity as well as your intent but will also prevent Google from using your past search history to influence what appears on your search page.
Click all the 10 items that appear on page one of Google results, not counting the ad links. Read each entry and scrutinize them for the things they missed. Than write your own article.
3. Write a Top Quality Article
If you strive to claim the top, you need to aim for top quality with each and every article that you write.
Don’t just do what the rest is doing. Be different in an amazing way.
As we mentioned earlier, keyword is king but you have to support it with a well-written piece to actually matter to Google and most of all, to your target audience.
Google is putting high value on unique, great content. That’s because people often come to the search engine looking for valuable information and it’s for that reason that we have seen significant rise on the use of quality content as a marketing tool.
Apart from relevant content, viral ones are also quite effective.
Posts, videos, images, and ebooks that have become contagious, especially in the social media network, offer a big side benefit.
As more and more social media users share, repost, or make your content spreadable, it could potentially create links to your website.
If you consistently make compelling contents that earn numerous back-links to your website, Google will reward you with higher search rankings.
That is why online business owners use the offsite optimization strategy as part of their marketing plans.
Creating top quality, compelling, and relevant content about your products, services, and your industry is a huge factor that will influence your website’s standing.
Based on the Google Penguin update, content creation is the most effective method to draw traffic. As a general rule, you should have at least two new articles posted each week.
If you can do more, that is much better because Google seems to favor websites with frequently updated materials.
Another substantial benefit of producing quality content is the amount of links you can earn from other websites. Here is a guide on how you can improve the quality of your contents:
· The Header or H1 tag. It is a good idea to invest on a good quality header tag. While it usually does not show on search results, it is commonly the most prominent text that tells site visitors what they are reading or where the narrative is leading to.
It’s like an outline, a chapter title. It may be brief but the right choice of words can essentially define your keywords and make your article appealing.
· Website navigation. The manner of which the visitors navigate from one page to another is a good aspect to invest your attention to because both your visitors can easily navigate throughout your site.
You may use HTML and CSS codes because they are the codes that search engines can read. Make sure that there are no orphan pages or those pages left out.
Google and other search engines will not rank orphan pages and broken links. You must also ensure that all the URLs in your navigation are valid by checking on them on a regular basis.
· Sitemap. Essentially, a sitemap is a map or directory of the contents of your website. This is a guide used by search engines to get to different parts of your site.
An XML sitemap, on the other hand, is created only for search engines so they can navigate through the different pages.
· Image optimization. Images provide additional appeals to your webpages.
They help break down texts and make your posts visually interesting.
But putting images on your posts have other side benefits, too. You can use the keyword as your image’s file name for optimization.
You may also optimize your page by using the target keyword in the image alt text. However, you need to make sure that the text content around the image is relevant. If the image cannot be associated with the surrounding content, your efforts will go to waste.
· Write relevant topics with future valuation. Although many bloggers keep a lookout on trends when formulating their topics, you should not do this practice when you formulate your own.
Your aim should be to write an article that will be relevant and compelling for a long period of time. The tendency if you are writing trendy topics is to get a boost at the moment but lose the flame afterwards.
If you want to get traffic going for your website in the years to come, make sure that your topics will be fun to scan and read long after it was posted, say 1-5 years.
· Keep your guests happy. Being attentive to your users will give them the impression that you care about them.
Once a post is up, you have the responsibility to answer all queries and react to most comments.
Establishing a good relationship with your users and keeping the communication line open is beneficial to your website so never neglect those who took some time to look around, especially those who took an interest to leave a word.
4. A Compelling Title + Keyword
Every article on good journalism will surely bear a note about creating a compelling article to make your post attractive to readers.
That is almost a no-brainer. But as an added tip, you should always strive to incorporate your keyword into your titles.
It does not always have to be exact because you should never compromise quality but the keyword has to be there.
5. Image Name/Alt-Tag + Keyword
Uniformity is vital here. The use of keyword may spread throughout the article, down to even the last details.
If you are including images to your entry, you should use your keyword to name that image and extend that use to the alt-tag of the image.
