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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.

Keyword Analysis
Keyword research in SEMrush

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.

How to add keywords to HTML
HTML title tag with keywords

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.

SEO Meta Title and Meta Description
Meta title and description in Google Search
Where to add SEO meta title and description
Meta title and description in WordPress HTML

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.

How to add image ALT text
Image ALT text in WordPress HTML

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.

Google Search Console Overview Report
Google Search Console Overview Report

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”.

How Google My Business Shows in Search
Google My Business account information shows on the right and attracts attention in Google Search

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.

What are breadcrumbs for websites
Breadcrumbs for websites – tidy-house-cleaning.co.uk

8. AMP – Accelerated Mobile Pages

Use AMP to make your mobile pages load instantly, get a thunder icon in search results and rank higher. After enabling the Mobile First Indexing, Google takes mobile very seriously.

Accelerated Mobile Pages Example
Accelerate Mobile Pages in Google Search
(from a mobile device)

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.

SEO Site Audit with SEMrush
SEMrush site audit for SEO errors and broken links

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.

How to fix 404 errors
Custom 404 Page Example – tidy-house-cleaning.co.uk

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.

Review Ratings in Google Search
Review Rating in Google Search

Conclusions

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 hello@onegraphicstreet.com and I will try to help.