How can you rank your website on Google’s 1st page is something that almost every website owner asks and wants to achieve, like yesterday already.
Unfortunately there are many “professionals” who are willing to take advantage of this need and will promise to deliver quick results. “It will take four months for your website to rank on page 1 of Google” is what they promise, leaving you filled with hope and eager to spend your marketing budget whilst you dream about the increased website traffic. With more visitors to your website, the potential to convert those visitors into paying customers increases. Sadly, after spending a chunk of your marketing budget, it dawns that you may be throwing away good money for results that you cannot see.
The bad news
There are no shortcuts, no quick ways to rank your website on the 1st page of Google’s search results; if there was we would all be ranking at number 1. Keep this blog post handy and safeguard yourself against anyone who offers you a quick solution.
As the saying goes, nothing worthwhile ever comes easy. To get to the top of Google’s search results page requires an understanding of Google’s business, its page ranking algorithm, how your website has to be optimized for search; you require a flexible strategy, resources and last but not least, on-going commitment.
The good news
Whilst we cannot confirm that we are experts who fully understand Google’s page ranking algorithm, we can certainly provide you with our understanding of the work involved to get your website to rank. This blog helps you understand how your website should be optimized and what strategies you could employ to get you on your way to ranking well within Google. Let’s start.
Understanding Google and its philosophies
Larry Page, Google’s co-founder described the perfect search engine as “something that understands exactly what you mean and gives you back exactly what you want”. Google’s mission is to organise the world’s information and to make it universally accessible and useful to all.
The key takeaway is that Google’s primary focus is on the consumer, the user who spends time using its platform to search for answers to questions, solutions to problems, tips, and tricks to challenges. We’ll delve a little more into their philosophy which helps to provide a basic understanding of the influences that impact their ranking algorithm.
Google does search best
According to Static Brain and on a worldwide scale, Google processes over 5.7 billion searches per day and 2.1 trillion searches per year! By the year 2014, Google had indexed over 30 trillion website pages.
To provide insight into how Google works, have a look at this brief video.
(If you can’t see this video, follow this link: https://youtu.be/BNHR6IQJGZs)
In order for your website to rank in Google’s search results page, there are five basic factors, amongst others, that we would consider important:
1. Index your website
When you conduct a Google search, you aren’t searching the web; you searching Google’s index of the web. This means that your website has to be indexed by Google so that its software programs, also known as bots or spiders, can analyse and store your website within their directories of websites pages. Whilst it is said that it isn’t necessary to index your website with Google, why not be proactive and index your website? After all the goal is to rank your website as soon as possible and giving Google a heads-up of your website will help its spiders visit your website to analyse and index it.
2. Google Spiders
Google’s spiders crawl your website to analyse it against certain criteria set by Google. Considerations include the structure of your website, content and links to name a few. Including a sitemap on your website will help the spiders crawl through and analyse every page of your website. Another way to encourage frequent spider visits for crawling, analysis and indexing is to focus on producing fresh content consistently. The more often Google’s spiders analyse your pages, you increase and improve your ranking opportunities.
Add new articles, website pages, useful information, blog posts, FAQ on a regular and consistent basis. The more content you produce, the more often Google’s spiders return to analyse and index it. Producing quality content that is authentic and relevant, with strategically places keywords, keyword phrases and synonyms will automatically boost your Google ranking. Stay away from negative SEO ranking factors as Google will penalize your website by dropping it down its ranking panels. Read our blog on 7 ways to drive traffic to your website which discusses content and search engine optimization to help boost traffic to your website.
4. Inbound and outbound links
Encouraging links to your website may be one of the most challenging tasks that you encounter. Google believes that a democracy on the web works; meaning that every time people share links of various websites, this activity combined with Google’s page ranking algorithm helps them determine which websites are “voted” to be the best source of information. Links are also used to indicate authority and trust as trustworthy websites link with trustworthy websites.
How does one start encouraging links to your website? There are a number of strategies that can be implemented but one must understand that results cannot be expected over-night. Building a trustworthy online presence takes time, commitment and resources. Start with developing and creating high quality content that people can refer to, link to or share. Promote and distribute your content widely to extend its reach. Use your own social media accounts and register your website on other business directories as a way to generate back links to your website.
5. Mobile-friendly websites
Gone are the days when consumers had to scroll left and right on their mobile device to read the content on your website. Almost one year ago Google announced that more searches came from smartphones and tablets than from laptops and desktops. Google understands that people want access to information wherever and whenever they need it. To continue to offer its consumers a world-class search experience, Google made changes to its page ranking algorithm so that mobile-friendly websites are boosted over and above websites that are unresponsive to mobile devices. This means that if you want to rank your website, ensure that it responds and adjusts to different screen sizes.
We haven’t exhausted the list of factors that could assist you to rank your website, however the above does provide you with the crucial elements that are not too difficult to implement so that you could work towards improving your page rank.
Over to you:
What other ranking factors and challenges should be considered?