Reaching the top of Google is like reaching a mountain top – it takes hard work and a centralised dedication to what it is you’re focused on. And besides that, it’s the true pinnacle of success in terms of getting your product or service noticed. And these days, an online presence is as important to your business as the sun is to summer. They have to be synonymous and work together to achieve great things. So… so you don’t have to, we’ve cultivated a list of the seven best ways we could think of to improve your site’s Google ranking (aka, SEO). Read them, use them – grow with them!
Produce relevant content
The number one influencer of your search engine rankings is quality content – and there’s no way around it. Having quality content that’s been created precisely for your projected user grows site traffic because it’s seen as more of an authority.
Well-produced content will think about your reader’s needs first, while giving them the information they came to your site for in the first place. It also doesn’t hurt to use bold, italics, heading tags, and other emphasising tags to highlight keyword phrases. But like a delicious desert, don’t overdo it, or you’ll feel Google’s wrath.
A hard and fast rule we like to live by is never sacrifice good writing for SEO. Live by that and we think you’ll be ok.
Keywords, bloody keywords
We started this conversation talking about content and that’s because keywords are to content what cake is to a birthday. Keywords indicate what phrases are being used by internet users to locate your website. Identifying key phrases for your site’s pages and incorporating them accordingly throughout your page is the definition of keyword rich quality content. But this is why we stressed ‘quality content’ in the beginning. Figuring out which keywords have a high search volume but low competition is the ideal mix. And once you get the hang of it all, you can begin using ‘long tail keywords’ – which are specific to your page and improve your site’s chances of getting listed for relevant searches.
Refresh your content regularly
You can probably tell that we love our content to bits. But that’s not because of a failed Tim Winton attempt. It’s because search engines love content, too. Content that is regularly refreshed is seen as a top indicator of a site’s relevancy; so keeping your content fresh means keeping up with the search engine’s Joneses.
See, this is where you find out that we’re not actually cuckoo over just content, because no matter how good the content or your site’s design is, users still need to be able to find what they’re looking for. If users can’t easily access what they are looking for, then everything you did was for nothing. Usability should be seen as one of the most important steps in the architecture of your site. Properly labelling content and smooth, easy navigation that helps users find what they are looking for as quickly and easily as possible is key.
Optimising your website is important so that Google can properly categorise its text and code:
- Your URL should be kept below 100 characters, also use dashes as opposed to underscores, and never use special characters! Just trust us on this one
- Include a unique title tag with basic keywords in the beginning of the titles
- Use distinctive meta-descriptions for each page consisting of one or two sentences describing what the user is reading
- Keep track of duplicate content to avoid confusing search engines
- An XML site-map is crucial for your website. You should submit it using Google webmaster tools to get content checked, and then update and re-submit it every time new content is added
Use social media
If a good social media strategy is implemented, it can definitely work in your favour. But before it can be correctly introduced, you have to make sure you understand your target audience and the individual functions of social platforms you’re using. Making use of few specific social media channels where your users are most active is the key. After that, you have to engage with your users in a way that makes them feel like a friend, as opposed to like a potential sale. You may also want to try connecting to key influencers, because this can help with your information being seen and shared.
A link is a way for users to navigate to different sites throughout the internet. Increasing the number of sites that link to your site (often called backlinks, inbound links or incoming links) can be used as a site-ranking tool. Link equity is the number of links to a site, while link authority refers to the value of those links. An inbound link is a sort of ‘letter of recommendation’ from the internet. And generally, the more of them you have (from reputable sites), the better.
Unfortunately, there is no 100% perfect way to please the almighty Google gods and rank first page – but that shouldn’t keep you from trying. Think of ranking well on Google the same as dating the head cheerleader: everyone wants to, but few are willing to do what it takes to ultimately get there. It’s a daily struggle, but one worth reaching when you finally get there. Good luck… and keep fighting for that top spot! And if you need any extra assistance, have a comment, or genuinely just want to say hello – give us a shout!