Everyone who has a website strives for a first page ranking on Google, however; this task seems insurmountable at times. Between changes in Google’s SEO ranking rules, and recent Google updates, it is more difficult than ever to obtain a coveted first page status. Or is it?While you won’t rank number one on Google for every keyword, there are ways to improve your page ranking and below, I have listed 7 tips that will help you improve your SEO and get you that much closer to ranking on the first page of Google.
1. Is Your Website Easy To Navigate?
One of the most important things Google looks for when ranking your website is if your content is easily accessible to your visitors. Not only does having proper navigation help people find the content they are looking for, it also helps the search engines understand what content you feel is important.
There are a few ways you can improve the navigation of your site and I will list them below:
- Make good use of your sidebar widgets- You can create a custom menu widget and list your most important pages in your sidebar
- Make good use of your main menu to list your most valuable content here so people can find it easily. Organize your menu tabs from left to right.
- Provide your visitors with even more convenience by using breadcrumb lists- This is simply a row of internal links that appear at either the top or bottom of a page and will allow users to either go back to a previous page or navigate back to your home page.
Every piece of content you write should be accessible from somewhere on your site so people don’t have to search for it. Every time you write a post you need to add it to a category. A well organized site that’s easy to navigate will lead to a great user experience and you will be rewarded for this with higher rankings.
2. Are You Optimizing Your Images?
Did you know that the images on your website get ranked in Google the same way your content does? You should be filling out the alt text for every image on your website. This plays a big part in SEO and this can bring more traffic to your website.
There are few reasons why you should be filling out your alt text and I will explain this below
- Your images will get indexed into Google Image search and you can drive more traffic to your site when people search for keywords related to your images. This also helps the search engines understand what your images are about.
- When Google crawls your site their spiders aren’t able to read these types of files. They are only able to read text, so filling out the alt text attribute helps them crawl your site better and understand what your content is about.
- If a visitor is surfing your site and their browser doesn’t support images, or they happen to be using a screen reader this will help describe your image better and give them an idea of what it is.
Make sure you are using the most common file types such as Jpeg, Gif, and PNG. Most browsers support these types of files and they load up fairly quick. Also, it’s a good idea to have the filename match the file type.
3. Speed It Up
When was the last time you checked the loading speed of your website? Have you ever checked it? If you have a slow loading site it will not only hurt your rankings but it will also drive people away from your site. People don’t have the time or patience to sit there and wait for your site to load. Chances are they will exit out of it and move on to the next one.
Google provides you with a free tool that you can use to check the speed of your website. You simply need to plug your URL into their search box and it will scan your site for issues that may be slowing down your site and show you how to fix them. Your site will be graded on a scale between 1- 100.
Your site will be graded on 2 things and I will list them below:
Mobile devices- The time it takes to load your website on a smartphone, tablet, iPad, or any mobile device with an internet connection.
Desktop Computers- However long it takes your website to load when viewed on a desktop PC or laptop.
Having a fast website plays a huge part in SEO and this could be a deal breaker as to whether you get listed on the first page or not.
4. Do You Have A Good Linking Strategy?
Double check the links to and from your website. One of the heaviest weighted considerations by Google is your hyperlinks.
The words that you use to link to other pages (also known as anchor text)on your site is important as Google looks at these to determine your page content. Links should flow as a part of the sentence structure so don’t say “click here to learn more”.
Instead, link keyword phrases that you have written posts on that are relevant to these keyword phrases.
For example, let’s say you are writing a post on “the best iPhone cases” and within this post you happen to mention a few of the best cases available on the market today. You may have written a review on one of these cases and here is where you should make good use of internal linking. You simply need to highlight these words and link them to your review.
Make sure your anchor text is relevant to the content you are linking to because the last thing you want to do is confuse your readers.
Google loves it when you link to other content on your website because this shows them that you feel this content is important and that it will help other people. This will not only help your posts rank higher, but it will also help your site gain more authority.
Links from other websites are also important. While this doesn’t play as big of a role in SEO like it did years ago this still holds some weight. Try to find other websites to exchange links with that are in the same niche as you.
5. Is Your Website Mobile Friendly?
Back in April, Google released an algorithm update that was as big as Penguin if not bigger. This update was mainly focused on websites that aren’t mobile friendly. Did you know that over 80% of search volume comes from mobile devices alone?
I wrote a post about this mobile update that offers some hard facts and I’ve covered lots of important details that you need to know to make your site mobile friendly.
Having a website that’s mobile friendly and that looks smooth on a mobile device will give you brownie points(If you will) with Google and give you a tremendous boost in the search engines which will draw more traffic to your site.
We live in such a connected world nowadays, with people always on the go and Google has recognized this and has made this a huge ranking factor.
6. Are You Sharing Your Content On Social Networks And Building A Following?
Google loves it when you share content because this tells them that you feel this content is special and you want to share it with the world. This is another ranking signal that plays a good part in your SEO strategy. There’s a whole lot more to this then simply sharing content. There’s a right way and a wrong way to do this and I’ll be covering both of these in detail below.
The way that you should be sharing content is by introducing your post by writing a little blurb about it and giving people a prelude as to what it’s about and encourage them to leave you feedback on it. This way you are engaging with your audience and giving them a reason to click on your post to read more about it.
You are likely to get more FB likes, G Plus +1’s, and retweets as well as comments by sharing your content in this way.
The way that I don’t recommend you sharing your content is by doing what I like to call a dump and run. You drop your link on FB, G+, and Twitter with no description as to what your post is about and run. This is a great way to get no interaction on your post at all.
You should also have a separate business page where you post your latest articles and newest updates to your site. Just like any other social network you’ll need to build a following of people who are interested in your niche. This is also called your targeted audience.
If you aren’t currently sharing your content and building a social following I would highly recommend that you start doing so today.
7. Are Your Visitors Engaging In Your Content By Leaving Comments?
A website that’s active and receives comments on a daily basis is what Google is looking for. This tells them that your content is helpful, interesting, and people are engaging in it by creating a 2-way communication portal back and forth.
This is probably one of the biggest ranking factors and the driving force behind better rankings, more traffic, and the key to earning more revenue from your site. Just like social sharing there’s good comments and bad comments and I’ll show you an example of both of these below.
Google is looking for well thought out comments which create dialogue and add value to your content. More often than not, some people don’t understand the purpose of comments on your website and therefore they miss out on this huge SEO benefit.
Here’s a great example of a comment that could hurt your SEO and lead to poor rankings in the search engines. “Nice website keep up the great work” A comment like this is totally worthless and is in no way engaging nor does it add value to your post.
An example of a great comment that will lead to good rankings in Google and significantly improve your SEO would be a comment like this. ” Thank you so much for this awesome review. It has really helped paint a clearer picture for me and has given me the info I need to make a sound decision about joining this program. I like how you have also broken down the key points and explained these in detail”.
These kind of comments get the conversation started and gets people interacting within your content.
My Closing Thoughts
This is merely 7 tips that will lead to better rankings, more traffic, and if done right could get you on the first page of Google. There are so many more factors that contribute to SEO that I would be here forever if I listed them all here. If you can follow these few tips and put them into action you will be off to a great start.
The place that has taught me everything I know about ranking on the first page of Google and learning all I can about SEO is Wealthy Affiliate. If you would like to gain some in-depth knowledge on internet marketing and learn how to rank websites I would highly recommend that you check them out and see what they can do for you.
I really hope this has helped everyone out here today and that I have been able to shed some light on this subject. If there was anything I left out or if I wasn’t clear about anything please let me know about it in the comments section below.
I will get back to you A.S.A.P
Cheers, Your Friend, Scott
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