Naturally, you want your company’s website to rank at the top of the Google search rankings, somewhere within the top 10 results. To achieve this, you should consider certain key Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ranking factors that would greatly improve your chances of reaching the top 10 search results.
Longer Content Is Best
Studies have shown that your content should be 2000 or more words because this length correlates to achieving high Google rankings. Of course, the length of the article alone is not sufficient to rank highly. You must also ensure that any topic you write about is very relevant to the audience you’re targeting and is written in an in-depth fashion.
Provide Google With a Sitemap
Google wants to know what you have on your site. You can help them do this by creating and uploading something called an XML sitemap, which is easy to do using the XML Sitemap Generator tool.
To access your website files in order to put the sitemap on your website, use File Manager or FTP client. A sitemap basically serves as a kind of roadmap that allows Google to discover and index in its search engine all of your most important pages by using a technique called spider bot “crawling”.
Use 301 Redirect for Permanent Content Moves
If you permanently move any content to a different page, for whatever reason, it’s very important that you place a 301 redirect instruction within your website’s HTTP status code using File Manager or FTP (File Transfer Protocol) to access your files.
A 301 redirect tells Google and other search engines that content originally associated with a particular URL has moved and is now associated with a different, new URL. You want to make absolutely sure you don’t lose any of the SEO benefit (usually referred to as “juice”) and search rankings your content previously had accrued.
In effect, Google will respond to a 301 redirect by redistributing/passing along the SEO “juice” and organic rankings from content on a page’s original URL to the new URL. If you don’t use a 301 redirect, you will almost certainly see a dramatic drop in your search engine rankings.
Google Needs To Access Your Site — Don’t Block It By Mistake!
While not using a 301 redirect can cause your website content to lose SEO “juice” and rankings, it’s not the only possible reason. Your website code must be set to tell Google that it’s okay to access, crawl and index your site’s content using its spider.
However, if the code is inadvertently set to tell Google to do the exact opposite — to NOT access, crawl and index your site — then that’s a big problem because it means your content will never make it into Google’s search listings, especially anywhere near the top, and thus your site won’t receive any traffic!
So how do you make sure you’re telling Google you definitely want them to access, crawl and index your site? It’s pretty simple, actually. Just go into your website files and look for the robots.txt file (which is usually in a folder called public_html or something similar).
If the code syntax displayed is User-agent: * Disallow: / then that’s the wrong instruction you want to give to Google unless you want to modify it to disallow access to only particular things you don’t want to be indexed for some reason.
Otherwise, change the code syntax to User-agent: * Allow: / to make sure Google does indeed access your site and perform its indexing magic on all your content. And for good measure, you should also go to the Google Search Console and add your site’s URL, after which Google will automatically send out its spider bots to crawl your website.
If things are working properly, your site will be indexed and over time you will even get valuable backlinks from other websites that will enhance your SEO efforts. You can see how well backlinking is progressing if you find the best backlink checkers and use their expert services.
Make Sure Your Site Is Optimized For Mobile
Nowadays more and more website traffic comes from people using mobile devices. Thus it’s extremely important that your website is optimized for mobile. If not, your content will not display properly unless visitors are viewing it on a desktop or laptop computer screen.
A person that finds his or her way to a website via a mobile device will almost always find the way non-mobile-site-optimized content is displayed to be very dissatisfying and so will leave the site quickly. Visitors that don’t stick around to see your content and click on your links, banner ads, etc. mean lost opportunities to grow your business.
To prevent this from happening, you can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly tool on its Search Console to help you determine whether your site is mobile-friendly or not. If not, you’ll need to switch your website to a dedicated mobile site, a mobile app, or a responsive design in order to accommodate the rapidly growing number of mobile visitors.
Your Site Must Load Fast On All Devices
Website visitors are notoriously impatient and won’t hang around long if your site loads too slowly. They’ll jump to another site instead. Google has a handy tool called PageSpeed Insights that you can use to test how fast your site’s pages load.
If it turns out your pages are taking too long to load, then you’ll need to employ website speed optimization techniques or you’ll have a lot of visitors abandon your site within a couple of seconds and thus potential sales will leave along with them.
Be Sure To Use Descriptive URLs
Use descriptive keywords as part of your site’s URL. The URL should be static (fixed), not a dynamic one that changes often and use random numbers or letters or both.
Your URLs should always be static and should use descriptive keywords, not just random letters or numbers (such as you’d find with dynamic URLs).
Whenever Possible, Use a .com Domain
Research has shown that the vast majority (over 80%) of pages that rank highly use .com as their top-level domain (TLD). It’s important to use your URL for branding purposes but using your keywords in your domain name is not really essential.
Refer Search Engines and Users to Products/Services with Internal Linking
You want to be proactive in guiding visitors and search engines to the products and services you want them to know about. That’s where internal linking using natural anchor text, comes into play because this method makes the most sense to people who are reading your site’s content. They’ll be put off if what they’re reading come across as artificial-sounding because it uses keyword-rich anchor text. Natural-sounding is always better.
Your Most Important Content Goes On Your Root Domain
If you want your most important content to be in the top rankings, don’t put it on a subdomain. Keep it on your root domain instead where it will rank much higher.
Don’t Forget About Title Tags — They’re Still Important
Things change on a regular basis in terms of what works best in the world of SEO based on what Google’s algorithm requires. Some SEO tactics have been deemphasized but others still are important to use. Using unique, descriptive tags on each of your pages falls into the latter category because they tell search engines the story of what a page is about.
You can determine whether there are any problems with your title tags by consulting the HTML Improvements report which is located in your Google Webmaster account.
Use Rich Snippets To Enhance Search Results
The use of rich snippets in search results has become very popular and valuable in recent years. You use schema.org to create rich snippets properly and then can add the rich snippet markup to your website and thus give Google a better idea of what your site is about.
This also ensures that when your website comes up in search results, rich snippets are displayed alongside your site, enhancing the search results experience.
Write Blog Posts on a Regular Basis
These days it’s pretty easy to create a blog and start posting content. However, if you want to attract any significant traffic to your blog, especially for business purposes, you must add relevant, unique content as regularly as possible.
For this to be most effective, do some research to find out what your customers, both current and prospective, are interested in. Then write appropriate long-form content that matches up well with their interests and needs.
By doing proper keyword search you can discover and use relevant keywords incorporated as part of popular topics on your blog. Your blog should be associated with your main business site and reside on the root domain rather than on a separate domain, so as to achieve the best SEO benefit.
In conclusion, remember that it’s not just about providing content on your website. If you want to achieve and keep high search rankings, and in the process enhance your chances for getting sales for your business, the content you provide must be of high quality.
Write content that reads naturally and doesn’t look like it’s been stuffed with keywords just for SEO purposes. Real people, and Google as well, can see right through that gambit. Give them your best stuff and visitors to your site, including Google’s bots, will be very pleased and keep returning.