Wondering how to appear on Google's first page? For many businesses, SEO can either be a magic formula or a magic bullet. They're often confused by the complexity of SEO, and the processes for ranking on Google can be shrouded in mystery.
Search engine optimization should be a prominent component of your overall marketing strategy. That's because it's the best way for your targeted audience to find you online. Furthermore, it's one of the few methods of marketing that provide truly evergreen and long-term results. Great content pages that rank on Google can bring in traffic to you for many years to come.
Many of your customers are on Google looking for answers to their problems and searching for your solutions. By learning SEO techniques, you'll be able to get in front of your target audiences and win them over. Not to mention, you're snagging them away from competitors.
What Does SEO Mean?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is explained as the process of improving your website to better position your website on organic search results. Organic traffic is a prominent way for people to discover your business through search queries. Search engines will display the results of relevant pages that fit a user's query. Good SEO helps increase the quality and quantity of incoming traffic to your website.
Receiving organic traffic that is highly relevant to your business can help bring in many potential customers. How well your website brings in traffic is primarily due to your search ranking position. The higher your page ranks for certain keywords (especially high traffic keywords), the more likely you'll bring in visitors. That's because there are 5.6 billion searches on Google every day. Google processes about 63,000 search queries per second.
How Does SEO Work?
Search engines like Google use crawlers, bots, and spiders to gather information from your website. They'll crawl through your website and try to classify information accordingly. The content on your site, structure, links, and images helps the search engine understand what your website or that particular page is about. This process of systematically categorizing your site is called indexing.
When a person types in a query, the search engine utilizes algorithms to pull out what they interpret as the most useful and accurate list of results related to that query. The organic search result may include blog posts, news articles, local business listings, and more. Many ranking factors affect the positioning of your website. It's important to learn these factors and understand how to leverage them to get your pages on the top of search results.
A good idea for most companies would be to hire an expert who can provide you with marketing operations consulting and guide you through the best SEO marketing plans.
SEO Techniques to Increase Organic Traffic
Technology is always advancing. New platforms are appearing, algorithms change, and new tools are being used. Thus, there can be new SEO techniques that come about over time. But the basics of SEO revolves around three ideas:
- Give searchers what they're looking for and provide with them a good user experience
- Help Google (or any other search engine) index your information so that they can offer relevant content to searchers
- Build authority in the eyes of Google so that you're seen as a trusted source
1. Increase Website Loading Speed
Your website's loading speed has a large impact on your Google rankings. The first page of Google rankings tends to load faster than pages on the bottom of page 1 or even page 2 websites. The page speed can be affected by many factors such as:
- The themes and plugins installed onto the web page
- The number of videos, images, and other media files on the page
- Your site's server-side scripts and coding
Fortunately, Google's PageSpeed Insights and other web page tests can tell you how fast your page loads. Some tools will even tell you the factors that are slowing your website's loading speed.
Here are a few ways that you can increase your website loading speed:
- Decrease the web page file size
- Compress the site images
- Delete any unnecessary third party scripts
- Choose a performance-optimized hosting platform
- Reduce the number of redirects
- Delete any unnecessary plugins
Once you've increased your loading speed, you may notice an improvement in how Google ranks your pages.
2. Get on the Featured Snippets
The featured snippet on Google is a small block of text that appears only at the top of Google's search results. Generally, they appear to answer a searcher's query quickly. It's an excellent feature that gives users a snapshot of the information they're looking for. The content that appears in the feature snippet box is pulled directly from web pages in Google's index. Common pieces of information that are pulled into the featured snippet box are things like definitions, steps, lists, and tables.
Often, people who win over the featured snippet are listed at the top of Google. They usually provide the clearest and most succinct answer to the query that the searcher is looking for. The snippet is placed at the top of Google's first page; however, your page may also appear again later on the bottom of the first page.
The key to getting on the featured snippet is simply delivering the best answer. It requires you to answer the questions concisely and clearly. You may want to improve the readability of the answer or illustrate your point better by using images, lists, and tables.
3. Decrease Your Bounce Rate and Increase Average Time Spent on Your Website
Dwell time is the length of time that a traffic visitor will spend on a page before returning back to Google. This is also directly related to the bounce rate because a person who doesn't find what they're looking for on your site will likely bounce off of your site. Many believe that the dwell time and bounce rate are key google ranking factors to appear higher on the search results.
There are a few ways to get your readers to stay longer on your site.
- Embed videos to your site
- Write longer content
- Use images, infographics, tables, and other visual elements to engage your readers, which helps them understand the information better.
- Break content into easy to read sections
If readers are bouncing off your site, it's a clear indication to Google that your site isn't delivering what the searcher wants.
4. Produce High-Quality Content
Most people believe that content marketing and SEO are different strategies. However, contrary to popular belief, they both complement each other. High-quality content is necessary to achieve an optimized page. Valuable content motivates the readers to stay longer on your site and click the other links on your page. Chances are they'll even share your content with others. It's likely other sites may reference your content as well, which generates more backlinks and eyeballs to your content. The longer visitors stay, the more they interact with your site by clicking on links, and the more others are recommending your content, Google is more likely to push your content out to others by rewarding you with a first-page ranking on their search results.
5. Optimize Your Images
If you aren't optimizing for image search, there's a great chance you're missing out on a sizable amount of traffic. Image optimization is the process of displaying high-quality images in the right resolution, size, dimension, and format while keeping the file size small.
You can improve the optimization of your images by:
- Describing the image with the right alt tags
- Having an appropriate file name
- Reduce file size
- Create an image sitemap
- Resize images to the optimal dimensions
6. Focus on Keywords with High Commercial Intent
Most website owners tend to only focus their keyword research on search volume. Unfortunately, that doesn't account for competition and commercial intent. High search volume usually means that it's difficult to rank for.
