For businesses, the whole point of having an online presence is so that potential customers can find you. When these potential customers search for products or services that your company offers, your position on the search engine results pages will be a major factor in whether or not you get their business.
The data speaks for itself:
- A study from Chitika found that on average, the top spot on a Google results page will get nearly one third of the traffic.
- According to Search Engine People, a minimum of 75 per cent of clicks will be on the first page of results.
So, if you want people to be able to find you online, it’s critical that you’re as close to the top of the search results as possible. And no matter what keywords you’re trying to rank for, the goal is to at least be on the first page of results.
If you’re going to get anywhere near that first page, there are several on- and off-site factors that you need to consider. We’ve compiled a list of the most important aspects to focus on, so you can improve your Google SEO and get as close to that coveted first result as possible.
5 Ways to Improve Your Website Ranking
1. Proper Website Infrastructure
This refers to many things, including making sure your website doesn’t take more than a few seconds to load, that it’s secure, responsive, and doesn’t have coding errors, broken links or malware warnings. Not only will Google’s algorithm pick up on these errors and deficiencies, but it will also take note of the behaviour of users who have a poor experience on your website because of them.
If visitors to your website are experiencing error messages, clicking on dead links and generally having a bad time, they’re not going to stick around, and this will also hurt your ranking. Luckily, there are lots of tools out there that can help you analyze any issues with your website that might need work and suggest solutions to those problems.
The Best Media has a free website audit tool that you can use to analyze the performance of your website, so if you feel like your site’s not performing the way it should, try it out.
2. Keyword Optimization
This involves determining what keywords are most relevant to what you’re offering, researching which ones are searched for the most, and how hard it is to rank for those keywords. For instance, if you’re a plumber based in Toronto, ranking for the term ‘plumber’ might be very difficult, but it would be much easier to rank for ‘plumber in Toronto’.
Google prioritizes user experience, so only websites that are relevant to what the user is searching for will show up, and people trying to manipulate the system by using popular keywords that are irrelevant to their website will be penalized.
It’s also crucial to make sure that these keywords are in the right places on your website. For instance, having the keywords in your website content, blog articles and header tags will help Google to index your website, and it will enhance user experience by making your site easier for people to navigate.
You can use tools like Google Keyword Planner and SEMrush if you’re looking to start doing some keyword research.
3. High Authority Backlinks
High authority backlinks are external links from sites that have a high domain authority. Domain authority is determined by things like the popularity and trustworthiness of a website. Obtaining a backlink would entail someone linking to your domain from their website.
In the past, people would boost their ranking with endless numbers of backlinks by doing things like posting links in the comments sections of numerous websites. But because this hurts user experience by generating irrelevant, low-quality search results, websites that do this today get penalized, and the only backlinks that are going to significantly increase your ranking are those that are considered high authority.
But getting these links can be tough, because the demand is so high. To get these backlinks, you can do things like ask for a backlink in exchange for writing a testimonial or reaching out to websites that accept guest posts and including a link in your post. But, because there’s such steep competition, your content has to be top-notch. In any case, having these backlinks is vital if you want your Google SEO to improve.
4. Social Signals
SEO experts know that engagement activities on social media, such as shares, likes, retweets and followers, also referred to as social signals, can also help boost your website’s ranking. So, in addition to having a presence on all the major social media platforms, such as Google+, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, you need to have content that’s interesting enough for people to want to hit that like button, retweet it or post it on their social media.
First, because there are so many people on social media (data from Statista shows Facebook has well over 2 billion users), it helps to build your audience. With this audience comes brand awareness, which will likely increase your click-through rate. Also, when these people share your content, this will increase the number of backlinks you have, and increase your referral traffic from people clicking on the content that’s been shared.
A study by TastyPlacement showed that an increase in Google+ followers resulted in a 14.63 per cent increase in Google ranking, and increased shares and likes on Facebook translated to a 6.9 per cent improvement.
Because of Google’s focus on user experience, and the fact that the majority of web traffic is coming from mobile devices, websites being mobile-friendly is becoming an increasingly more important ranking factor.
Websites need to have a responsive design, meaning that your website is going to look and function the same, regardless of the device that’s being used to access it.
So, among other things, your site needs to have text that’s easy to read and images that look good, no matter the size of the screen, buttons and links that are properly spaced so mobile users aren’t struggling to click on them, and GPS capabilities so smartphone users can get directions to the nearest store location and see the availability of products in their area.
Therefore, when you’re developing your website, you need to make sure you’re creating the best possible user experience. This means you have to optimize your images, text and other elements so that everything looks right and performs correctly on mobile devices, eliminating any elements that don’t work properly for mobile users.
Baffled by the balancing act involved in increasing your website’s ranking? Check out our organic and local SEO services or contact The Best Media for a free demo and let our SEO experts show you how we can ensure your site’s ranking skyrockets.