As for the alt-tag, you must designate the keyword as the phrase to appear when you upload the images. Its’ the phrase that will show up in your browser in case the photo could not load.
6. Keyword in the URL
Another great idea to add much attention to your post and make it significant for Google is to pay attention to include the keyword to the URL of the post.
Using the keyword “small dog toys” as an example, you must use the URL “www.ExampleDogToyWebsite.com/small-dog-toys” instead of just any generic URL like “www.ExampleDogToyWebsite.com/9999124824834-1”
7. Create Internal Links
Links will increase the chances of your posts to getting clicked. To do this internally, you need to edit older posts so they carry links to your new uploads.
One thing to remember when linking is to make sure that the older post is relevant to the newer post. The connection will signify what the link is there for.
8. Link to Other Websites
If internal linking is important, external linking is even more. Getting links from other websites, especially those with contents that are relevant to your industry are most helpful.
Google uses the number of external links as indicators of how good the post is. It goes by the principle that if your content is truly amazing, other people would not help but to take notice.
While you can let natural course to dictate how much external links you can get, you can also take your own initiative through link building.
You may reach out to other website owners to ask them to link to your post to improve your chances of getting more external links.
9. Off-page Optimization
The heart of off-page optimization is getting backlinks and it contributes to about 80% effectiveness of SEO campaigns.
If you want to get high ranks in Google and other search engines, you better learn your way through off-page link building.
Here are some means that could deliver off-page optimization results:
· Guest blogging. With this technique, you need to first find an established website relevant to your niche.
Then, you must make a guest blog and ensure that it gets published.
From there, you will acquire an external link to your website that will prove valuable for your campaign.
· Joining a web 2.0 site. Web 2.0 sites are those sites with a social media component.
Thus, joining one will give you access not just to regular Internet users but more importantly, to the growing number of social media users.
Squiddoo, Delicious, Hubpages, and StumbleUpon are some websites of this kind.
They mostly facilitate interactive sharing and collaboration among their users and as a contributor, you may get at least nine free backlinks towards your own website.
However, it is not advisable that you duplicate the articles you post on web 2.0 sites with the ones uploaded on yours.
Google is very particular about that.
If you want to make this technique useful, make sure that you produce a unique content that contains your keywords.
Keep your content attractive with videos and images. After a few articles, you will be allowed to backlink to your website.
Squidoo also has an RSS feed component, which creates backlinks and context to the links that search engines love.
· Partner testimonials. Use your relationship with other vendors, suppliers, and your business partners by dropping testimonials to their websites for the benefit of your own.
This is a great way to popularize your keywords as well as to create back links to your website. Just make sure that when you hyperlink texts, they will land to appropriate web pages.
· Making link requests. Everyone who is active online can deliver back links to your website. Do not be afraid to ask for links from your business partners and even your family members and friends who have social media accounts.
The more back links created to your website, the more chances that those links will result in traffic.
Still, it is essential that the back links are created with relevance to your industry or niche. This is the best way to boost your page ranking in search engines.
If you can add powerful links or those from established and big-name websites, you will get better results.
· Internal linking. This is one of the safest and more effective means of driving traffic to your website.
Creating internal links in your website or editing previous posts to carry links to new articles is a great way to drive traffic to your website at a level that Google would notice, and improve your ranking on search engine results page.
To achieve positive results from your internal links you must: first, link to related posts on the context of your current post or vice versa; second, work on a steady and slow pace of creating links on both old and new posts; third, do not panic when a post is losing ranking.
Instead of linking to pages that are getting lower rankings, link to pages with links to it in order to boost its position.
· Commenting on blogs. At first glance, this strategy is intent to open up interaction and build relationships among those in the same niche.
But in recent years, it has become as a powerful tactic to drive up a website’s visibility.
For best results, make sure that you only comment on blogs that are relevant to what you do.
This will help reduce the possibility of getting flagged by search engines and getting a high bounce rate from your readers.
Also, timing is key when using this strategy. Leaving a comment as soon as your post is published is the most ideal time.
That’s when you search for relevant websites with fresh comments flowing in and with a comment and keyword enabled feature.