Instead, choose more specific and targeted keywords that are more relevant to your audience. Furthermore, you'll want to look for less competitive keywords but may have high commercial intent. That's because advertisers willing to bid high prices for a specific keyword mean that people who search that specific keyword phrase are more likely to be buyers. For example, words like "best" or "reviews" often indicate that the visitor is looking to buy something and are just looking for the best options available. Let's say you're looking to buy a camera. You may type in "best cameras" or "sony camera reviews" to determine which one is right for you.
7. Guest Blog Post on Other Popular Niche Blogs
62.96% of people believe that blogs with many authors are more credible. Guest posting is the strategy of publishing a blog post as a guest on another site to receive a backlink and author credit within the author bio or inside the content. There is a long list of benefits for guest posting, such as increasing backlinks, improving domain authoring, increasing website traffic, and more.
Imagine you are a small business that doesn't receive much web traffic. By guest blogging on well-known and credible sites that receive hundreds of thousands of readers per month, you're bringing some of their audience to your website. Not to mention, since an established blog is linking to your site, Google will improve the credibility of your website as well. Furthermore, the more high-quality backlinks you have, the higher chance you'll have of ranking well on Google.
8. Make your site mobile-friendly
63% of searches on Google are done through mobile devices. A mobile-friendly site enhances the user experience of visitors. They won't have to scroll from side to side or zoom in to click on links. The images have to be optimized for mobile so that it doesn't appear overly large. Having a mobile-friendly site will improve your rankings, improve the user experience and increase the conversion rate of mobile traffic visitors. If you don't optimize for mobile, you're simply missing out on a boatload of visitors.
9. Claim Your Google My Business Profile for Local Businesses
Many searchers are looking for local businesses in their area. If you own a local business, you must be listed on Google My Business. Essentially, this listing is a business profile that shares your business information, such as your location, website URL, and contact information. For example, if someone searches "chiropractor near me," Google will show a list of businesses that match their query.
Don't miss out on this traffic by creating your Google My Business profile and optimizing it. There are many ways to optimize the profile, such as:
- Claim and verify your business.
- Include professional photos of your location and the product or service you offer
- Categorize your business by appropriately describing what you offer and adding a business description to your profile. Make sure to include relevant keywords.
- Get a lot of positive customer reviews.
- Set your service area.
10. Generate High-Quality Backlinks
Backlinks is a link from another site that links to a page on your website. If you're looking to rank on Google's first page, you must build backlinks from authority blogs and news sites. A backlink from an authoritative site that links to you demonstrates to Google that the information that you provide is also valuable.
For other authoritative sites to reference your blog, you'll need to ensure that you provide high-quality content. Often, you'll have to create content that is way better than the current blog posts about a given topic.
There are often popular searched topics that lack depth or quality in information. It's your job to find them and produce blog posts that blow the other content out of the water. Once you've done that, it's much easier to get your content featured by simply asking to do guest blog posts. Simply send an email to their editor asking them to have a link mentioned or an entire guest blog.
You can also use SEO research tools to spy on your competitor's backlink profiles. For example, if you notice your competitors use a specific site to get their backlinks, you can also guest post on their site. Or perhaps, they are getting links from an active forum. You can actively post on forums and help people out with your content. Eventually, some people may reference your content as well.
A lot of times, the simplest way to get backlinks is by simply outreaching to major publications or authoritative blogs. You'll ask them to include your link to a specific keyword on one of their posts. Make it sound like it'll genuinely add value to their blog post by including your link. That's because maybe you've covered a topic more in-depth, which could add value to their readers.
11. Increase the Readability of Your Content
Google's ranking algorithm largely depends on how a visitor behaves while on a web page. For example, clicking away is a good indication that visitors don't like what your web page has to offer.
Readability is a key element that keeps your visitors on your site. From the reader's perspective, they are looking to gain value from your site by obtaining the information they were looking for. If the content is hard to read or overly complex, chances are readers are going to click away quickly.
So how can you improve the readability of your content:
- Use simple and short sentences
- Write conversationally
- Choose an easy to read font
- Provide straightforward information
- Include subheadings
- Avoid the use of passive voice
- Use images, bullet lists, tables, and infographics to break up the test
- Use editing software to get rid of grammatical error
Partner With Universal Creative Solutions
If you're new to the world of SEO, you may want to consider hiring an SEO strategy consulting firm that can provide the strategies and activities to help improve your search rankings. Google's algorithms are continuously evolving, meaning you'll have to stay on top of what works and what doesn't. Furthermore, SEO can be quite complex, especially for businesses that don't have experience with it.
As a business owner, you can't be a jack of all trades. Often, you'll need to learn how to delegate crucial aspects of the business to experts who can facilitate you in building your business. A top-notch marketing firm can prodigy SEO services to help you build a strong presence on Google.
At Universal Creative Solutions, we perform an in-depth audit to sort how your website's performance. This SEO audit will measure your website's ranking on SERPs. As a result, we'll tailor our strategies based on your current situation and needs.
Our goal is to provide high-quality traffic to your business. That means ranking for keywords for optimal keywords in your niche that draw out quality visitors. Furthermore, we can advise on strategies to help improve the user experience of your site and capture leads.
Avoid guesswork with your marketing campaigns. We provide in-depth data analysis to monitor your conversion rates, website traffic, and other key metrics. You'll be able to see month-over-month how your website is bringing new visitors and how many leads you're capturing.
Break the feast and famine cycle of inbound marketing. With our expertise, you can avoid the trial and error of testing SEO strategies and instead get to the methods that truly produce results. Book a consultation call today and learn how we can help your business.