Google rankings can make or break an online business. To rank on Google in the early days of search engine optimization (SEO), you could sneak a site to the top using technical trickery, exploiting secret loopholes in the algorithms or black hat techniques. Fortunes could be made on the strength of a spreadsheet full of keywords and spammy link sources.
But, those days are gone. To rank in Google today, there’s only one thing you need to do: make your website so good that Google can’t afford to ignore it. In short, you need to make your site an indispensable part of the digital landscape.
Of course, that’s much easier said than done. But, if you work to nail the following four areas, you’ll be in the game for the long run.
1) Outstanding Content
First, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Whatever your business model, content is the backbone of a website user experience. The times when you could just throw together keyword-rich text to quickly rank are over. Today, your content needs to be of the highest quality in both technical and value terms.
If you offer the same tired old content that can be found in hundreds of other places, there’s no incentive for Google to send you visitors. But, If you really focus on your user and how the content is going to educate, entertain or inspire – Google will reward you.
2) Mobile-Friendly Design
Second, with over half of web traffic now being delivered via mobile devices, it’s essential that your website holds up and delivers a good mobile experience. Google values its visitors. And, it doesn’t want to send them somewhere that serves up an ugly mess on a smartphone.
89% of people are likely to recommend a brand after a positive brand experience on Mobile (Google, 2017)
And even if you don’t think your site has high numbers of mobile users, you can’t ignore this. Google’s algorithm is now pushing mobile-unfriendly sites down the ranks. For all searchers, regardless of how they access the web.
3) Technical Issues
Third, a poor visitor experience can also be caused by technical problems such as slow-loading pages, confusing navigation, missing pages, or duplicate content. Google’s algorithm is highly adept at figuring out how a site appears to human users. And, if yours comes up short, you can expect your rankings to suffer.
If your rankings aren’t as good as you expect, it’s worth hiring a technical SEO expert to audit your site for any hidden problems.
4) Engagement and Popularity
Finally, sites which generate a lot of buzz almost force Google to list them highly. If a popular site can’t be found on Google, the average user will blame the search engine. To put it bluntly, Google may be a trailblazer in technical terms. But, when it comes to the social scene, they definitely follow the crowd.
You can increase your popularity signals by focusing on social media marketing to generate shares and likes. And, this will feed through to ranking power.
Also, pay close attention to on-site engagement signals like bounce rate, dwell time, page views, repeat visits, and so on. The further you can push these metrics in your favor, the more notice Google will be compelled to take.
None of these approaches are easy wins, but ranking today is never a simple task. But, by focusing on these aspects of your website, you’ll be increasing its value to visitors. And, you’ll be also pushing up its inherent potential for success.
The fact that Google will also reward you with better ranks is just the extremely welcome, and profitable, icing on the cake. But, remember: if taking the first position was easy – then it wouldn’t be as profitable.
SEO takes time, patience and commitment to succeed
To conclude, SEO takes time, patience and commitment to succeed. But, with the right team, and creative strategy, there is no way you couldn’t dominate.
And, once you dominate, the rest is smooth sailing. I mean, how many times have you gone to page 2 this week after you run a search?
So, here’s what you can do to rank on Google:
- Read this and do nothing, while your rankings do the same.
- Read this and implement what you have learnt.
- If you would like some more custom tips on your business, book a free strategy session.
Either way, work hard now for a huge pay off later.