Rank First in Google Searches Using SEO
You’ve probably heard that SEO and Google’s search rank result algorithm affect your Google search result ranking. Increasing your company website’s ranking has evolved from merely creating numerous webpages brimming with industry-popular keyphrases. Google’s algorithm now factors in your social media reputation, the quality of your site’s content, the quality of any sites which link to yours, and whether your site is mobile-friendly.
Let’s take a step back: Does your ranking even really matter? Yes! Research reveals that over 90 percent of consumers initiate their product purchasing process via searching on Google. In contrast, less than 6 percent don’t use Google at all when purchasing products. Additionally, on any particular Google search, 75 percent don’t look beyond the first page’s results. Worse yet, just 53 percent visit the first result, only 15 percent visit the second, and a devastating 9 percent visit the third. So, not only must your site appear in Google’s search results, but also be listed first.
Getting to the #1 Spot
With all the competition worldwide, nationwide, and regional, is it even possible to place first in the search rankings? Experts say that, generally, it shouldn’t take more than 3 to 6 months of active implementation of competent strategy to rank within the first 10 search results. The key is having a competent strategy. Without one, you could spend hours a day for years trying, but still not move up by even one ranking. Strategy is about where, how, and what you want to rank for as well as the key factors in on and off page SEO.
Forget about search rankings for a moment, and take this in. Google and Nielson’s joint research on consumer mobile purchasing found that consumers use their smartphones to research products and services for more than a total of 15 hours each week. 93 percent of those consumers end up purchasing a product either online or in-store! After January 2014, the number of people who use mobile devices to access the internet exceeded the number of people who access the internet via desktop and non-portable computers. Why? Not everyone has time to sit at the computer everyday – but even cheerleaders surf the web and text on their smartphones when they have a free moment during field practice!
Now as far as search rankings go, Google changed their algorithm to automatically increase the rank of mobile-friendly pages. Despite that, mobile-friendly sites account for only around 50 percent of the net (although mobile will soon lead the race). So, just having a mobile-friendly version of your site for smartphone and tablet users drastically increases your exposure across the demographics, automatically increases your ranking, and puts you above half the web!
The top three social media links placed on websites are:
. Facebook (90 percent)
. Twitter (72.2 percent)
. Google Plus (30 percent)
Virtually all businesses with online presences have at least one corporate social media account. Why? Approximately 45 percent of consumers go on social media to look up a business, as well as read the reviews and ratings of fellow consumers. Do they really care about the feedback other consumers leave? Yes! Remember that consumers don’t usually make it to the second search results page but almost 60 percent of them go to the third page when looking up reviews on a company!
Consumers aren’t the only ones interested in what people are writing on your Facebook page. Google’s algorithm also factors in your social media reputation when ranking your site. It’s a bit of a double-edged sword; a good reputation increases your ranking, but the opposite is true as well.
Unlike creating a website, you don’t need superior web design/coding skills to create social media accounts, so it’s relatively inexpensive. If your consumers are already happy with you and your products and services, then being on social media is a great way to improve your business’s exposure, reinforce consumer loyalty, and increase your search ranking!
Just make sure to be on Google Plus! Google prioritizes G+ results regardless of their reputation. Even if your website isn’t ranked higher than your competitors’, at least your company’s G+ page will be!
As an added bonus, if you have online ads, simultaneously being on social media and being included in Google’s search results, together increases your click-through rate by 94 percent.
We’ve arrived at the meat of SEO. The actual content on your website plays a major role on how Google’s algorithm decides your search ranking. The basic foundational theory is simple: When people enter a search into Google, the websites containing the right keywords will rank higher than those that don’t. However, if keyword density is all there is to it, then why not create 100 pages filled with nothing but the repetition of the keywords and keyphrases? Because Google’s algorithm was already modified to counteract such loopholes, negatively weighing such content and automatically placing those websites near the lowest ranking. Today, it’s less about the specific amount of keywords on the page and more about the value created around the topic.
In an attempt to drive more traffic to their website, some people have been using their sites to cast a shallow net of varying subjects and categories, hoping to drive diverse traffic to their site. Unlike a news site or a detailed blog, these websites put up very shallow posts with poor writing, and brimming with popular keywords pertaining to each particular subject. For example, a site having numerous uncoordinated, unrelated, random webpages on surfing, tennis, computer programming, and fencing, and etc. Doing this is a double-jeopardy. Not only do these catch-all websites send mostly low conversion traffic to you (so it’s wasted efforts), but also, Google’s algorithm also negatively views such sites, ranking them lower.
What kind of content does the algorithm find favorable? Regularly updated, high quality content specifically specialized for your particular industry or field. High quality content includes tight wording: less fluff, more information. Michigan Tech advises to naturally incorporate keywords into your content, but “never [to] sacrifice good writing for SEO.” If you can’t fit that many keywords into a particular page, don’t add superfluous sentences just to include them. And, it’s not just a one-time deal and if you’ve posted a well-written, informative post with supporting evidence and no superfluous words, you need to keep it coming! The general rule is, the greater the posting frequency, the higher the rank. Periodically pumping out high-quality content will cause Google’s algorithm to significantly raise your site’s ranking.
As an added bonus, regularly posting high-quality content improves your search ranking in another magnificent way! Since the information in your posts is credible and trustworthy, your statistics and facts will eventually be quoted, cited, and referred to by major online news media and high-ranking websites. Why is this so great? First the obvious — you’ll get major exposure. Second, having these high-profile websites linking to you makes you a trustworthy, valuable authority in Google’s algorithm’s eyes, which in turn, significantly raises your ranking.
If you want to concentrate on getting linked by high-profile websites, do your own original research studies relevant to your field, and incorporate your findings into your posts. Relevant, trustworthy, and cutting-edge research attracts the attention of journalists who are always looking for a new, high-quality story to write. You don’t have to buy a laboratory and hire scientists to do this. You can come up with equally interesting research results by conducting interviews or compiling survey data. For example, if you’re in the swimming industry, and you research what type and brand of swimsuit the first place swimmers wear during their competitions, then compile the data and point out any resulting trends.
Lastly, the inescapable truth that websites are built by code also plays a role in Google’s algorithm. Michigan Tech advises not to leave any type of metadata blank. Always have at least a brief description for each type. Also, they advise that you use alt tags for any embedded media. These hidden descriptions are usually invisible to the user, but are very visible to Google’s webcrawlers, so having these will hasten and improve Google’s sorting and indexing of your website, which will facilitate its ranking of your site.
So get your company Facebook page up, start writing your first blog post, and start coding that mobile-friendly version of your site! If months from now, if you’re only placed in third, don’t fret! Google’s monthly unique traffic is in the hundreds of millions. 9% of 100 million is still 9 million unique clicks to your site!
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