Neil Patel, one of the most renowned SEO gurus, says that there are 200+ factors that influence Google ranking. He also says that it is impossible get all of them right.
Let’s see how we can reach some of the search engine optimisations:
1. Keyword Research
I would add that it is impossible to show up on all search queries. This is why we should start with a thorough keyword research. Knowing what your potential clients are searching for, you will know how to structure the content of your website according to their needs and wants. For the keyword analysis, you can use ubersuggest.com, semrush.com or Google Keyword Planner.
2. SEO Content
Google does not appreciate lists of keywords added intentionally for SEO. Their new algorithm was developed to simply skip such lists. On the other had, Google encourages content specialists to write “good quality content”. In other words, Google wants us to include that list of keywords in some context, or sentences. Thereby, your website must be structured in a way that it is easy for the customers to understand, not just for the web crawlers. Google insists on making websites for humans, not for search engines.
Likewise, you must include text in HTML tags. For instance, title tags, lists and bold/strong. In this way, crawlers will be able to recognise your keyword structure.
3. Meta Data
After your content is written with the appropriate keywords, you can start writing the meta data. I mean, the titles and descriptions of your web pages that show up on search results.
Also, you start writing your image titles and ALT text. The titles of the images will float when you hover over. The ALT text tells web crawlers what can be seen in the image. Also, when the image cannot be loaded, the ALT text will take its place. Moreover, the title and ALT of your images will make them show up on Google images.
These are the first three and most important SEO factors. We are getting there!
4. Google Search Console
If you want your website to show up on Google, you must set up Google Search Console. In this platform you will use the “Inspect URL” feature to tell Google that your website is ready to show up on search results. Also, you must submit your sitemap here. This will help search engines to understand the structure of your website. It is also a bonus for ranking higher.
5. Social Media Action
Once your website is live and ready to be shared, use social networks for free traffic. Organic/free traffic coming from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google My Business and Pinterest is considered “good quality traffic”.
6. External Backlinks
For Google, the number of users coming to your website doesn’t necessarily matter. What matters is the quality of the traffic and the authority of the links where it comes from.
The traffic quality is a mix of average session duration (how much time does a client spend on your website) and bounce rate (the percentage of clients who exist the website without clicking on a link or button).
The “good quality traffic channel” must be a link with high authority, like other brands linking to your website. If you get many links to your website from websites with no authority, it will not improve ranking.
I suggest trying to obtain partnerships with other brands for “good quality” backlinks. Also, it is free to create a page on Wikipedia for your brand.
7. Internal Backlinks
To discourage unfair or paid backlinks for SEO, Google started to rely more on internal backlinks. Meaning the actual links on your website.
The link structure of a website must resemble a shopping mall or an airport. Usually, shopping centers are built so that you can go from shop to shop. You basically go around in circles, so that you cannot reach a dead end. Therefore, your website must contain links on all pages. For instance, if you have an About Us page, at the end of the page there have to be links towards the services, products, categories or contact pages. Otherwise, your customer will just exit the website and end the session sooner.
In addition to this, you can use breadcrumbs. They are links that will enable your customers to see where they are on the website and move back a few steps.
8. AMP – Accelerated Mobile Pages
9. Responsive Website
As mentioned at point 8, Google takes mobile very seriously. Your website must a have a responsive version for mobile and tablet. If your website looks the same on mobile as it looks on desktop, then it might not show up in search results for mobile. Don’t get me wrong, you must have the same content on all versions, but the content must be visually adapted for desktop, mobile and tablet.
10. Dedicated Server
Loading speed is also a very important factor for getting the first on Google. Statistics show that most customers abandon a website that doesn’t load in the first 3 seconds. For this, you can either use a method like the one at point 8, or you can buy a dedicated server for higher speed.
11. Broken Links
Use SEMrush to get a website audit and see if you have any broken links on your website. Remember the shopping center mentality? The website must not have a dead end or links that display an error.
12. Custom 404 Page
However, if a client accidentally includes a typo in the link or you have a broken link, then they will see an error. Customise the 404 page with an error message, some useful links and a search bar. In this way, you still have a chance to prevent the client from abandoning the website.
13. Feedback Modal
You can use Hotjar to generate a feedback pop-up that shows when someone wants to exit the website, or after a certain period. This is how you can keep your customers a little longer on the website and discover what they want.
14. Structured Data
Use schema.org to get rich results. In this way, your website will look a bit different in search results and that will attract more traffic. Also, your ranking will get higher as people might want to read the reviews on your website.
Now you know the basic SEO factors for ranking first on Google. I have to admit that you must work hard to get to the top results. However, once you get there, you will see that it was worth the effort.
If you have a website and you have reached a deadlock, I will be more than happy to listen to your story. Please leave a message in the comment section or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will try to help.