The top few spots on Google’s search engine results page are golden territory for any company’s website. After all, the #1 ranking gets 33% of all search engine traffic. That means getting there should be every site’s goal. But with a book full of ranking factors, and information shrouded in mystery from the company itself, it is often difficult for companies to determine what is or isn’t working. After extensive research and definitive studies, the web has found which rankings really matter the most. If you want to make it to the top, you have to know which factors matter for page one visibility. Here is how to rank on the front page of Google.
Concentrate on getting backlinks to your site
Backlinks are like votes in the Google election. When the engine scans the web for potential matches, it looks to see where the most signals are pointing. When other nodes point to you, it is a good sign that you are an authority in the industry relating to that keyword. Marketing and SEO giant, Moz, gave factors such as links a score of 8.22/10 on its ranking factors scoresheet. Getting backlinks is the hard part, but by posting quality content that readers can use, and interacting with your followers, clients, and service providers, you can slowly build credible backlinks. Remember to guest post as often as possible, too. One webmaster saw his traffic increase by 9% and bounce rate fall by 15% just by upping his guest blogging efforts.
Focus your content marketing efforts
In the battle for the top of the SERP, a widespread attack with an open hand is the last thing that you want to do. To breakthrough to the top, you need to focus your might in a concentrated push. Readers want to visit sites that are relevant to exactly what they are looking for. In-depth, focused content highly outperforms short, generalized posts. Try to write fewer but more detailed posts about the niche you specialize in. Long-form content made users stay on average 40% longer on page during a study, and look at 25% more pages while there.
Fact: the average top result on Google contained 1,890 words.
Content with images outperforms content without images by a significant margin. It improves user experience, readability, and SEO. Articles with images get 94% more views! The top rankings on Google almost always have a relevant image to go with it.
Make you website go faster
Web research concluded that sites that loaded and performed faster were significantly higher-ranked than slowpokes. This is part of Google’s quest to improve the user experience. 30% of users won’t wait longer than 6-10 seconds, and Google has confirmed that they will penalize slow loading times. Here is how to speed your site up:
- Get better hosting
- Use fewer images
- Optimize the images you keep
- Use tools to compress your pages
- Enable browser caching
You don’t want to risk missing 11% of your page views due to a discrepancy of a few seconds. It’s definitely worth focusing on.
In order to be king of the mountain, you need to work hard and be good at what you do. There is a reason that the top result gets 1/3rd of all traffic: it’s the best result for the user on average. Now that you know how to rank on the first page of Google, you need to start putting in the effort to get there, which is another thing entirely – knowing is only half the battle, as they say.