When you write your comment, also keep in mind to write a meaningful one to get attention and solicit referral traffic to your web page.
· Repurpose your contents. In simple terms, this is like dressing up your content and another way to attract attention.
If you think an article post deserves attention but is not getting any, the problem might just be in the presentation.
You may repurpose it to gain better responses. One thing you can do is to convert your post into a video or produce a presentation that will serve as a teaser to your content.
You may upload the video to Youtube that backlinks to your page. Next up, you may take advantage of SlideShare by converting your post into a PDF file and uploading it to the site.
SlideShare particularly gets a search engine crawl every second, which means you can rely on it to boost your web page into higher ranks.
10. Better User Interface
Ease of use is one of the greatest secrets to better Google page results.
Your website must also be easy to use and navigate to so users may find what they are looking for without having trouble. If the usability of your site is in good shape, it will not be difficult for them to navigate to other pages.
11. Take Advantage of Google Webmaster Tools
Google has various tools available that will help boost your page rankings. If you have an existing account with the search engine, you should also take advantage of those free tools, especially the Google Webmaster.
All that you need to do is to add it to your website, verify it, and add you sitemap. The rest will be handled by Google itself, especially if the search engine finds something wrong with your site.
12. Solicit Newsletter Subscriptions
Attracting newsletter subscriptions is a great way to increase your website’s visibility and improve your page rankings.
Unlike other types of visitors, newsletter subscribers can be counted as returning guests.
The trick to get them for your website is to make sure you have compelling and attractive pages that will establish their trust to what you do.
Thus, they would like to keep in touch. Getting more subscribers if you are a WordPress user is easy.
You simply need to use the OptinMonster plugin, which helps improve the appearance of your web pages and turn them into engaging pieces that will keep visitors and prospective subscribers coming.
To facilitate the subscription, you may use a MailChimp free package if you are not yet ready to pay a fee.
13. Better Site Load Time
In this highly competitive battle of SEO campaigns, the page load time and the time to first byte (TTFB) rate matter a lot.
For Google, page loading in a matter of four seconds is already the ultimate ceiling allowed.
The common impression is that, if your page took three seconds or more to load, the user will impatiently go to another result, making you lose traffic in the process. To make your site load faster, you can try the following tricks:
· Use only well compressed images.
· Don’t reduce images using HTML or CSS, use only the required sites.
· Compress your webpage using GZIP.
· Static files must be facilitated by proper browser cache control.
· Use MaxCDN to cut its loading time considerably.
· Use a minimalist design for your website, minimalist but attractive enough.
· If you are using lots of images and graphics, use iQuery Lazyload.
14. The Thing about Bounce Rates
You might have heard the term “bounce rate” many times, this is the best opportunity to know what it actually means.
This is counted when a user clicks on your website but leaves it immediately.
When your user presses the back button fast enough before he can be counted as a site visitor, he will be counted as a bounced user instead.
To avoid being part of the statistic, the user must click at least two pages within your site. How can you achieve this?
Well, you’re right. Quality and compelling content is the only way to go.
If you engage your site visitor enough so they check on other posts in your website, you will be able to avoid your bounce rate .
But the bounce rate is not as significant if you are running an eCommerce site. In an eCommerce site, higher bounce rates may not look good for the company because you would want your guests to check on other products as well.
But as for blogs, the Page On Time or the amount of time the user spent on your page, is more valuable. This will signify that the user spent a long time to read the post in its entirety.
15. HTTPs are Preferred
In 2013, Google itself announces that upgrading to HTTPs will prove beneficial to websites.
Since Google changed its search algorithm in a manner that prefers those websites with SSL certificates when considering page results standing, you should join the ranks as well.
Don’t worry because if it was previously too expensive to migrate to SSL, it is not anymore.
In fact, you no longer need a dedicated IP to install SSL because SNI in your shared hosting server and shared IP address would suffice.
SSL certificates have also become a lot cheaper nowadays than domain names. A Positive SSL Certificate could only cost $9.
All in all, you need to aim building a good quality website with great quality links. This will ensure that even if you do not appear on #1 consistently, you are getting a good shot at it.